Submitted by Jan on Tue, 09/05/2017 – 09:14
Fifth Sunday of Easter
Year A (2016-2017)
Bible Book: John
Verse: 1 – 14
Our focus text today takes place at the Last Supper, as Jesus was giving His last message to the remaining disciples. It was, in effect, His “swan song” before His coming arrest and crucifixion, the time of all times when Jesus wanted to make certain His disciples had “gotten it”.
Jesus’ comment that if they really knew Him they would also know His Father prompted Philip to reveal that he was still in the dark: “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.” I can hear the frustration in Jesus’ voice as He replied, “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’?”
Yes, Jesus came into the world to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins; but He also came to reveal to us, in the flesh, what God is like: His heart; His values; His passion for people. Jesus valued women and children, social outcasts, the poor and sick, sinners, and all those deemed “unworthy” by the religious elite of His day. In fact, His constant demonstration that God values people over law is one of the primary things that got Him crucified.
Now let’s look at some related scriptures:
“The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being” (Heb. 1:3)
“The Son is the image of the invisible God…” (Col. 1:15)
“Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.” (1 Cor. 12:27)
“For those God foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son…” (Rom. 8:29)
“And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into His image with intensifying glory…” (2 Cor. 3:18)
Do you see a pattern here? Jesus came as the image of the invisible God, the radiance of His glory, and the “exact representation of his being.” Now we, as the body of Christ, are to be continually and increasingly transformed into His image, reflecting the glory of Him who reflected the glory of God.
Unfortunately, the era of HIV and AIDS has shown the Church to often be as much in the dark as Philip was. We haven’t yet “gotten it.” Instead of reflecting the glory of Christ and, as His body, revealing to the world God’s core values and His heart for people, we often instead reflect the image of this world. We condemn and exclude rather than welcome and include. We value obedience to rules and social propriety more than we value those who just don’t measure up as well as we do.
This week, let us consider how we can encourage one another to reflect the glory of Christ in such a way that those who are in greatest need of acceptance, hope and good news will see in us God’s heart for them.
To think about: How can you and/or your church be more effective in “reflecting the glory of Him who reflected the glory of God” to those around you who are in need of acceptance, hope, and good news?
Written By: Dr. Bob Carter, Director of the AIDS Ministries Department at Moffat Bible College in Kijabe, Kenya and trained Churches, Channel of Hope Facilitator
Author: Carter B. (Dr)