JESUS IS ENOUGH
Jesus appeared as certain of God, as of his own existence. His disciples could not help but notice the constant references to his father sprinkled throughout his speech. “My father who sent me; I and my father are one; My father worketh hitherto, and I work . . .” And so on. Much is made of this aspect of Jesus in John’s gospel. In chapter fourteen, Jesus’ vibrant consciousness of God is in contrast to a bunch of men bereft of such an awareness. They evidence an anxiety borne of their sense—not of God’s presence—but his absence. If only they could glimpse God; that would be enough for them to live and die on.
At one time or another, each person feels himself to be “a stranger and afraid, in a world I never made.” Philip spoke for us all when he asked Jesus, “Show us the father.” God often seems a long way off; silent, immobile, untouchable, and apparently ineffective. We would like him to arrive ‘sensibly’ in this our place, where we are fragile and precarious. We think things would be better, manageable of he showed himself strongly and spectacularly.
Philip asked for a demonstration of God which accorded with his own imagining of God. It was not what he needed. He had already been given what he needed—without his recognizing it. God’s self-revelation was already before him. Something needed to happen—not with God—but with Phillip.
On Easter day, Jesus came and showed himself to his confused and discouraged disciples. Thomas at first refused to believe until he had seen and felt what he thought was necessary evidence. What he lacked was an openness of mind and heart to the kind of God that Jesus revealed.
There is universal yearning to encounter a God who will prove his bona fides by showing he can remove us from the riddles and difficulties that plague us; a God who can meet our troubles head-on, overpower and vanquish them. But if we are willing to see it, the answer to this longing has been supplied; it is Christ crucified.
Phillip was right. God is enough for us, but we are called to a faith which can accept that the God who is sufficient for all our needs is the God who was rejected and slain by his own people. He who was born in Bethlehem, who healed the sick, raised the dead, who was crucified, and who rose again on the third day—he is God with us, God by our side, God with us today, tomorrow, and even unto the end of the world. Jesus is God who knows our sorrows as none other does, or ever could. He is the God and father of our Lord Jesus Christ. And he is all we need.
“Phillip said, ‘Lord, show us the father and that will be enough for us” (John 14:8)
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