As much as we try to avoid it, we all inevitably encounter troubles and trials, and sometimes more than we think we can handle. Jesus knew that his disciples would have to face adversity and trials after he left them to return to his Father. Jesus assured them that his departure is for their good, in order to secure a place for them in God’s house – a place of refuge, peace, and everlasting happiness. Homer’s Odyssey describes a moving scene when Odysseus miraculously finds his way home, after twenty years of wandering the nether world. After much struggle he convinces his dear father, son, and wife that it is really he who has returned from the “land of the lost” to the land of the living. He secures freedom for his wife and family after fighting off the suitors who have imprisoned her in her own home.
The Lord Jesus assures us of a safe passage to our true home in heaven with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. How can we find our way without a map and a guide? The scriptures speak of the way we should go. You shall not turn aside to the right hand or to the left. You shall walk in all the way which the Lord your God has commanded you (Deuteronomy 5:32-33). And a highway shall be there, and it shall be called the Holy Way; the unclean shall not pass over it, and fools shall not err therein (Isaiah). Teach me your way, O Lord; and lead me on a level path (Psalm 27:11).
If there were not,would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you?
And if I go and prepare a place for you,
I will come back again and take you to myself,
so that where I am you also may be.
Where I am going you know the way.”
Thomas said to him,”Master, 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, then you will also know my Father.
From now on you do know him and have seen him.”
Philip said to him,”Master, show us the Father, and that will be enough for us.”
Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you for so long a time
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 speak to you I do not speak on my own.
The Father who dwells in me is doing his works.
Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me,
or else, believe because of the works themselves.
Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever believes in me will do the works that I do,
and will do greater ones than these,
because I am going to the Father.”
What were we made for? What’s the greatest thing we can aim for in this life? To know God. What is the best thing in life, bringing more joy, contentment, life and happiness, than anything else? Knowledge of God. Thus says the Lord: “Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, let not the mighty glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches; but let him who glories glory in this, that he understands and knows me” (Jeremiah 9:23-24). One of the greatest truths of the Christian faith is that we can know the living God. Our knowledge of God is not simply limited to knowing something about God, but we can know God personally.
The essence of Christianity, and what makes it distinct from Judaism and other religions, is the knowledge of God as our Father. Jesus makes it possible for each of us to personally know God as our Father. To see Jesus is to see what God is like. In Jesus we see the perfect love of God – a God who cares intensely and who yearns over men and women, loving them to the point of laying down his life for them upon the Cross.
Jesus is the revelation of God – a God who loves us completely, unconditionally and perfectly. Jesus also promises that God the Father will hear our prayers when we pray in his name. That is why Jesus taught his followers to pray with confidence, Our Father who art in heaven ..give us this day our daily bread. Do you pray to your Father in heaven with joy and confidence in his love and care for you?