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Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life.
No one comes to the Father except through me.
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Today’s Gospel text is so often read at funerals that we sometimes forget that it has a lot to say outside of grief and loss.
This text is a part of a larger narrative commonly called the “farewell discourse.” Jesus is about to leave the disciples and he is telling them what he thinks they need to know.
So of course this text is filled with just gorgeous promises.
“Do not let your hearts be troubled,” Jesus says.
I’ve got you.
Even when things seem to be chaotic and changing.
You can trust me.
And of course, the disciples hear the promise and immediately wonder how they are going to screw things up. Thomas and Philip ask the questions of Jesus that we ALL ask when we come face to face with pure promise:
What’s the catch?
I don’t quite get it.
It’s too good to be true.
Or, my personal favorite: how can I make sure I don’t screw this up?
Jesus today gives us the promise that because we know him (and we do) we know God.
And because we know God (and we do) we don’t have to worry so much.
And because we don’t have to worry so much, we are free to join with God in the world on behalf of others.
Want to know what God is like? Look at me, Jesus says.
I am the way to know what God is like.
So this isn’t a narrowing of the grace of God, confining forgiveness to only a few,
but a widening, a reminder of God’s work in and for the world, the whole world and how we best see what that work looks like by watching Jesus.
Over and over again we find Jesus out in the world, working on behalf of those on the outside, the forgotten, the poor, the mistreated, and in the places where we least expect him to go.
That is where we are called to be.
So we go.
Questions for Discussion
Tell someone what Jesus has done for you.
Go serve. Be with people who need care and do the things Jesus did for others.