One of the ways that I try and get my kids reading and listening to the gospel message is by having us read a chapter of the Bible as we drive to school in the morning. And because I have found myself for the last year or so seeking to answer the question of who I say Jesus is, I’ve been spending a lot of time in the gospels. The kids and I are currently reading John.
I grew very fond of Thomas this week. Perhaps because his questioning nature, his need for clarity, and his openness with his questions is something I can relate to. In John 14 we find a portion of a conversation that Jesus is in the midst of having with his disciples. And in the verses preceding the ones below we primarily find Simon Peter asking the questions or giving a response. But then, for a short stint, it’s Thomas who speaks in response to something Jesus has declared.
Here’s the exchange in John 14: 4-7:
4 [Jesus] “And you know the way to where I am going.” 5 Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” 6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7 If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.”
I’ve been wondering all week why Thomas didn’t know where Jesus was going and then it dawned on me: he didn’t know because he had never been there! (Okay, maybe you would have come to that conclusion a lot faster than me. I’ll admit it, I’m slow sometimes.) And because Thomas has never been there, he has no previous experience upon which to draw his answer from. What Thomas did know, I think, is this: as a follower of Yahweh, obedience to the law was a means of obtaining righteousness and favour.
But here we find Thomas, a disciple of Jesus Christ (God’s Son), receiving and trying to understand this further revelation of God. And I imagine this being a conversation where Thomas is grappling with what he once thought was truth, with what he once though was the way to live in respect and obedience to Yahweh, and grappling to understand the how of getting to where Jesus was going.
What I love about Jesus’ response aside from the fact that he tells Thomas the how (it’s through me, Thomas) is that it’s also affirming. You know my Father, Thomas, and you know Me.
We are invited by Jesus to not only believe in Him, we are also invited to know Him, to live in Him by the power of His spirit. And I don’t know where you’re at this week, but I would encourage you to spend some time reading one of the gospels (John is a great place to start if you’re not sure we’re to begin) with these two questions in mind: Who are you Jesus? And what is the way you’re showing me to follow?
Prayer: Thank you Lord that you can be found of us. And as we engage in your word this week, please speak to us concerning the way. Let your word Lord, be a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path. Amen.
The Reverend Carmen Kampman is a woman on the road of leadership. Ordained with the PAOC, she is a steward of God’s call to women in ministry. She is on staff at Horizon College & Seminary and a graduate student in the Masters of Leadership program at Briercrest Seminary.