Reflections: St. Philip and St. James the Apostles

Today’s Reading: John 14:1-14

Daily Lectionary: Exodus 33:1-23; Luke 7:1-17 

“Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father. Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.”
(John 14:12-14) 

In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. We always have a tendency to want the full road map of the future. We all crave certainty and understanding. Jesus says we crave that too much. He reminds us that He is sufficient. He is the Way, after all. “I’m not showing you the way, I am the way,” Jesus says. “Believe in the Father and believe also in me, and this ought to be enough that your hearts will not be troubled.”

But questions continue, and that is why we celebrate the Lord’s work though Philip and James. They were not ones who are seen as great and mighty heroes of the Christian faith. Like Thomas, Philip questioned the path and the destination. Philip said to Jesus, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?” 

It’s never quite enough for us, is it? Even when Jesus comforts us and shows undying sacrificial love for us, we still want something a little more. The early 2020s have reminded us that we can’t anticipate more and that no one has a clear picture of the future. No one can tell us what the world will look like 72 hours from now let alone six months or six years from now. The urge to know what lies ahead of us is understandable. We all want to plan, prepare and be ready. Yet Christ assures us of our greater home, the heavenly place prepared for us already. We will not be able to understand or anticipate every single twist and turn here on earth, and yet His assurance remains: “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me.” And this is enough. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. 

Almighty God, our heavenly Father, because of Your tender love towards sinners You have given us Your Son, that believing in Him, we might have everlasting life. Continue to grant to us Your Holy Spirit that we may remain steadfast in this faith to the end and finally come to everlasting life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (Prayer for Steadfast Faith)

-Rev. Kent Schaaf is pastor of Grace Lutheran Church in Little Rock, AR.

Audio Reflections Speaker: Rev. Duane Bamsch

Over eight sessions, The Messiah: Revealing Jesus in the Old Testament will lead you through the entirety of the Old Testament with daily readings, questions, and discussion prompts. After a brief introduction that reviews Christ’s earthly ministry, you will dive into the heart of the Holy Books that have spiritually nourished God’s people from creation to today! Now available from Concordia Publishing House.