Word on Wednesday – by John Mason
‘Belief’… May 21, 2014
We live in a world of uncertainty and the unexpected. Where do we look for security and hope?
Bewilderment. At the end of John 13 an ominous cloud hung over Jesus’ disciples. For three years they had been with him, increasingly confident he was God’s promised king. But at the Passover meal he had told them he was going away. “Don’t be troubled,” he said. “Believe in God, believe also in me… I go to prepare a place for you” (John 14:1, 3-4).
Thomas’s response expressed a frustration we all can feel: “Lord, we do not know where you’re going…” (John 14:5).
Jesus’ reply is astonishing: “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). He didn’t say, ‘I’ll show you the way’ but rather, ‘I am the way’; he didn’t say, ‘I’ll tell you the truth’ but, ‘I am the truth’; he didn’t say, ‘I’ll give you eternal life’ but, ‘I am the life’.
At the heart of the universe is not so much a theory of unification, but a person. The only way we make sense of our human existence is by recognizing the one who is the truth – the Word of God incarnate. Jesus is the One we need to know – hear him, love and honor him, and every day, walk with him.
This is not a fantasy. John the Gospel-writer candidly reports that Thomas thought for a while it was. He didn’t believe the other disciples when they said that they had seen Jesus risen from the dead. And then when he saw him he responded, humbly and honestly, “My Lord and my God”.
Were those first followers dreaming? Six weeks later Peter preached the first Christian sermon less than two miles from Jesus’ tomb, yet no one contradicted his claim that the tomb was empty.
In uncertain and tough times we can remember Jesus’ words, “Believe in God, believe also in me.” Just how real is your walk with Jesus?
Almighty God, we confess that we have no power of ourselves to help ourselves: keep us outwardly in our bodies and inwardly in our souls, so that we may be defended from all adversities that may happen to the body, and from all evil thoughts that may assault and hurt the soul; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (BCP, Lent 2 – adapted)
John G. Mason