Doubt, Proof, and Seeking God


After the Last Supper, Philip does something that must have been disheartening for Jesus. He asks Jesus to show them the Father.  Philip wants to see God so that he will know that Jesus is Messiah.  He was looking for proof.  Unfortunately, doubt begets doubt…

Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.” Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves. Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.
John‬ ‭14‬:‭8-12‬

In John 10, when the Pharisees accused Jesus of blasphemy, he said to them that even if they didn’t believe him they ought to believe the works he had done.  Now in chapter 14, on the night Jesus was arrested, his own disciple, Philip, doubts Jesus in a subtle way: just show us the father, Jesus, and that will be enough.  Jesus’ answer is similar to his answer from John 10 – at least – at minimum – believe the works…

Actually, it won’t be enough.  When your heart is filled with doubt, seeing God probably won’t be enough.  You can explain it away.  You can be like Pharaoh, who had magicians who could do tricks to match God’s miracles.  You can be like Israel, who were led out of Egypt through the Passover miracle and the doubted God in the desert.

If you want to doubt, you will doubt…

Jesus says, at least believe in the evidence of the works.  They should be enough. God the father working through Jesus the son should be enough. For the doubter, it won’t be, yet for believer, they will even do greater works once Jesus ascends to heaven.  To the one who has (faith) more will be given.  To the one who doesn’t have (faith) even what he has will be taken away.  

Doubt is a crippling thing.

Jeremiah 29:13-14 offers that, on the other hand, if we seek God we will find him.  Perhaps seeing the works of God in action and responding to that experience by seeking God will open the doors and our eyes.

Lord, open our eyes to see you clearly…

Amen.

Marc Kinna

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