Pathway and Presence
Father God, Lord of my life, surprise me today with Your amazing grace and generous mercy.
Read John 14:1-14
Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
“Thou art the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Grant us that Way to know, that Truth to keep, that Life to win, whose joys eternal flow” (G. W. Doane, 1799-1859).
In this corner of John’s Gospel, four of the disciples put questions or requests to Jesus: Peter (13:36, 37), Thomas (14:5), Philip (14:8) and Judas (14:22). In the two exchanges here, with Thomas and Peter, Jesus straightens out his friends’ misapprehensions, helping them to move to a new level of insight and to grasp his truth more deeply.
Thomas, ever the practical man, has realized that Jesus must leave the disciples. Now he asks for traveling instructions, so that he can follow on and arrive at the right place with his Lord. But, as Jesus explains, the disciples’ journey will not need a map. The path is not a mystery, with a sequence of cryptic clues leading to hidden treasure. It is a relationship rather than a route. Finding the way does not depend on formula, but on faith. It comes from trusting the guide and knowing that, in Jesus, we are sure of finding God (7).
Philip is more of a theologian than Thomas. He thinks and talks directly about God. Yet, like Thomas, his question misses something important. Just as Thomas needed to see Jesus as the pathway to God, Philip had to think of Jesus as the presence of God. He should stop wondering if there was something else to discover, stop looking beyond or behind the Lord he knew and start thinking of Jesus as the true face of God. The Father was not a remote, concealed figure, one step removed from Jesus. But in Jesus the very light of heaven was shining into history. “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father” (9). Philip need not look for a different reality. For him, as for Thomas, trust would be enough, in Jesus and in what Jesus had shown him.
In the light of 14:6, how would you respond to someone who says, “There are many ways to God”?
Lord Jesus, You are truly the way to God, the truth about God, and the life in God. You are my all in all.