Gospel John 14:6-14
Jesus said to Thomas:
‘I am the Way, the Truth and the Life.
No one can come to the Father except through me.
If you know me, you know my Father too.
From this moment you know him and have seen him.’
Philip said, ‘Lord, let us see the Father and then we shall be satisfied.’
‘Have I been with you all this time, Philip,’ said Jesus to him ‘and you still do not know me?
‘To have seen me is to have seen the Father,
so how can you say, “Let us see the Father”?
Do you not believe
that I am in the Father and the Father is in me?
The words I say to you I do not speak as from myself:
it is the Father, living in me, who is doing this work.
You must believe me when I say
that I am in the Father and the Father is in me;
believe it on the evidence of this work, if for no other reason.
I tell you most solemnly,
whoever believes in me
will perform the same works as I do myself
he will perform even greater works,
because I am going to the Father.
Whatever you ask for in my name I will do,
so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
If you ask for anything in my name,
I will do it.
Having just 'not' completed the a-z challenge for April - I have no idea how I ended up with a day missing but I have decided to give that to God who is in all the mistakes; I have challenged myself this time to an understanding of the Gospel using the guiding actions of the Twelve Steps. That the Twelve Steps have been invaluable in helping many to live a life in recovery under the watchful eye of a Higher Power is undeniable. As a pathway to a spiritual life it has many important lessons to teach. I have't looked at the Gospels for the next few weeks so we will see if the Spirit is willing...
Step One- We admit we are powerless - that our lives had become unmanageable
Later on in John, Thomas will finally realise the truth of this in the moments before he says 'My Lord and my God'. But today he and Philip are trying to find a place for themselves; are trying to be in control of their lives; of what's going on. They are listening to Jesus but not hearing him - they have their own agenda; they want action; they both seem to love confrontation - unfriendly crowds; stone throwing, the risk of dying in Jerusalem - 'live fast, die young' as the movie stars say.
It would be interesting to know where Philip and Thomas came from; a pair of young Galileans; most likely fishermen; only the young would be so keen to die for someone they love but don't really understand - without understanding what it is to die. A Grand Adventure for which they are willing to give all they have, 'they' being all about 'ego' about 'glorification'.
That is not what Jesus means; that is not where Jesus is leading them. 'I do not speak as from myself: it is the Father, living in me, who is doing this work.' Their teacher and Rabbi tells them ' I am nothing, my life is not my own- I am powerless'. An uncomfortable feeling for followers to believe this of their leader. An 'unmanageable life'; surely not? Yet Jesus has been tempted by Satan with the lure of 'managing' his life - and he has refused.
Jesus celebrates the powerlessness of his life over and over again.At least he has knowledge of the Higher Power who will come in the next steps - but even knowing the Father exists doesn't necessarily mean that it's never hard, that sometimes you have to go into the desert and scream at the sky; or into a garden and cry into the soft earth.
Thomas and Philip will discover this soon enough.
Step One is the hardest to face. The one the world hates you to face because it mean turning yourself away from the world and all its empty promises. But it is the only place to begin.