Sunday 22 May 2011

Bible Book:

es 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." (v. 12)

John 14:1-14 Sunday 22 May 2011


Throughout John's Gospel the writer weaves themes of knowing andnot knowing, understanding and not understanding, of moving fromignorance to knowledge. Today's passage is no exception. Thomas,one of Jesus' disciples, is not prepared to take what he hears atface value. When Jesus states that there is a place being preparedin 'his Father's house' (v. 2), perhaps the other disciples nodknowingly in the way that people do when they want to look asthough they understand. Thomas, however, does not pretend and hisquestion leads to Jesus making the most extraordinary statement, "Iam the way, and the truth, and the life" (v. 6). Philip then joinsin the questioning as Jesus begins to talk about being one with theFather. As Philip states "Lord, show us the Father, and we will besatisfied" (v. 8), we are reminded of Thomas's own declarationin John 20:25 that he will only believe thatJesus is risen from the dead if he sees the holes in his hands andthe wounds in his side. John takes the reader beyond a simpleunderstanding of 'seeing is believing' to a deeper sight - a way ofunderstanding the world and our place in it in relation toGod.

The insight to which Jesus is trying to lead his disciples is anunderstanding of the nature of Jesus' own relationship with God theFather - they are one: their actions and very existence cannot beseparated. More astonishing even than this, is that the disciples -those who recognise Jesus - are also caught up in that samerelationship with God. "Very truly, I tell you, the one whobelieves in me will also do the works that I do."

The one who believes is able to continue the work of Jesus. Thiscontinuing of work after Jesus has gone is an important theme inthis part of John's Gospel. Jesus is, through a number ofconversations (often called discourses), explaining to hisfollowers that he will not be with them much longer but that thework he has begun is not dependent on him alone. Those who havefaith in him and his teaching will be able to carry on bringingpeople to the knowledge of God and God's love. Those who, likeThomas and Philip, ask questions have a special place in this workbecause their questioning allows a development of insight andknowledge.

To Ponder

Can you remember a time when asking a questionabout faith led you to a deeper understanding? What happened? Andwhat impact does it have on your faith and discipleship today?

In what ways might you carry on the work of Jesusin your life and community today?

How do you feel about the idea in verse 12 thatthose who believe in Jesus will 'do greater works' than Jesushimself?

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