Tuesday 01 May 2012

Bible Book:

"Philip said to him, 'Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied.'" (v. 8)

John 14:1-14 Tuesday 1 May 2012


Today's passage begins with Jesus saying to the disciples "donot let your hearts be troubled" (v. 1). This may seem a difficultenough saying for us when we are caught up in the stresses andstrains of life, but it must have been even more difficult for thedisciples to hear since John tells us that the original context wasjust before Jesus' arrest. Chapter13 of John's Gospel tells the story of the Last Supper,including Judas' betrayal and Jesus' prediction that Peter woulddeny him. It is hardly surprising if the disciples hearts weretroubled. In fact, John 13:21 tells us that Jesus was troubled bythe knowledge that Judas would betray him.

So this passage comes in the middle of the most difficult ofcircumstances. Facing his own death and surrounded by betrayal anddesertion, Jesus urges his disciples to trust. More than this heurges these men who have spent the last few years with him, and whowere able to learn from him by hearing his words and seeing hisactions, to believe that he will still be going ahead of them evenafter his death.

The promise the Jesus offers is that in his father's house thereare many 'abiding places' (v. 2 - Revised Version), an idea whichperhaps links with the next chapter where Jesus commands hisdisciples to abide in him as he abides in us (John15:4-11).

The theme for this week is about the glory of God - so we reflecton verse 8 and Philip's request to see the Father - a request withwhich many can identify. Imagine Philip's surprise when Jesusreplied, in effect, that he had already seen the Father - but hadnot realised it. The glory of God was both hidden and revealed inJesus.

Jesus promise in verse 12 that the disciples will do "greaterworks" than he had done, raises the question of what makes a work'great'. It is easy to assume that this means 'spectacular' but forJohn, Jesus' works were 'signs' - they showed something of who Godis. What works that we do today can do the same?

To Ponder

  • If we see God in Jesus, what difference does that make to ourunderstanding of God?
  • What makes works 'great'?
  • What can we do today that show something of who God is?

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