March 12, 2007
Meditation Commentary John 14:10-14
Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works’ sake. Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.
John chapters 13-16 is a sober, almost melancholy record of Jesus’ last words to his disciples before he is taken away to “drink the cup” which the Father had given. Jesus is preparing to go away, and is sharing one final meal—the Last Supper—with his disciples. These intimate companions have given up everything to follow him, and they have confessed him as the Christ, the Son and Holy One of God. They are pinning all their hopes on him. But they seem to have no idea what is coming.
Jesus is “going away”—a gentle way of saying that he is going to die. The Christ himself, for whom the disciples have given up so much, in whom they have put so much trust and hope, is going to be arrested, flogged and brutally executed. Can you imagine a more devastating situation? And this night, in John 13-16, is the Last Supper. It is the last moments; the disciples do not fully realize what is coming, but they understand that he is “going away,” and are saddened. But Jesus fully knows what he is about to endure. And he is preparing them for the devastation, speaking words of comfort that they may hold onto.
And what are those words of comfort? Believe. Do not forget who I am, he says. Do not forget who God is, and that I and the Father are one. You have seen my works, and it is the Father working through me. Believe. Let not your heart be troubled. I am going away; but I will return. Do not despair. Believe—on the Father, and on me; for I and the Father are one, and he who has seen me has seen the Father.
This is the hope that is continually held out throughout the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation: God is God. His works have been revealed; he is the power behind creation; and he is the one who sent Christ himself into the world. He is our comfort, and nothing else; there can be nothing else capable of such comfort. God is God, and in him, in his wisdom, power and love, we can rest and not fear.