Editor’s Note: Today’s AMI Quiet Time is provided by Kate Moon, who is currently serving in E. Asia.
Devotional Thought for Today
John 14:8-9: Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.” 9 Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who 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 that the Father is in me? The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. 11 Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves.”
Have you ever been in a situation where you thought you had been communicating something to someone, only to find out later that they hadn’t actually been getting it the whole time?
It is strangely reassuring to see that even the Son of God was not immune to the challenges of communication. For three years He had been with His disciples, day in, day out, and one of the things He was thinking they would have picked up on was that through His words and actions (vv. 10-11), He was showing them the Father. When Philip asks Jesus to show them the Father, when this was exactly what He had been trying to do the whole time He had been with them, our Lord can hardly believe what He is hearing, and His response here is so human: “Don’t you know me? . . . How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?”
I remember once asking one of our young leaders what they thought of moving closer to a certain location on the outskirts of the city to be able to serve students there more effectively, and this person answered, “It’s kind of far.” My heart sank a little at that moment because one of the principles I thought I had been communicating this whole time, in words and with my own life, was that when we see God moving, we adjust and re-orient our lives around what He is doing, even if it made other things in life inconvenient. I thought I had been communicating this so clearly and consistently, but it seemed the message somehow hadn’t gotten through.
Seeing this exchange between Jesus and Philip, though, I was comforted as I realized that this is just what discipleship is like sometimes. And just as after his initial incredulous response, Jesus went on with infinite patience to explain things to Philip so he could understand, because it was so important to Jesus that Philip understood; likewise, we can make the decision to do the same. Is there anyone we need to make efforts to patiently explain something to today?
Prayer: Lord Jesus, help me today not to be discouraged if others haven’t understood my efforts to point to You and Your ways. If even You experienced this kind of gap in communication, it must mean that sometimes it truly is just a process, so help me to persevere and not give up. Amen.
Lunch Break Study
Read John 14:10-12: 10 Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. 11 Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves. 12 Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.
Questions to Consider
- In verses 10-11, the word “believe” is repeated three times. What specifically did Jesus want His disciples to believe here?
- How is the kind of belief in Him that Jesus was talking about in verse 12 different from, let’s say, “believing in” Santa Claus (i.e., that he exists and his story is true)? (Hint: Jesus has just described it in the previous verses 10-11.)
- What, then, specifically is the kind of belief in Jesus (v. 12) that will enable a believer to do what He did and even greater? Do you have this kind of belief in Jesus?
- That God the Father was with Jesus and that it was because of this that Jesus could speak and do all that He did.
- Believing in Jesus is not just about believing in His existence and that the gospel story is true (i.e., He really died and rose again). Here, it is about believing that a human being who was one with God, who had an intimate relationship with God, could do amazing things.
- Believing that it was not because Jesus had superpowers but rather an intimate relationship with God the Father that He could do God’s work, including perform miracles; this kind of believing makes what Jesus did accessible to us, too. If we believe this was the dynamic at work, we can believe that if we have an intimate relationship with God through Jesus, we can also do what Jesus did and greater.
Why was it so important to Jesus that Philip, His disciple, understand this truth, this dynamic, that the Father was working in and through Him? So that His disciple could go on to do the same and greater. As a believer of Jesus, did I do anything today that could count as doing the same work that Jesus had been doing, or even greater?