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But I’ll tell you, if that thought has ever passed through your mind as it has mine, in other words, if you’ve ever felt as though you just don’t have a place where you can relax and just be, I think Jesus offers us some great news, and it’s right here in the passage we’re focusing on this morning. I mean, as we look for our own special place, I believe there are three things that we can know, and they’re found in this conversation between Jesus, Thomas and Philip.
You see, as we look for our own special place, first, we can be confident that it actually exists, something that Tony and Maria weren’t sure about at all and something that we might doubt if all we can see is the world around us. And I’ll tell you, it’s grounded on the promises of Jesus Christ himself. As he said right at the beginning of this passage: “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? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, so that where I am, there you may be also. And you know the way to the place where I am going.” [John 14:1-4]
And second, Jesus also gives a pretty good idea about how we can get there. And I’ll tell that’s something else I think we can see in this passage. According to what John wrote, “Thomas said to him, ‘Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?’ Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you know me, you will know my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.’” [John 14:5-7] Now that’s what Christ said.
And third, we can even know what’s going to happen we find our place. Again, as John wrote, “Philip said to him, ‘Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and you still do not know me? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, “Show
us the Father”? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own; but the Father who dwells in me does his works. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; but if you do not, then believe me because of the works themselves. Very truly, I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these, because I am going to the Father. I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If in my name you ask me for anything, I will do it.’” [John 14:8-14] Now that’s what Jesus said to Philip.
And again, that’s really good news for us. You see, when you’re talking about that special place, something we’re going to sing about is just a little while, man, we’re going to know it when we find it. And I’ll tell you how that’s going to happen; it’s all connected with what Jesus said about himself, you know about being “the way, and the truth, and the life.” You see, when we claim the life he offers, and it’s really as easy as just doing it, we’re going to enter a brand new relationship with God, one that’s grounded on his love not just for us, but for the entire world, a love in fact that was most clearly shown when Jesus gave his life for those whom he loved, in other words, for us. And when he trust the truth that Jesus revealed when he came, we’re going to understand a whole lot of stuff we didn’t understand before, and I’m talking about both his unconditional love for us and our responsibility to love one another. And you know, once we’ve claimed the life and trusted the truth, I’m telling you, we’ll be well on our way, and I’m talking about our way to the kind of peace and rest that only Jesus offers. And isn’t that exactly what we want from the places we seek. You see, we can know what’s going to happen in that place Jesus has prepared for us. And that’s the third thing we can know.
Which, I’ll tell you, puts us in a much better position than Tony and Maria in West Side Story. I mean, in the end, Tony dies and Maria is left alone, still hoping that their special place exists somewhere. But I’ll tell you right here and right now, that’s not the way we should feel. You see, as we look for that special place of peace and rest, we can know three things. I mean, first, we can know it exists. And second, we can know how to get there. And third, we can know what will happen when we find it. And for that reason, if we choose to believe, God has freed us from having to look into our lives and our future and to wonder if somewhere actually exists.