The disciples long to see the Father; yet they have had Jesus right in front of them the whole time. We might sigh in disbelief at the disciples’ seeming cluelessness. However, we too continue to miss Jesus’ powerful and life-changing revelation. “If you really know me, you will know my Father as well” (niv), Jesus says. “I am in the Father and the Father is in me” (niv). So, who does Jesus reveal God to be?
In the previous chapter, Jesus washes the feet of his disciples. This one simple act reveals much about God’s nature. Jesus embodies a God who does not stand above and separate from us but rather seeks us, draws close to us, and humbly offers God’s own self in the service of love. In Jesus, we recognize God’s care and compassion for the poor, the hungry, the sick, and the outcast. He reveals a God who treats our brokenness with mercy and our humanity with compassion. He includes the excluded, reaching out to women and men, young and old, rich and poor, believer and unbeliever. Jesus shows us that the one sheep matters and reveals our worth in the eyes of God. In Jesus, we see that God is not vengeful; Jesus does not lash out against those who hurt him but chooses forgiveness until the very end.
When Jesus says that he is “the way and the truth and the life” and “no one comes to the Father except through me” (niv), he invites us to a different way of being, perceiving, and living in the world: in communion with a merciful and loving Creator, transformed in the service of love. Jesus affirms this when he says, “Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these” (niv). How might our lives and the world be impacted if we truly believed and lived out the goodness of God?
Lord, “I believe; help my unbelief” (Mark 9:24). Help me to know you more deeply and to be transformed by your humility, love, and compassion. Amen.
The first three readings for the week contain variations on the imagery of stones or rocks. In Acts, Stephen is killed as the first Christian martyr by being stoned to death, while Saul (Paul) stands by and approves. The psalmist proclaims his confidence in the Lord, whom he describes as his rock and fortress. Peter tells the believers that they have become living stones in the household of God because of their connection to the chief Cornerstone, Christ. In John, Jesus makes an explicit claim to being the only way to God. In our current cultural context, many wonder about the spiritual status of followers of other religions. Jesus’ statement in John 14:6 invites us to deep reflection on this important question.
Read Acts 7:55-60. Recall a time when you have seen God’s power in action. How was God’s power different than you might have expected?
Read Psalm 31:1-5, 15-16. Contemplate your answers to the author’s questions. How do the psalmist’s hope and experiences reflect your own?
Read 1 Peter 2:2-10. When have you experienced God as a loving Mother? When has Christ been your cornerstone?
Read John 14:1-14. How do you experience God’s presence through the life or actions of others?
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