This scripture addresses part of the anxiety the disciples had with the departure of Jesus. It addresses the situation of those who wonder what it means to be a disciple of Jesus, who is no longer present. How can one follow an absent Lord?
Jesus is trying to get them ready for his absence. But they are confused and still asking questions. “We don’t know where you are going or how you are going to get there. We don’t understand anything you are saying. Just show us God, and we will be satisfied. We don’t know what you are talking about. We don’t like this.”
They are expressing the feeling of the absence of God. This is part of our story as followers of Jesus. There are prayers and psalms in the scripture that express a profound distance from God. Lord, don’t turn your back on us. Don’t hide your face from us. Don’t go away from us. Please God, don’t leave us alone.”
Then there is “My God, my God why have you forsaken me?” I can imagine there are times when God might just say to us, “Time to try it by yourselves.” It might be that sometimes God needs to let us do it on our own to develop some strength for the mission.
What this means for us, if people in our communities are going to experience God’s love, it will be because they experience it through us. Loving the world, our neighborhoods, our communities, our friends, and enemies is not in our hands.
Oh, just show us God and we will be satisfied. We don’t understand. We don’t like this. And Jesus says, “Have I been you all this time and you still don’t know me.” “As the Father has sent me, I now send you.”
Listen closely, I just heard him say, “Go. Go and love as I have loved you. Go, love one another. Go. Just as the Father has sent me, I now send you. Go.”
Today, how will you engage your community with God’s love?
Consider making an intentional shift from doing mission in the community to leading a movement of God’s love in the community. What one action will you take to develop a relationship with an agency, a school, or a leader in your community? Who will you call, visit, or contact as a first step? Step out in courage, knowing that you are not alone. What difference does your interaction make in your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors?
At the end of the day, reflect upon the scripture and your interactions of the day.
- What one action did you take to engage someone in your community?
O God, thank you for the courage to step out in faith today. And thank you for preparing the people with whom I had interactions today. I am especially grateful for how my life is being transformed by following Jesus into the community. Help me focus my eyes more upon Jesus, so I may recognize you more often in the people I meet along the way. Amen.
Explore Previous Devotions from John
Explore the entire series of Audio Devotions from John’s Gospel on the podcast page. This series includes Episodes 129 – 135.