Sermon by the Rev. Betsey Monnot, Fifth Sunday of Easter, 5/14/17
Jesus is like your mother. She knew what was best, what was right for you, but it took a shift in your point of view to be able to recognize that.
We come into today’s gospel passage in the middle of a scene. Jesus is telling his disciples some of the things that he thinks they should know before he leaves them, which he knows he is going to do. He talks about going to prepare a place for them, and then he says “And you know the way to the place where I am going.”
And Thomas, who is practical, says: “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?”
But Jesus wasn’t talking about going through town to a new house. Jesus was talking about where he was really going, through death on the cross to resurrection and new life. And, as he so often does, Jesus answers Thomas’ question not the way Thomas expected it, but in the way that imparts what Jesus is trying to explain.
“I am the way, and the truth, and the life,” Jesus says, and I can almost hear Thomas protesting: “that’s not what I meant!”
But it is what Jesus meant, and it is our job to reorient ourselves and our understanding, to shift our point of view, so that what Jesus says makes sense.
The same is true with the last bit of this gospel reading. Jesus says, “I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If in my name you ask me for anything, I will do it.”
Well, every child who hears that and asks God in the name of Jesus for a pony knows that that just isn’t true. Where is my pony? But Jesus, you said you would do anything I asked in your name!
Again, it is our job to shift our point of view, to reorient ourselves and our understanding, so that what Jesus says makes sense. This is a process of becoming more mature in our walk with God. Just like, as you got older, some of the things that your mother told you to do, or not to do, that didn’t make sense back then, started to make sense, and you started to understand where she was coming from and why she was telling you these things, so too, the process of maturing in our spiritual life will bring us closer to a real understanding of what it is that Jesus means when he says these things, and why they are important and helpful. Read more