It's Amazing Grace Again
Philip said to him, “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’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority, but the Father who dwells in me does his works. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else believe on account of the works themselves. — John 14:8-11
So at this point, Jesus is clearly disheartened. I would assume he feels like a discouraged parent or teacher who has said something a thousand times, whose children or students just don't get it. Remember, this whole dialogue was instigated by questions about where Jesus was going that they could not go. Keep in mind we are at fourth and goal in the last moments of Jesus's time with him and his men, so he says it plainly to them again — "If you have seen me, you have seen the Father."
I think the spiritual journey is just like this. We learn, relearn, and learn again. At least, I have found this to be true. For example, consider just one aspect — God's grace. I cannot recount how many times I have had to learn, relearn, and learn again about God's grace. In the early part of my spiritual journey, I had one understanding of it. Later, another. And today, still another. It has been this constant expanding understanding of the greatness of God's grace to me and the infinite reaches and effect of this on my life. I would love to boast and say I really understood this 30 years ago when I made a profession of faith, but I didn't. And like these disciples, my understanding then was minuscule compared to what I understand now. I also assume that when I get to heaven, my understanding of God's grace will be infinitely greater.
So here's the application. Keep asking, and keep saying "stupid" things to Jesus because he never tires of saying the same thing again and again to you if you are willing to learn. This is what disciples do. They put themselves out there so they can be taught. And when Jesus responds, pay attention. He might be saying the same thing to you again for the umpteenth time. Maybe this time it will blow your mind if you listen to him.
1. Have you ever experienced moments in your spiritual journey where you felt like you were relearning something you thought you already understood? How did that make you feel, and what did you learn from that experience?
2. As you think about your relationship with Jesus and your understanding of God's grace, can you identify any specific instances where you've asked questions or sought deeper understanding? How has Jesus responded to your inquiries, and how has that impacted your faith and growth as a disciple?
DO THIS: Learn, relearn, and be willing to learn again.
PRAY THIS: Dear God, thank you for your infinite patience and grace as I continue to learn and grow in my spiritual journey. Please guide me as I seek a deeper understanding of your truth, and help me to be receptive to your teachings, even if it means hearing the same message again and again.
PLAY THIS: Amazing Grace.
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Read through the Bible daily with Vince Miller.