Chip Stapleton Highland Presbyterian Church April 20th, 2020 Hunkered Down Devotions
John 14:8-11 (VOICE)
Philip: 8 Lord, all I am asking is that You show us the Father.
Jesus (to Philip): 9 I have lived with you all this time, and you still don’t know who I am? If you have seen Me, you have seen the Father. How can you keep asking to see the Father? 10 Don’t you believe Me when I say I abide in the Father and the Father dwells in Me? I’m not making this up as I go along. The Father has given Me these truths that I have been speaking to you, and He empowers all My actions. 11 Accept these truths: I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me. If you have trouble believing based on My words, believe because of the things I have done.
This portion of the gospel reading in today’s lectionary captures an exchange between the disciple Philip and Jesus that I think all of us can relate to. Philip is, essentially, asking Jesus for some proof and clear direction.
Jesus has just told them to follow where he is going – and Thomas has asked how they will know the way. Jesus responds with words we all likely know, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life, no one comes to the father but through me’. Jesus continues by saying that if you have seen him, you have seen the father.
We pick up with Philip’s response, which is something to the effect of, ‘sure, Jesus, but couldn’t you just show us your dad anyway?’ And while that seems like a bit of a fresh response to give Jesus, I think we can all identify.
Not necessarily with wanting to see God the Father, but wanting to see – wanting to trust in something we don’t have to have faith in – but that we can see and touch. Just yesterday, in our worship, we heard the familiar story of ‘doubting’ Thomas. The idea is the same here. Philip, Thomas, and all of us, really just want something to hold onto.
And while none of us are likely to see with our physical eyes either Jesus or God the Father, this side of heaven, that doesn’t mean Jesus is calling us to blind faith. Rather, the kind of faith that Jesus is inviting to is what we might call earned or deserved faith.
Jesus pleads with Philip and Thomas – and with us – that all we need to do is look at who Jesus is what he has done in our lives and we will have all we need to know. If that was hard for the disciples – who had the chance to see Jesus with their own eyes everyday for three years or more – then it isn’t a surprise that it is hard for us from time to time.
For us, the evidence is all around us - even in difficult times – if we know where to look. Where there is light, where there is love, where there are people working and sacrificing for others, Jesus is there.
If we look for the light and love, we will find Jesus. And we will find someone well worthy of our faith.
Sharing God’s Love,
Prayer: Lord, give us eyes to see you and your love all around us. Help us be a witness to those around us of your light and grace. Amen.