Berean Bible Study Notes
Last time, we got all the way through John 14:2:
John 14:1 "Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. 2 In My Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
Jesus' answer for a troubled heart is to concentrate on heaven. Paul told the Colossians and Corinthians something similar:
Col 3:1 If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. 2 Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.
2 Cor 4:17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, 18 while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.
No matter what happens to us here, no matter how awful it is, it is still only temporary. What awaits us is so much better, and it's for forever. Just think, Jesus created the world in six days, and He's been working on our "forever" dwelling for nearly 2,000 years. Can you imagine? Your future dwelling place is part of the inheritance waiting for you.
Matthew 25:34 "Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.
Ephesians 1:18 I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints,
Colossians 3:23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, 24 since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.
Jesus is preparing a place specifically for you. Think about it. No one knows you better. He knows what you're like, what you enjoy. He knows what you consider beautiful. It's going to be the ultimate "extreme home makeover" surprise. Whatever is absolutely perfect for you will be incorporated into the place He's prepared for you. It will be better than anything you could imagine or even think to ask for. This will be HOME in every sense of the word.
So, here's where we are so far:
Jesus' teachings about life among believers in the spiritual kingdom
1. Humbly serve each other, helping each other wash away the sin of daily living.
2. Love each other as Jesus loved - with a greater love than you have for yourself.
3. When you have troubles in this world, remember that a specially-prepared place in heaven waits for you.
Let's go back and pick up the second part of that thought:
John 14:1 "Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. 2 In My Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. 4 And where I go you know, and the way you know."
That phrase, I go to prepare a place for you, is straight out of Jewish wedding traditions. The following is actually taken from our John 2 study:
The Ancient Jewish Wedding
The wedding symbolism is used often in the New Testament, so it pays to know how they work. In that culture, it was common for weddings to be arranged by the fathers. The groom may ask his father to seek a particular bride, as Samson did, or the groom may trust his father to find him the right wife, as Abraham did for Isaac, through his servant Eliezer. (That whole story in Genesis 24 is an interesting picture, and I encourage you to read it. Abraham is a type of the Father. Eliezer, a type of the Holy Spirit, who is unnamed in that account and whose name means "Comforter," is sent to find a wife for Isaac, a type of the Son. Rebekah, who becomes a type of the church, agrees to marry Isaac without having seen him and receives gifts from Eliezer. Isaac was last seen at his "almost" sacrifice and disappears from the account and doesn't appear again until he meets Rebekah on the way to his father's house).
The bride price is established, and once the fathers agree, the woman was often asked whether she is willing (not always). The potential groom, along with his father, would visit the potential bride's home. He would pour her a glass of wine, and if she agreed to the marriage, she would drink it. This began the formal engagement or betrothal period, which was legally binding (according to Jewish writings, there may also have been papers drawn up). It could only be broken by an official divorce. The engagement period usually lasted at least a year, long enough for the bride's purity to be evident to all. During that time, the bride and groom were never together alone. During this period, the groom was adding a room onto his father's house, or building a house nearby, or at the very least, fixing up an existing room in his father's home. Remember, the phrase, In my Father's house are many rooms...I am going there to prepare a place for you? This is something right out of ancient Jewish weddings.
The bride's job during the engagement was to learn how to please her future husband. Now, here's the interesting part. She didn't know exactly when this wedding was going to take place! The groom didn't even know. It was up to the groom's father to decide whether the bride's chamber was ready or not. Since most engagements were about a year long, she'd know the general time frame, and you can bet she was very interested in anything anyone could tell her about the progress of the preparations! I'm willing to bet she had some hints as to whether the day was approaching or not.
So, as the day approached, her attendants were supposed to be ready also. Finally, the day would come when the groom's father would say, "It's time. Go get your bride." Now, for whatever reason (maybe for fun?), the bridegroom usually came at midnight with a whole procession. This group was joyful and cheering, sometimes even playing musical instruments, as they approached the bride's home, so the whole village knew that the day had come. When they were a little distance away, they would give a great shout, "The bridegroom comes!" and the bride and her attendants would come out and join the groom.
From what I understand, many times, the wedding actually took place right then, in the street, under the stars. Then, the whole procession went back to the groom's home, where the bridal chamber awaited. The bride and groom went into seclusion in the cheder, the bridal chamber, containing the chuppah or huppah, the bridal canopy, usually for seven days, (remember Jacob and the "bridal week?") while the rest of the group ate and drank. (At some point, the chuppah or wedding canopy became part of the wedding ceremony itself). Although the groom might come and go from the cheder, the bride was tucked away the whole time. Someday, for fun, you should look up "cheder" in the Bible and see where it appears.
Finally, when the seven days were up (or however long, but seven days was apparently typical), the bride and groom appeared in public and the marriage feast would take place. It seems the eating and drinking during the seven days was not actually the marriage feast, as the bride and groom were not present together yet.
Here are a couple of articles that show more about the deep symbolism of the Jewish wedding. These stay away from too much speculation:
The Ultimate Wedding
The Messiah and the Jewish Wedding
There are many, many more articles that you can read, but choose with discernment:
Ancient Jewish Wedding - Google search
So, this phrase, And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also, is the traditional expression that the bridegroom makes when the bride has accepted him. Then, he goes and spends as long as it took to get a proper home ready for his bride. It was entirely up to the bridegroom's father to decide when the preparations were complete. When they finally were, he sent his son to get his bride and bring her back.
Now, just a day or two before this, Jesus had told them this parable, which relates:
Matthew 25:1 (NIV) "At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. 2 Five of them were foolish and five were wise. 3 The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. 4 The wise, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps. 5 The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep.
6 "At midnight the cry rang out: 'Here's the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!'
7 "Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. 8 The foolish ones said to the wise, 'Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.'
9 "'No,' they replied, 'there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.'
10 "But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut.
11 "Later the others also came. 'Sir! Sir!' they said. 'Open the door for us!'
12 "But he replied, 'I tell you the truth, I don't know you.' 13 "Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.
In receive you to Myself , the word "receive" here means to "join to oneself." Jesus is speaking of that time that we also call the rapture, when Jesus, as the Bridegroom receives the church as His Bride. In Greek, what we call rapture is "harpazo." It means to "snatch up" and "claim eagerly":
1 Thessalonians 4:16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. 18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.
Notice how on that day, we'll meet our bridegroom in the air, sort of between His "house" and ours, just as the Jewish bride and bridegroom met in the street between their houses. Notice also how Paul is using these words as comfort - just as Jesus was doing in the Upper Room.
The concept of the harpazo goes along with the "thief" idea of snatching away. The word "harpazo" is used several times in the New Testament. Three other times, it's used in a "rapture" kind of sense, in Acts 8:39 (Philip being taken away after speaking with the eunuch), 2 Corinthians 12:2 (Man who was caught up to the third heaven), and Revelation 12:5 (The woman gives birth and the child was snatched up to God). You can find the idea of a rapture throughout the Bible. Some people insist that the rapture is not in the Old Testament, but I'm convinced that it is. And, of course, Enoch and Elijah were literally raptured. Plus, there are numerous passages like these:
Isaiah 26:19 Your dead shall live; Together with my dead body they shall arise. Awake and sing, you who dwell in dust; For your dew is like the dew of herbs, And the earth shall cast out the dead. 20 Come, my people, enter your chambers, (This word "chambers" is "cheder" and is the same word used for "bridal chamber." See Psalm 19:5 or Joel 2:16. In normal use, it means "bedroom.") And shut your doors behind you; Hide yourself, as it were, for a little moment, Until the indignation is past. 21 For behold, the LORD comes out of His place To punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity; The earth will also disclose her blood, And will no more cover her slain.
You'll find that idea of being hidden or tucked away many places in Scripture:
Psalm 27:5 For in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion; In the secret place of His tabernacle. He shall hide me; He shall set me high upon a rock.
Zephaniah 1:14 The great day of the LORD is near; It is near and hastens quickly. The noise of the day of the LORD is bitter; There the mighty men shall cry out. 15 That day is a day of wrath, A day of trouble and distress, A day of devastation and desolation, A day of darkness and gloominess, A day of clouds and thick darkness, 16 A day of trumpet and alarm Against the fortified cities And against the high towers. Zephaniah 2:3 Seek the LORD, all you meek of the earth, Who have upheld His justice. Seek righteousness, seek humility. It may be that you will be hidden in the day of the LORD's anger.
There are many, many more. Try looking up "hide" or "hidden." Now, if time was unlimited, we'd jump into a whole study on this, too, but let's move on:
John 14:3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. 4 And where I go you know, and the way you know."
Compare that to the ending of the passage in 1 Thessalonians:
1 Thessalonians 4:17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
Both passages are intended for comfort and both emphasize the same thing. No matter where Jesus is, that's where we will be. We won't ever be separated from Him again. The disciples were shortly to lose Him in a physical sense, and we've never been with Him that way. Yet, we long for the same thing - to be with Jesus. God made us physical people, and we long for that day - even as Job longed, thousands of years ago:
Job 19:25 I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand upon the earth. 26 And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God; 27 I myself will see him with my own eyes — I, and not another. How my heart yearns within me!
Just a few additional quick thoughts about the rapture. This is one of those subjects where people can get very hot under the collar and toss around words like "heresy" pretty freely. All sides are guilty of it. I don't want any of us to be caught up in that. However, it may come up, and if it does, here are some things that people say and some ways to respond to them.
1. "There's no such thing as the rapture."
Of course there is. It comes straight out of the Bible:
1 Thessalonians 4:17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
The concept of the rapture is throughout the Bible. Enoch was raptured. Elijah was raptured. Philip was raptured! It's there in the whole idea of the thief, who "snatches" things. Lutherans, Catholics and all other Bible-believing groups believe in the rapture. What people disagree on are the timing and circumstances surrounding it.
2. "The word rapture doesn't appear in the Bible."
Neither does the word "trinity," yet the concept is there. However, unlike the word "trinity", the word "rapture" IS in the Bible, just not in English. It comes from the Latin word for "seize, snatch, carry off", which is rapio." That was the word that Jerome used when he translated the Greek of 1 Thessalonians 4:17 into Latin. If people don't like the word "rapture," they could use the Greek word, "harpazo." Or, they could just say "caught up" as our English Bibles do.
3. "The idea of a rapture was invented in the 1800's"
This has been repeated so many times that it's taken as fact by many people. The truth is, you can find people holding both of the main modern rapture views in the early church. That doesn't mean that either view is right, just that there were people who held to both views. In fact, in the early church there was a Christian who wrote a sermon called, On the Last Times, the Antichrist, and the End of the World. The name of this man is lost to history, but because he wrote in the style of Ephraem of Syria, scholars call him Pseudo-Ephraem. Here's part of his text:
All the saints and elect of God are gathered together before the tribulation, which is to come, and are taken to the Lord, in order that they may not see at any time the confusion which overwhelms the world because of our sins.
-Pseudo-Ephraem (c. 374-627)
You may not agree with people holding the pre-tribulational rapture view, but that view was not invented in the 1800's. If you want to (nicely) argue with someone, try to stick with Scriptural arguments.
4. "Rapture, like in the Left Behind books, is heresy." Or, Pre-Wrath is heresy. Or, Post-trib is heresy. Etc.
There are people in our Bible study group who come from churches that teach different things about the rapture. Some pastors may use strong language about other views, based on very little study of their own. It is very tempting sometimes to just parrot what your pastor or your friend or your favorite teacher says. I would like to encourage you to very careful about how you speak of other people's views. I encourage you to be Bereans. That is, listen with an open mind and search it out for yourself.
Now, you can hop on the Internet and find every kind of view: pre-tribulational, mid-tribulational, post-tribulational, pre-wrath, partial rapture, and everything in between. Some of them are pretty out there, but many of them are the views of people who have studied it for a long time. One thing that I've noticed, is that the longer someone has studied this issue, the less dogmatic he is about exactly how it's going to happen. There are enough things that aren't clear about the rapture that I can pretty confidently say that we don't understand everything about it at this point.
Be careful when people suggest that it's obviously this or obviously that. It only shows that they haven't studied it very thoroughly. Every one of the main views can find Scriptural support for their position. What does that mean? It means we don't know everything about it.
Even if you've studied this on your own, I still encourage you to be kind and loving when talking with someone who doesn't agree with you. There are simply some things that will be better understood after it happens, and I firmly believe this is one of them. That doesn't mean you shouldn't bother to study it. If it interests you, by all means, study. Anything that gets you into the Bible is a good thing.
Whether they mention it from the pulpit or not, your church probably supports a particular view. They may be absolutely right. However, when you ask how much any particular pastor has studied it, the answer is usually, "not much." And how much did his teacher study it? Usually, "not much." So, when you hear views that differ, be loving. Listen. Argue intelligently (but nicely) if you want to, but remember, people can have differing views of how to interpret something without being heretics. From the vantage point of hindsight, we'll all understand it better. Trust me, we're all going to be surprised by something.
Back to John:
John 14:4 And where I go you know, and the way you know." 5 Thomas said to Him, "Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way?"
6 Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.
Now, Jesus adds something that is puzzling at first. Why does He say "And where I go you know, and the way you know"?
It'll be more clear as we go on. Meanwhile, Thomas speaks up and asks what we probably would have, had we been there:
John 14:5 Thomas said to Him, "Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way?"
And, Jesus gives the answer we've all heard so many times:
John 14:6 Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.
Don't let the miracle of that statement escape you through sheer familiarity. How much is packed into such simple words! This is the sixth of the seven "I AM" statements in the Gospel of John:
I am the bread of life.
I am the light of the world.
I am the door.
I am the good shepherd.
I am the resurrection and the life.
I am the way, and the truth, and the life.
I am the true vine.
Six is the number of man. Seven is the number of completeness, and we are less than complete. We don't know where we're going, yet we strive forward anyway. We don't know what we're doing, but we fake our way through. We don't even know where we've been. We try to explain our world and each other, and we call it "truth," but deep inside, we know that we don't know.
Jesus reaches into our incompleteness with His answer: I am the way, and the truth, and the life. He is telling us not to worry about not knowing. Just follow Him. Trust Him. Allow Him to lead you and be Lord of your life. The rest will all take care of itself.
Matthew 6:33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
How hard that is for us as women. We wallow in our incompleteness. We seek out our not knowings, not understandings and we dwell on them, probing them over and over like a loose tooth. We are supposed to pray consistently, faithfully, boldly, but we pray with worry - as though God will slip up unless we do it right. We lay awake in the middle of the night, piling up our troubles until they seem insurmountable. "No," says Jesus. "Stop. Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?"
"I am the way, and the truth, and the life." Dwell on that answer, my beloved friends. Everything you are concerned about - every worry about you or your husband or your children or your life - is answered there.
"I am the way."
The word "way" is hodos (hod-os'). It means "path" or "road" or even "highway." But, here, it carries a spiritual meaning. We get the same idea when we talk about our "Christian walk" or the "righteous road."
Here's what it says in the Vine's Expository Dictionary:
1. hodos NT:3598 denotes (a) "a natural path, road, way," frequent in the Synoptic Gospels; elsewhere, e. g., Acts 8:26; 1 Thess 3:11; James 2:25; Rev 16:12; (b) "a traveler's way" (see JOURNEY); (C) metaphorically, of "a course of conduct," or "way of thinking," e. g., of righteousness, Matt 21:32; 2 Peter 2:21; of God, Matt 22:16, and parallels, i. e., the "way" instructed and approved by God; so Acts 18:26 and Heb 3:10, "My ways" (cf. Rev 15:3); of the Lord, Acts 18:25; "that leadeth to destruction," Matt 7:13; "...unto life," 7:14; of peace, Luke 1:79; Rom 3:17; of Paul's "ways" in Christ, 1 Cor 4:17 (plural); "more excellent" (of love), 1 Cor 12:31; of truth, 2 Peter 2:2; of the right "way," 2:15; of Balaam (id.), of Cain, Jude 11; of a "way" consisting in what is from God, e. g., of life, Acts 2:28 (plural); of salvation, Acts 16:17; personified, of Christ as the means of access to the Father, John 14:6; of the course followed and characterized by the followers of Christ, Acts 9:2; 19:9,23; 24:22. See HIGHWAY.
Note: In Luke 5:19 and 19:4 the noun is not expressed in the original, but is understood.
If you study "way" or "path" or "road" in the Bible, you'll start to see that God was making a picture for us. The Psalms are filled with this idea:
Psalm 25:4 Show me Your ways, O LORD; Teach me Your paths. 5 Lead me in Your truth and teach me, For You are the God of my salvation; On You I wait all the day.
Psalm 27:11 Teach me your way , O LORD; lead me in a straight path because of my oppressors.
Psalm 37:5 Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this: 6 He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.
Psalm 86:11 Teach me your way , O LORD, and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name.
Proverbs 16:17 The highway of the upright avoids evil; he who guards his way guards his life.
"The Way" of Jesus was prophesied:
Isaiah 35:8 And a highway will be there; it will be called the Way of Holiness. The unclean will not journey on it; it will be for those who walk in that Way; wicked fools will not go about on it.
The new Christians even adopted "The Way" as a name for their beliefs:
Acts 9:1 Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord's disciples. He went to the high priest 2 and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any there who belonged to the Way , whether men or women, he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem.
Acts 19: 8 Paul entered the synagogue and spoke boldly there for three months, arguing persuasively about the kingdom of God. 9 But some of them became obstinate; they refused to believe and publicly maligned the Way.
Acts 19:23 About that time there arose a great disturbance about the Way . 24 A silversmith named Demetrius, who made silver shrines of Artemis, brought in no little business for the craftsmen. 25 He called them together, along with the workmen in related trades, and said: "Men, you know we receive a good income from this business. 26 And you see and hear how this fellow Paul has convinced and led astray large numbers of people here in Ephesus and in practically the whole province of Asia. He says that man-made gods are no gods at all.
Acts 24:14 However, I admit that I worship the God of our fathers as a follower of the Way , which they call a sect. I believe everything that agrees with the Law and that is written in the Prophets,
Acts 24:22 Then Felix, who was well acquainted with the Way, adjourned the proceedings. "When Lysias the commander comes," he said, "I will decide your case."
"I am the truth."
What is truth? Don't we, like Pilate, sometimes ask the same thing? How do you define truth? Notice that Jesus does not say "a" truth but "the" truth. There is a reason for that definite article. Jesus is THE truth. I don't know all that that means. I just know what He says. Jesus is THE TRUTH. The one thing I can say for certain is that His words and His actions both perfectly matched.
Try looking up "the truth" at Blueletterbible.org or Biblegateway.com. Then, read each one of those verses with the "Jesus" or "the Lord" in place of the word "truth." Kind of interesting, huh? Suddenly those Scriptures that seem a little hard to understand come into focus. Here are just a few:
1 Peter 1:22 Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart.
James 5:19 My brothers, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring him back, 20 remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save him from death and cover over a multitude of sins.
1 John 1:8 If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives.
In fact, in the case of that last one, who is the "he" referring to in "he is faithful and just?" Correct grammar would seem to suggest that the "he" refers to "the truth" of the previous sentence. Kind of interesting.
1 John 5:20 And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us an understanding, that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.
"I am the life."
Someday, if anyone ever says "Get a life" to me because I am a Christian, I am determined to respond, "I have a life. I have THE life." You know, it was Jesus who gave us life to begin with:
John 1:3 All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. 4 In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.
(Side note - I seem to be jumping randomly from New King James to NIV and back again. I will attempt to stay with NKJV. When I look things up on my computer, it automatically puts it into NIV, and I keep forgetting to click NKJV)
Jesus is THE life. In his epistle, John speaks of that life:
1 John 1:1 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched — this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. 2 The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us.
Jesus IS our life:
Colossians 3:4 When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.
John 20:31 but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.
When we trust Jesus for our salvation, we have new life here on earth:
Romans 6:4 Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. 5 For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, 6 knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. 7 For he who has died has been freed from sin. 8 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, 9 knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him. 10 For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. 11 Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
John 10:10 I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.
Mark 10:29 So Jesus answered and said, "Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My sake and the gospel's, 30 who shall not receive a hundredfold now in this time — houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions — and in the age to come, eternal life.
1 Peter 1:6 In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, 7 that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, 8 whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, 9 receiving the end of your faith — the salvation of your souls.
Philippians 4:11 I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: 12 I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. 13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
And, Jesus will give us eternal life:
John 5:24 "I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life. 25 I tell you the truth, a time is coming and has now come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live. 26 For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son to have life in himself.
John 11:25 Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; 26 and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?"
1 John 5: 11 And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. 12 He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. 13 These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may [continue to] believe in the name of the Son of God.
"I am the way, the truth, and the life" is what Jesus says to us. We just need to keep on hearing and believing it - trusting Him in all things, regardless of what's going on in our heads and in our lives.
It's a bit awkward to stop in the middle of a verse, but this is as far as we got last time. Next time, we'll review this last section a bit and go on. See you then!!