Today we explore John 14:6-14 and the meaning of doing God’s work.
Jesus said to Thomas, “I am the way and the truth and the life.
No one comes to the Father except through me.
If you know me, then you will also know my Father.
From now on you do know him and have seen him.”
Philip said to him,
“Master, show us the Father, and that will be enough for us.”
Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you for so long a time
and you still do not know me, Philip?
Whoever has seen me has seen the Father.
How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?
Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me?
The words that I speak to you I do not speak on my own.
The Father who dwells in me is doing his works.
Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me,
or else, believe because of the works themselves.
Amen, amen, I say to you,
whoever believes in me will do the works that I do,
and will do greater ones than these,
because I am going to the Father.
And whatever you ask in my name, I will do,
so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
If you ask anything of me in my name, I will do it.”
Whenever I reflect on the Gospels, I look for something that jumps out at me, something that moves me in an usual way. Sometimes one thing stirs me. Sometimes it’s a couple of things. In this reading, it’s three things.
First, it’s Jesus saying, “The Father who dwells in me is doing his works.” Second, it’s Jesus sayings, “Whoever believes in me will do the works that I do.” And third, it’s Jesus saying, “Whatever you ask in my name, I will do.”
The lessons in this reading are multi-fold.
Jesus reassures his disciples that he is one with the Father. It’s the Father dwelling in Him and acting through Him, doing His works. With Jesus’ appearance in the world, God seems to have switched from His focus on acting from on high, setting rules and laws for the Jews and acting against the rest of humanity to save the Jews, to now embracing all of humanity and doing so in a direct and personal way. Through Jesus, the Father is personally touching the lives of every one of us.
And if we believe in Jesus, we should be doing as Jesus does. And what does Jesus do? He heals. He feeds. He restores. He forgives. He engages even the most downcast among us. He gives up the opportunity to judge and condemn. He sacrifices. He teaches. He loves.
Finally, Jesus promises us that when we are in need He will provide, if we ask in His name.
But this isn’t just Jesus speaking. Remember, Jesus said, “The Father who dwells in me is doing his work.” So God as the Father and the Son are acting together here, providing for us and caring for us. All of us. And He would like us to carry on His work healing one another, feeding one another, restoring one another, forgiving one another, engaging each other even the most downcast among us, refusing to judge or condemn one another, teaching each other, sacrificing for one another, and most important – loving one another. In Jesus’ name.
Sometimes we are tempted to ask, where is God when horrible things happen? God is there in our hearts urging us to intervene to do his good work. If we believe in Jesus, we should do the works he does.