The Lord will give you insight

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.
John 14:12 (NIV)

Read:  John 14:1-14

Consider:  The disciples were often clueless in understanding exactly what Jesus said.  Today’s reading contains details of incidents where Jesus seems to be speaking clearly, yet the disciples are lost as to the meaning.  Firstly, Jesus spoke of returning to heaven when he tells the disciples: You know the way to the place where I am going (John 14:4), and we read that:  Thomas said to him, ‘Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?’ (14:5).  Jesus’ response is: I am the way and the truth and the life. No-one comes to the Father except through me (14:6).

This leads on to the second incident, where the disciples clearly don’t really understand the implications of what Jesus is saying.  In John 14:7 we read: If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.  To this we read that Philip’s reply was: Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us (14:8).  You can almost hear Jesus’ exasperation with them in his reply: 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”? (14:9).

The passage moves on to Jesus telling the disciples: 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 (14:12).  The Greek word ἔργον rendered as ‘works’ in John 14:11 and 12 refers to the deeds or actions of Jesus.  This should make us think of the full range of miracles that Jesus performed while on earth; these demonstrated that he had authority over nature ( by stilling the sea), sickness (by healing all manner of illness, the blind, the deaf and the lame) and also death (by raising Lazarus, Jairus’ daughter and the son of the widow from Nain).  When John the Baptist sent two of his disciples to ask Jesus if he was the Messiah, Jesus’ reply was: Go back and report to John what you have seen and heard: the blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor (Luke 7:22).  The works that does Jesus are clear for all to see.  Did the disciples understand the power that would be available to them, when Jesus returned to heaven and the Holy Spirit would descend on them at Pentecost?  I doubt they would have had any appreciation of the implications of what Jesus was saying.  However, we do know from Acts that the disciples were empowered at Pentecost and we read there of many of the miraculous things they did.

The questions for us: Do we really understand the implications of what we read in the Bible and are we prepared to accept what is said there without putting our own interpretations on it?  If we don’t understand something are we prepared to ask for God to enlighten us?  In Paul’s second letter to Timothy, he said this: Reflect on what I am saying, for the Lord will give you insight into all this (2 Timothy 2:7).  Be prepared to take time to reflect on God’s Word and ask for his insight into its meaning and implications for your life.

Pray:  Father, we know that there are many things we do not understand.  May we bring these to you in prayer, asking for your Holy Spirit to give us insight and understanding.  Most of all we pray that we would put into practice what we learn.  Amen

Every blessing

Author: profsloan

The purpose of this blog is to encourage others to read the Bible daily and to grow in Christ. Each day I will generally publish a devotional or a reading for the day, together with a prayer.

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