This morning in our series on ‘Questions’, we looked at the question Jesus asked Philip: ‘Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time?’ (John 14:9) Knowing Jesus is at the heart of our faith, and it must have seemed poignant to Jesus that even after over three years of following Him, Philip still seemed so bemused by the things Jesus was saying. So often, we feel the same, rather like the pupil in class who keeps silent because they don’t understand what the teacher is saying. Jesus’s teaching on leaving them and going to the Father (John 14:1-14) seemed unclear to His disciples who felt bewildered by all that was going on.
Knowing Jesus is at the heart of the gospel and the start of eternal life (see John 17:3). Jesus makes the Father known to us (John 1:18), but so often, we want to see something more. Jesus urged His disciples to have faith, to trust in Him not only for now but for an eternal future (John 14:1-4), to refuse to let our hearts be troubled because our future is secure in Him (see also Rom 8;37-39). Both Thomas and Philip had questions for Jesus – and it’s not wrong to bring our questions to Him – but still there is the sense in Jesus’s question that we need to grow in our knowledge of Him, no matter how long we have been on the road with Him.
Paul’s passion was to know Jesus more (Phil 3:7-11), and this must be our focus in life too. We must seek to know God as He is, not as we imagine Him to be or want Him to be. When we do grow in our knowledge of God, Jesus offers us the amazing promise that we will do even greater things than He did and that we can ask for anything in His name and He will do it. (John 14:12-14) It’s hard for us to grasp the scope of all that God can do for us if we will simply follow His heart and have faith in Him. Knowing God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit must be the priority in our lives.