John 14:1-14 (NRSV)
Chapter 14"Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me. Verse 2In 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? Verse 3And 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.
Verse 4And you know the way to the place where I am going." Verse 5Thomas said to him, "Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?" Verse 6Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. Verse 7If you know me, you will know my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him." Verse 8Philip said to him, "Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied." Verse 9Jesus 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'? Verse 10Do 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. Verse 11Believe 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.
Verse 12Very 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. Verse 13I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. Verse 14If in my name you ask me for anything, I will do it.
Jesus has just told his disciples that soon he will be going away. We can feel the anguish and frustration in Thomas’s aching reply: “We don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?” These days most of us can probably identify with the anxiety about change and the uncertainty about the future that must have suddenly threatened to overwhelm those disciples. Though not always happy about it, most of us can handle change as long as we have some sense of where it will take us. But not knowing? That’s quite a different matter.
Jesus’ response is not to lay out a road map or a plan to set their hearts at ease. Instead he invites them to set their sights on him: “I am the way . . .” “Place your trust in me.” At every moment, but especially at crossroads of change and uncertainty, the resurrected Lord comforts and encourages his disciples—and us—with the promise of his abiding presence: “Ask for anything you need, and I will do it.”
Lord Jesus, you have promised that you abide with us in the midst of all our uncertainties and doubts about today and tomorrow. Abide with us this day to ease our fears, and give us confidence to trust that you will lead us into the future. Amen.