2021-4-01 “I’m Right Here”

Cornerstone EPC                                                                              Thursday evening
Franklin, NC 28734                                                                          April 1, 2021

“I’m Right Here”
John 14:8-11

            We come once again, in the Christian year, to Maundy Thursday—the night in which Jesus was betrayed.  Before the betrayal, Jesus enjoyed an especially close time with these eleven chosen friends—His disciples.  That night they kept the Passover feast, and just after the feast Judas withdrew from the company to do his nefarious deed.  After Judas left, Jesus taught at length—a teaching we know as the Farewell Discourse (John 13:31-16:33), which I am preaching through year by year on Maundy Thursday.  Let us hear God’s Word once again read and proclaimed in this place as we hear these verses from John 14.

(HERE READ THE TEXT)

            Tonight’s text begins with Philip’s response to Jesus’ answer to Thomas, namely, “If you had known me, you would have known My Father also.  From now on you do know Him and have seen Him” (John 14:7).  Philip apparently misses the point and requests, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.”

            Jesus, upon hearing this, ever so gently upbraids Philip with questions: “Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know Me?”, “How can you say, ‘Show us the Father?’”, and “Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father in Me?”  These questions lead Philip, and us, once again to Jesus’ actual assertion: “Whoever has seen Me has seen the Father.”  Philip requests of Jesus, “Show us the Father, and it is enough for us.”  Jesus’ reply, in effect, is this: “I’m right here.”

            Jesus encourages Philip, and us, to believe this claim.  He encourages our belief just because He said it—which He spoke not on His own authority, but, presumably, on authority from the Father.  If this be a stretch for us, however, Jesus calls us to believe the claim on the evidence of the works He does—which the Father, dwelling in Him, does.

            Philip, and the other ten with Jesus that night, cannot miss His rightful claim: He is God—and God incarnate at that.  God incarnate was in the upper room that night so long ago—as well as with His disciples over a three-year period.  God is with us today via the Holy Spirit. The Spirit’s presence is God with us today, and the Spirit’s power is God for us today.  Moreover, the Spirit of the living God is in this very room—and in the hearts of Christ’s redeemed everywhere in every age. 

                                                                                                            AMEN.