“Don’t be troubled. Trust in God. Trust also in me. 2 My Father’s house has room to spare. If that weren’t the case, would I have told you that I’m going to prepare a place for you? 3 When I go to prepare a place for you, I will return and take you to be with me so that where I am you will be too. 4 You know the way to the place I’m going.”
5 Thomas asked, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going. How can we know the way?”
6 Jesus answered, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7 If you have really known me, you will also know the Father. From now on you know him and have seen him.”
8 Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father; that will be enough for us.”
9 Jesus replied, “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been with you all this time? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 Don’t you believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words I have spoken to you I don’t speak on my own. The Father who dwells in me does his works. 11 Trust me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or at least believe on account of the works themselves. 12 I assure you that whoever believes in me will do the works that I do. They will do even greater works than these because I am going to the Father. 13 I will do whatever you ask for in my name, so that the Father can be glorified in the Son. 14 When you ask me for anything in my name, I will do it.
John 14:1-14 CEB
-Rev Melissa Fain-
This is part of the reason I inflect when I read scripture. Yes, by inflecting I'm incorporating my perspective, but come on! I'm a minister! I incorporate my perspective all the time! Every person who opens their mouth to explain what they think scripture means is doing the same thing.
This scripture is a doozy. We all know, if you read it as dryly as possible, it would cause your mind to literally explode. (Okay, that might be taking it a bit far, but it's still a difficult read.) It's an Abbott and Costello skit. Abbott is just saying what is true. Costello, as confused as can be, is just trying to understand what Abbott is saying.
"Is Jesus on first, or is the Father? I don't know!"
"He's on third."
If we just add the Spirit to this text we will have the trifecta of confusion.
That's one of the things I love about the Gospel of John. This writer doesn't appear to have a problem sharing moments the Disciples were completely confused with what Jesus was saying. I love this because if the people who were walking next to Christ had trouble understanding everything he was saying, it gives me and you breathing room to step back and give scripture time. In other words, the Disciple's confusion gives us grace to be confused too. It doesn't mean we give it up. When the Disciples were confused, they asked questions. We should ask questions too. It's just nice to know, we're called to question.
If you are in a healthy and right church, your questions will be accepted with love. I know when I was a child, mine were. It's Christ-like to encourage questions in the church, no matter how scary or confusing they are. If you are a member of Fig Tree, hopefully you feel that grace. If you are somewhere else, I hope it is the same for you.