May 21, 2011
John 14: 1 – 14
Believing the Obvious
Grace, mercy and peace to you this day in the name of Jesus Christ, the Way, the Truth and the Life. Amen
In John the fourteenth chapter Jesus is standing metaphorically speaking at his own grave. He knows his death is imminent; the reason for his birth is at hand. He knows the fear of the disciples, their misunderstandings and tender faith. Jesus speaks at this place his farewell discourse and offers words at a time of impending loss. At a grave side Jesus gives words of hope by:
Stating the obvious
Consoling those with ears to listen
Giving his followers direction for the future
Leaving them with a promise
Jesus does all this in the words found in John 14: 6-7:
“I am the way the truth and the life;
No one comes to the Father except through me.
If you know me, you will know my Father;
From now on you do know me and have seen Him.”
Jesus states the obvious, consoles, gives direction and a promise.
The way, the truth and the life are words from Holy Scripture which give disciples hints from the historical paths of their ancestors and their own paths with Jesus. The way brings forth the memory of the journey to the promise land; and the journey of Jesus from Galilee to Jerusalem - the way all disciples must walk. In John 1:17 we first hear that while the law came from Moses, truth comes from Christ. From John 1:4 is where we greet Jesus with the words, “In him was life and that life was the light of the world.” The obvious is tied together by Jesus, the way the truth and the life. In our sorrow s and fears we can be consoled by Jesus, the great I AM from the Gospel of John.
“No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6 is directions for the future. These are also highly charged words in today’s society and religious circles. They are words of inclusivity for all not exclusivity. They are not the words of the “If….then” thinking population but rather “Because…therefore” thinkers in Christ. Jesus eclipses all other ways to God. The power of the Christian faith holds this statement as the central point of consolation and hope. The destiny of humankind comes through the way, the truth, and the life and this way, truth and life is not for only a few but for all for all time.
The future comfort for the world as offered by Jesus in the gospel according to John comes through the knowing of him because knowing Jesus means that we therefore know God. The intimate relationship between God and Jesus is inseparable; one holy God bond together- one as the same as the other. Because you know God therefore you know the Messiah! What eternal joy and hope this brings for our future and the time yet to come; the now and not yet.
Jesus leaves a promise at the grave side. “From now on you know him and have seen him.” John 14: 7. These words indicate the future gift of eternal life because the Jesus you have come to know is God and therefore you are called into the promise secure by God in Christ. Thanks be to God!
What does this mean for you today? My friends over the past five Sundays of the Easter season we have been remembering what it means to be people who have seen Jesus. On Easter morning we reminded ourselves in community of the ways in which we “see” Jesus and our calls to go and tell what we have seen. We remembered the markers of the church: Baptism and Holy Communion as ways on which we see Jesus and invite others to share this glorious site with us. Last week we “saw” ourselves as community cared for and called to care for others by Jesus the Good Shepherd. Today as the glow of that Eastertide begins to fade, as we face our individual “graves and losses” we are again called to see our God in Jesus and rejoice. We are given good news from the one who states the obvious:
“I am the way, the truth and the life;
No one comes to the Father expect through me.
If you know me you will know my Father.
From now on you do know him and have seen him.” John 14: 6 – 7
Let us pray:
Christ is Risen…He is Risen indeed!
You are the Easter one; you stalk the earth with new life, you soar the heavens with fresh governance. You are the life giver, and yet… you are strange among us. In the days of anxiety and in a world filled with death you bring life…life eternal. You appear to us and say, “Fear not,” and we are comforted, you say “Peace I give you,” and we are less restless. You say “Go and sin no more,” and we glimpse a new innocence. You say and we listen, you act and we are healed, you …and us, you and life eternal, you and newness, you for us, you with us you, you , you Lord Jesus….we are dazzled in our gratitude! Amen*
Taken from the prayer: You who stalk the earth with new life” by Walter Brueggemann, Awed to Heaven, Rooted in Earth. Augsburg Fortress, 2003