Scripture: John 14:1-17
Key verse: (8) Philip said to him, “Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied.”
Reflection: Most human beings long for certainty. We want things to be predictable. We want to KNOW. In anxious times, when we face suffering, we want clarity about what to expect. Doubts and questions make us uncomfortable. In our current time, we want an authoritative voice to give us certainty (a politician? Dr. Fauci? A preacher?) about how to protect ourselves, what to expect, and when this will finally be over.
In today’s passage from John, Jesus was with his disciples at his last supper, preparing them for his departure. He offers words of comfort and reassurance but he offers no certainties. He doesn’t give them specifics about what will happen. He doesn’t give them dates and times to post on their calendars, with reminders to ring on their phones.
Philip speaks up to ask “show us the Father.” It’s as if Philip wants to see a photo, a clear image of God, that will prove something to him. Perhaps he wants some final proof about Jesus’ identity. Perhaps he wants some absolute assurance that the frightening events ahead are part of God’s plan. Perhaps he hopes to remove any last doubts or questions from his mind.
Jesus refuses to show the Father as Philip asked, because he has been showing the Father to them all along the way. Everything Jesus has done has revealed the presence of God to them. Everything Jesus has said has taught them God’s will. Yet, Philip wanted a certainty that he wouldn’t get. Jesus seemed to say “keep your eyes on me and you will see what you need.” Faith will never be about certainty. Faith is trusting God enough to follow Jesus even with our doubts and questions. Whether we face personal struggle or global pandemic, we look to Jesus as the way, the truth and the life for us.
Prayer: Dear Lord, sometimes I wonder where you are and what you are doing. Open my eyes to see you at work in the world around me. Give me an assurance that you are with me no matter what I face. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
Author: Millie Snyder
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].