Monday 01 May 2017

Bible Book:

“If you know me, you will know my Father also.” (v. 7)

John 14:1-14 Monday 1 May 2017

Psalm: Psalm144


For the Saints' Day of Philip and James, thereading from John's Gospel offers us a conversation between Jesusand his closest followers, notably Thomas and Philip. The first fewverses provide a reading of comfort, sometimes spoken at funeralsbecause it quotes Jesus saying he is going "to prepare a place foryou" (v. 2).

It may seem an obvious reference to us that Jesuswas describing life after his death, somewhere we might callheaven, but clearly Thomas was not so clear about either whereJesus was talking about, or about the way to get there (verse 5)!Jesus responds to Thomas that "I am the way, and the truth, and thelife" (v. 6), but this brings Philip into the conversation to askJesus to reveal the Father to them.

It is perhaps dangerous to interpret moods from thewritten word of the Bible, just as it is difficult to interpret themood of someone writing an email or text message, but I have ahunch that Jesus may have been rather exasperated when he repliesto Philip along the lines of  'Don't you know me, Philip, evenafter I have been with you such a long time?' (verse 9).

Today's passage comes at the Last Supper, afterJesus washed his disciples' feet (John13:1-16), predicting his betrayal (John13:21-30) as well as Peter's denial (John13:36-38). 'Don't you know me … after all we've been throughfor the last three years?'

Leaders of all causes, countries, businesses andchurches come and go. Some are easily forgotten, but others lingerlong in the memory. Those that we admire, or remember withaffection, or aspire to be like, are few and far between. But thoseleaders who profess to be Christian will be known not just forwords spoken, but also more for how they behaved towards others.How consistent were they in the principled way of carrying outduties great and small, or how was leadership expressed as service?Know me, know the one that I serve.

This passage ends with the words, "If my name youask me for anything, I will do it" (v. 14). This is not aninvitation to pray a personal wish list and end with "In Jesus'sname, Amen". It is rather a call to understand or discern whatChrist would do in different circumstances, and then alignourselves to his will. To pray with understanding (in his name), weneed to know and understand Jesus, and thus enable him to respondin our own lives.

To Ponder

  • Call to mind a Christian leader for whom you have the greatestrespect, and then concentrate on just one of their gifts. Whatmight you do today to honour that memory?
  • In your prayer time, try to find enough time to let Jesus speakto you about a particular situation, before offering your prayer"in his name".
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