Saturday, March 17
Jesus' Saving Work
Narrative Lectionary Daily Devotions written by Kace Leetch from Clergy Stuff.
Jesus said, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." Christians have used this text over the years to exclude others from God's kingdom. We have turned the words from words of hope and promise into words of restriction and condemnation. We have taught that the only way to heaven is by believing in Jesus. Non-believers go to hell.
But what if Jesus' words are even bigger than our limited interpretation? What if Jesus' promise is that the way to God is through Jesus despite our ability or inability to believe? Jesus came to turn the world on its head, and to defeat sin and death. Jesus can and did defeat sin and death in his death and resurrection. Because of Jesus, the way to God's heavenly kingdom has been opened, and the barrier between humanity and God has been shattered. Is this so precarious that our unbelief can unravel it? I don't think so. I don't know exactly how, but I do believe that Jesus' works are solid for all people, whether or not we are capable or willing to believe. Jesus proclaimed that they were seeing God when they looked at him. It was true even before they understood it to be so. Jesus' saving work is much bigger than us and always will be.
Narrative Lectionary Text: John 14:1-14
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if 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.
"And you know the way to the place where I am going.” Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you know me, you will know my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.” Philip said to him, “Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied.” Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and you still do not know me? 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; but the Father who dwells in me does his works. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; but if you do not, then believe me because of the works themselves.
"Very truly, I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these, because I am going to the Father. I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If in my name you ask me for anything, I will do it."