Today's Reading: John 14-17
These four chapters in John could be studied for a lifetime and still have unearthed and mysterious treasures to offer, and yet, in many ways, these words of Jesus are as clear as clear can be.
Jesus shares his time on earth is short; he is returning to the Father. The disciples understand the Father is God, YHWH, the one and only God of Israel. Jesus came from the Father and is going home to the Father. Jesus wants his disciples to follow him to his Father's house.
Although the disciples have never been to Jesus' father's home, Jesus tells them, "You know the way." The disciples scratch their heads. They do not have a papyrus map. They do not have access to map quest. They do not have GPS. They have no yellow brick road to lead them to the place of the throne surrounded by emerald light. Jesus says, "You know the way," and the disciples reply, "No, we don't."
Show us the way. Show us the place. Show us the Father. Give us a clue. Point us in the right direction. Draw us a map.
Jesus is frustrated.
"You know the way. I am the way. I am the map. I am the Father."
How confusing this must have been for linear thinking disciples as Jesus once again speaks of unearthly things by means of word pictures.
I am the vine, you are the branches.
I am the good shepherd, you are the sheep.
I am the way, you are to follow.
I am the truth, you are to listen.
I am the life, you are created for eternity.
I and the Father are one, you are one with us.
Many disciples today still are scratching their heads like Phillip.
"We don't understand what you are saying, Jesus."
"Could you explain it in a clearer way?"
Jesus says to each of us, "You know the way to the place I am going."
Is it confusing because it is complex?
Or because it is so simple?