Friday of Week 4 of Easter – Gospel

Commentary on John 14:1-6

We begin today the long discourse, covering four chapters (14-17) of John, in which Jesus at the Last Supper says farewell and gives his final instructions to his disciples.  Although it is, on the face of it, spoken in anticipation of what is going to happen, the discourse clearly applies to the fears and anxieties of the post-resurrection community coping without the direct leadership of Jesus, and often harassed by both Jews and Gentiles alike.

The passage begins with Jesus telling his disciples to “not let your hearts be troubled”.  The immediate reason is the great threat that hangs over Jesus and his warnings to them of what is going to happen to him.  The disciples are disturbed by the predictions of betrayal, of Jesus’ leaving them and of the denial by Peter.

But Jesus’ words are also applicable to all those who, because of their following of Jesus, fall under threat of persecution or harassment. In face of these warnings, Jesus tells them to have faith in him and in his Father.  Faith here means a deep trust that Jesus will take care of them and give them the strength to face any difficulties:

In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places…I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, so that where I am, there you may be also.

Jesus is about to leave his disciples, but he will be back soon and take them to the place which has been specially prepared for them.  He will return very soon after his resurrection, although in a very different way, and he will come at the end of time to take them to himself forever.  And, not to worry, there is plenty of room for everyone. In the end, we will be where he is and that is the only goal of our lives that matters.

And then he says,

And you know the way to the place where I am going.

They, and we, certainly ought to know the way but we are glad that Thomas, characterised in the Gospel by his blunt speaking, asked his question which drew forth a famous answer. Says Thomas:

Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?

To which Jesus replied:

I am the way and the truth and the life.

Jesus does not only tell us where to go.  He is himself the Way (Greek, hodos).

And Jesus is not a way, but the Way.  This is not to be understood in a narrow sectarian sense.  The way of life that Jesus proposes is not just for a particular group of people – it is a way of life for every single person to follow.  The heart of that Way is an unconditional love which sees every other person as a brother or sister, and a love which gives itself unceasingly in service.

If we want to know where our lives, where any life, should be going, all we need to do is to identify ourselves totally with the attitudes, the values and the goals of life that Jesus lays down for us. And, as the Way, he is Truth and Life.  Jesus is Truth not just because the things he says are true.  His whole life, everything he says and does, all his relationships, have the ring of truth and integrity.

And, of course, he is Life.  When we unconditionally decide to walk his Way, we, here and now, begin to live in the fullest manner possible. Thank you, Thomas, for asking that question. All we need now is to make the answer the centre of our living.

Comments Off on Friday of Week 4 of Easter – Gospel

Printed from LivingSpace - part of Sacred Space
Copyright © 2024 Sacred Space :: :: All rights reserved.