“Do not let your hearts be troubled.” (John 14:1)
This week’s Gospel passage is very rich. In some ways, it’s easy to see a very clear connection to the beginning of John’s Gospel, which succinctly lays out salvation history: God created the world so that He could have communion with us; then, to show us more fully who He is, He sent His son to actually dwell among us; not everyone recognized Him, but those who did have the right to be His heirs.
The present dialogue is given as Jesus is preparing to leave. The disciples are understandably concerned: Where is He going? How will they get there? Can’t He just show them the Father?
Jesus’ response is simple and hopeful. He has already shown them the Father and the way to Him.
Jesus’ words and actions reveal God as self-giving, humble, merciful, and powerful. He both accepts us where we’re at, and calls us on. Jesus showed that a perfect relationship with the Father is one of dependence and trust.
Sometimes, it’s confusing to see and understand what God is doing. But Jesus has provided a roadmap, even when we don’t fully understand: believe in God; believe in everything He’s done and revealed through Scripture. Abide in the Father, and allow the Father to abide in you.
Not only does this help us to draw closer in communion with God, but also to reveal and draw others to Him as well.
Though Jesus is no longer on earth, we can still come to know the Lord through various ways including prayer, Scripture, and one another. It’s in part through the Lord present in others that we continue to encounter and be transformed by His love, mercy, and goodness.
This passage moves me with wonder, hope, and gratitude. Wonder at God’s deep desire for communion with us, His patient work to bring it about, and the fact that we, as heirs, are called to continue to bring others into communion with Him. Hope, in His patient work as we continue to seek to draw closer to Him. And gratitude for all the ways He has revealed Himself and will continue to do so.