Homily Easter 5

Knowing Jesus – the way, the truth, the life.

Introduction

Our reading from John’s gospel started with these words from Jesus:
Do not let your hearts be troubled’.

Jesus was about to talk to his disciples about leaving. If anything was going to trouble them it was Jesus going away.

They were captivated by him. They had left everything to follow him. They would go anywhere with him. If he were to go away – whatever would they do?

Like us today, they were living with uncertainty. In the midst of the COVID pandemic, we have plenty of reason to be troubled.

I believe Jesus says to us today, as he said to his disciples back then:
‘Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me.’

Jesus reassured his disciples:
If I go …’I will come again and will take you to myself, so that where I am, there you may be also.’ (v3)

Thomas’ Question

Then Jesus says something which they don’t really understand:
‘you know the way to the place where I am going’ (v4)

It’s Thomas, ever rational, who puts his finger on it: ‘Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?(v5)

The Way

Thomas had jumped to the conclusion that Jesus was talking about navigation. But they have no address, no postcode – nothing to enter into the Sat Nav!

There’s more than one way to understand the verb ‘to know’

  • first there is knowing about = knowing information: facts, data, destinations

  • but there’s also knowing someone = a relationship

Thomas hears ‘know’ in the first sense … knowing information,
but Jesus is talking about ‘know’ as in a relationship

I am the way, and the truth, and the life’ says Jesus.

To know the way – means not to have the route mapped out – but to know our guide: Jesus.

With our attention focussed on Jesus we will find ourselves travelling with him and so inevitably end up where he is.

Philip’s Question

Philip is still struggling to get it.

Thank God for these disciples. Like journalists of today, they are asking the questions we don’t have the chance to ask! They could be there on the screen asking the questions in the afternoon broadcasts from 10 Downing Street!

Philip challenges Jesus: Show us the father and we will be satisfied

You can sense Jesus’ exasperation: ‘Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and you still do not know me? (v.9)

The Truth

Jesus continues: if you really know me … you will know my Father as well. Searching for God? Look no further. Here’s Jesus!

Again it is about ‘knowing’ as in knowing someone. To know Jesus is to know God

‘I am the truth’ says Jesus ….

When you look at me you are seeing Father God: the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

The Life

We are still in the Easter season. Why are we ‘together’ (in a strange sort of way!) as ‘church’ today if it’s not because of Jesus and because of his resurrection on that first Easter Day

It was impossible to keep Jesus down. The life in him cannot be crushed or extinguished – or even crucified out of him.

As we hear the daily count of hundreds of deaths we cannot but have a heightened sense of our own mortality

The Easter message is that: Death does not have the last word.

Jesus shares his unquenchable life with us - that we might boldly follow him knowing the end of life is not death, but life!

Conclusion

Jesus came that we might come to know him and in knowing him we might know God. He wants us to know him and to get to know him better.

Jesus himself is the answer to our big questions.

  • To know Jesus is to know the Way – the guide for our journey – with Kingdom of Heaven as our destination.

  • To know Jesus is to know the Truth – to know Father God himself

  • To know Jesus is to know the Life – that abundant life that we find in the resurrected Jesus - who went to prepare a place for each one of us.


‘You know’ says Jesus ‘the way to the place where I am going’

Do not let your hearts be troubled’.