15. True Vine

Jesus prepares his disciples for his soon departure by promising that he will return and teaches that he and the Father are one (14:1-14).

"Don't worry about my leaving you. I know you trust in God; so put your trust in me as well. There is plenty of room for everyone in my Father's house. If it were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And once that place is ready, you may be sure that I will come back and take you to be with me. That way, we will always be together. You know the way to the place where I am going."

Somewhat confused, Thomas said, "Lord, we aren't sure where you are going, so how can we know the way that will take us there?"

"I am the way, the truth, and the life," declared Jesus. No one can get to the Father without going through me. If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and you have seen him."

Mount of Olives, where some feel Jesus will return

Philip said, "Lord, please show us the Father, and then we will be satisfied."

Jesus replied, "Philip, we've been together for a long time. Don't you know by now who I really am? To see me is to see the Father! So how can you say, 'Show us the Father'? Don't you believe that I and the Father are one? I do not speak to you on my own authority. The Father who lives in me is the one who carries out the miraculous deeds you see.

"Believe me when I say that I and the Father are one. Or believe it to be true on the basis of the miracles you see me do. I tell you the truth, if you believe in me you will do the same things that I am doing. In fact, you will do even greater things, because I am going away to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. If you ask me for anything in my name, I will do it."

Jesus teaches that he will not abandon them when he leaves, but the Father will send the Holy Spirit to take his place and be a constant helper (14:15-31).

Engraving of the Ark of the Covenant

"If you love me, you will do what I tell you to do, and I will ask the Father to send the Holy Spirit to you to help you and remain with you forever. He is the one who reveals the truth about God. The people of the world reject the Spirit because they neither see him nor know him. But you know him because even now he lives with you, and soon will be in your hearts.

"When I go, I will not leave you unprotected, on your own. But, as I promised, I will come back. In a little while the world won't be able to see me, but you will see me. Because I live, you too will live. Then it will be clear to you that the Father and I are one. Furthermore, you will be one with me and I with you. To know what I have taught, and to obey my instructions, is to prove that you love me. If you love me, you will be loved by my Father. I too will love you and reveal myself to you."

The other Judas (not Judas Iscariot) spoke up and asked, "Lord, I don't understand why you are going to reveal yourself to us, but not to others."

Jesus replied, "Those who love me will do what I say. Then my Father will love them, and he and I will come and make our home with them. Those who do not love me will not do what I say. What I am telling you is not something I thought up, but it comes from the Father who sent me.

"I have told you these things while I have been with you. But when I am gone, the Father will send the Holy Spirit to take my place. He will help you remember all that I have said to you, and teach you even more.

"I will not leave you unprotected, alone."

"The gift I leave with you is peace, the very peace I myself enjoy. It's not the kind of peace the world gives. So don't let your heart be troubled. Don't lose courage.

"Remember what I told you: I am going away, but I will be back. If you really loved me, you would rejoice that I am going to my Father, because he is greater than I.

"I have told you this ahead of time, so when it happens your faith will not fail. I can't talk with you much longer because the ruler of this world is on his way. But he has no basis for an accusation against me. I am doing exactly what the Father has told me. Thus everyone in the world will know that I love the Father.

"It's time to leave; let's be on our way."

Saint Catherine's Monastery in the Sinai wilderness