Friday 3 February 2023

John 14:1-7 - Troubled

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Jesus has been talking about his betrayal, I think we can assume that all those around him at the table will be alarmed, confused, and liable to ask questions. Perhaps some were afraid to show their ignorance by asking, so remained quiet. They were people just like us!

Trust - Jesus tells them not to be in so much turmoil, he reminds them that they have put their trust in the Father so they should put their trust in him too. This  is quite a stretch for people brought up in the Jewish tradition; hadn't they always been taught  there's a dualism here? On one hand there is the great creator Lord who brought everything into existence. On the other is the mass of humanity formed from dust, often evil, disobedient, untrustworthy. And between the two is a huge divide that cannot be crossed - isn't there? Jesus is effectively saying that they should trust him just like they would the Almighty himself!

Plenty of Room - Jesus refers to the Almighty as his Father! Maybe they were used to hearing this from him by now. But he says there's plenty of space in 'my Father's house' and that he's going to get places ready for them. I suspect most Jews, given the concept of Yahweh's house, would have immediately thought of the lavish Temple with its Holy Place where the glory of the Most High lived. Jesus is saying there's room for us in the Holy of Holies? Surely not! And Jesus adds, 'You know the way there'.

Surely Thomas speaks for most of them when he says, 'No idea what you are talking about, Rabbi'. Obviously Jesus can't mean the holy heart of the Temple, only the Chief Priest is allowed in there, and only once a year at that. Jesus' reply is fascinating.

Way, truth and life - He tells Thomas that he himself is the way to this holiest of places. In the same breath he says that he is also the truth, and the life. He is the way to the dwelling place of the Most High, he is the truth (much of which he's been teaching them by his words and examples for about three years), and he is also life itself. 'If you know me, you already know the Father. From now on', Jesus says, 'You do know the Father'.

It's the same for us today, isn't it? If you really know Jesus, you know the Father too. They are, in fact, one and the same. If you're not sure if you know the Father - then get to know Jesus better! He is the Way, and the Truth, and the Life. He is all you could possibly need.

Here's a secret to treasure. If the church is Christ's body (1 Cor 12:37), here in the world today, then Jesus is the Holy of Holies within the church, the place where Yahweh has made his home among us.

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