THE GOSPELS 109
Matt.26, Mk.14, Lk.22, Jno. 16-18
THREE GREAT TRUTHS FROM THE ONE WHO KNOWS ALL
Before going to the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus made a long speech to His close disciples. They asked Him two important questions about the things He was saying to them.
First, Thomas said, “Lord we know not where you are going so how could we know the way?” Jesus’ answer was, “I AM the way, the truth and the life. No man cometh unto the
Father but by Me”. This is one of the most significant statements in the entire New Testament. I want to take some time to examine its wonderful meaning.
With our human minds we too often envision Heaven as a place which we will enjoy as we enjoy things here on earth. The Bible often describes the wonders of Heaven in earthly
metaphors only because we have no language with which to describe the wonders of a spiritual world, which is beyond our experience and therefore beyond our imagination.
However, when the disciples asked Jesus how to get to where He was going, He did not describe a place. He described His own personality. He was going to the Father, and the
Father, as He told the woman at the well in Samaria, is Spirit. He is to become one with the Father in the world of the Spirit, and the only way to get there was to have a
personal relationship with the Spirit of Jesus Christ. He had told them many times that He was the gate, the door, the only avenue to God in Heaven. Make Him the Lord of your
life, for He IS the way for your spirit to become one with the Father. That is the way, the only truth and the only life that is eternal.
The second question was posed by Phillip. He said, “Show us the Father and we will be satisfied”. Jesus’ answer was, “Have I been with you all of this time and you do not
know Me”? He went on to say, “If you have seen Me, you have seen the Father”. Obviously, Jesus did not mean that He looked like the Father physically. Again we must
emphasize that “God is Spirit”. Seeing God is recognizing the beauty of righteousness and truth, the glory of power and mercy, the depth of love and all the other infinite
characteristics that God is. The joy of Heaven will not be the kind of joy we find in earthly pleasure but the joy we know in a limited measure with love, friendship, close
family ties, and other spiritual pleasures we know in part while living here with the limitations of space and time. The spiritual joys are far superior to any pleasure we
might have in our physical senses. Jesus represented all the spiritual qualities of God, and to see Him, not His body but His wonderful Self, was to see God.
Then Jesus said, “Whatever you ask the Father, in My name, He will give you”. Again, those who think in earthly terms have tried to say that Jesus promised us that anything
we prayed for, using the name of Jesus, we would get. No! He is not promising us that prayer is an avenue to get what we want. When Jesus says “in My name”, He is not
talking about His title. His “name” here means being in the likeness of His personality. If you are thinking like Christ, wanting the same things He wants, desiring the same
Spiritual exaltation that He represents, then God will give it to you. He is not talking about earthly treasures nor earthly joys. Jesus’ “name”, just as God’s “name”, means
His qualities and characteristics, not the title by which He is called. When you think and act like Jesus, then you are thinking and acting in His name. That is when God
hears and gives you what a person in that frame of mind is desiring.
To make it as simple as possible: Asking in the name of Jesus means asking what He would endorse … what He would put His name on…what He would agree with. It does not
mean by His authority, nor does it include any personal things not involved with His mission and His character. Remember that Jesus is talking to His closest disciples whom He
depends on to take His message to the whole world. He is telling them what will equip them to do the job. We also are, as Christians, ministers of His Word to the world, and,
to this extent, what He says to them, He is also saying to us.
These are the great lessons which Jesus gave to His disciples before making His last journey with them to the Garden of Gethsemane. That journey and its dramatic conclusion
we will study in our next essay.