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The Way Home.

Updated: Jul 13, 2023

Reflections on John 13:31 – 14:7

The most important aspect of any home is the humanity that exists inside. How we treat each other. How we listen to each other.

How we welcome people through the door. How we serve one another. For service is a true indication of love and love makes a house into a home. It connects us, forms us into a community.

Two thousand years ago, in the crowded part of Jerusalem,

the gospel writer John takes us into the upper room of a home near the Temple.

Here a group gather for a meal . . .

And one of them

Jesus walks to the back of his followers,

Takes off his outer robe

And ties a towel around himself.

He pours water into a basin

And begins to wash their feet.

It is a stunning act of hospitality.

And this is to be the sign of the church, the mark of our spiritual home. Service. Humility. Welcome for all. Jesus even washes the feet of Judas.

His point is simple: Love one another as I have loved you.

And yet despite this action, there is a strange climate in the house that night. It is unsettled. Storms roll in. John, in his poetic way tells us that Judas leaves the gathering in order to complete the plot against Jesus. And it is night, John says.

This is the setting for our text where the cross looms large in the background, casting its shadow, over everything. The home, the community, that Jesus and the disciples have created is about to be shaken to its foundations.

Once Judas leaves the disciples have a series of confusing conversations with Jesus. And it’s here that Jesus speaks of another home.


He says:

Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?”

These are words of hope and assurance for us. That whatever we are going through, whatever we are experiencing, in the end,

God is going to bring us home. But for the disciple Thomas, it’s a bit ambiguous. What does this actually mean? And Jesus offers both Thomas and us, those great words of hope:

I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.


The context is critical. Jesus is walking towards the cross. He is going to lay down his life for them. And I wonder if his great statement of being the way, the truth and the life, will all be achieved through his work on the cross.

The cross deals with our sins and shortcomings, and so provides a path back to God. The cross tells us the truth of who God is . . . that ultimately God will give anything, even his son, to win us back to him. And through the cross we are provided with life that lasts forever.


So what does this mean for our church and for our everyday life in our homes around suburban Melbourne? How do we apply these words.

The Way Home.

Seeing Jesus, and the cross, as the Way to God, the Way Home, is an invitation to see him in the centre of everything. He connects us to God.

In a reflection on paths called On Trails, Robert Moor says this:

“The core function of any trail is to connect. The root of that word, means to bind together or unite. A trail strings a line between a walker and her destination, uniting the two . . . “

What a great description of Jesus who is at the centre of all things., binding us to God and bringing us home. These words are an offer to look again with fresh eyes and new appreciation for who Jesus is.


That’s the way, what about the truth?

I think we live in a time where words are complex and often a bit convoluted.

Last week my wife Melissa and I watched the first episode of the new season of Utopia, which is set in the offices of the fictitious but all too true National Building Authority. A contractor called Dom is finishing up.

Coming up with wording for a cake for proves an administrative nightmare, requiring skilful guidance from HR and Legal. Every message, every word must be run through a careful filter. The cake and its message, in the end, is redacted to just: Goodbye!

But this cautiousness is not seen in the Jesus we find in John’s Gospel. He calls how sees it and he says quite unambiguously “If you know me, you will know my father also.” The truth of the matter is that God is willing to pay whatever price possible to bring us home.


Why does Jesus say all of these things? Why is he so clear?

The answer, I think, is to lead to life. And life comes from being connected to something bigger than ourselves.

What is this like?

A few days ago, a friend posted on Facebook about an amazing website. It’s called The Red Hand Files, and it’s where the singer Nick Cave responds to his followers and fans. It is a place of staggering openness and honesty and faith. A link to the story can be found here: The Red Hand Files.

Nick Cave describes life being lived to the full!

And so . . . whatever or whenever we sing or write or stitch or sew or paint or create or make or work or listen or laugh, we do it all for the glory of Jesus, because he is the one who brings us life. He is the way home. Jesus sums it up neatly a little later where he says:

Those who love me will keep my word, and my Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.


Questions to Reflect On

· What are things that bring you life?

· The way is a brilliant description of Jesus . . . How would you describe Jesus?


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