No one comes to the Father except through me.
That line from Jesus has always made perfect sense to me. How do I even come close to knowing this omnipresent, omniversal, way “out there and in here” God – without having the familiarity of Jesus in human clothing?
And having grown to know and love Jesus, then “knowing God” and “coming to the Father” is just one more step in faith and relationship. It fits, it works, it “is”.
The full context is this:
“Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?” Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.” Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.”” John 14:5-8
So this morning I found the verses “back to front” – and had to stop and ponder awhile (again). The “strapline” is this:
Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me.
Now God is first and Jesus second – “no one comes to me except through the Father” kind of statement. Which is back to front to my preferred sequence. So just what is going on?
The full context is this:
Jesus said, ‘No one can come to me unless drawn by the Father who sent me; and I will raise that person up on the last day. It is written in the prophets, ‘And they shall all be taught by God.’ Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me. Not that anyone has seen the Father except the one who is from God; he has seen the Father. Very truly, I tell you, whoever believes has eternal life. I am the bread of life. Your ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats of this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.’ John 6:44-51
No one can come to me unless drawn by the Father who sent me; and I will raise that person up on the last day.
And in the background I can hear Him laughing – His wonderfully warm loving laughter: “Which came first Paul – the chicken or the egg?”
Well GSHJ …
a) I was shown the bible
b) I read the bible
c) I accepted the stories
d) I never understood the details
e) I accepted God
f) I never understood God
g) I accepted Jesus
h) I never understood Jesus
i) Then I met others who talked about the Holy Spirit
j) And I never understood that either
k) Then I found relationship
l) Then I found a friend
m) I still didn’t need to understand and know God – a passive relationship with “something” was enough
n) Then He grew Love Without Condition within me
o) Then I grew Unconditional Love and came to understand what life and living can be
p) And somewhere in there God and Jesus and the Holy Spirit morphed into one
q) And now I know and have come to God Soft Hands Jesus
r) My personal – my intimate – my global – my omniversal – my shared and connected God Soft Hands Jesus.
And looking back at where I am now and where I was then – I learned from the Father and came to Jesus and then knew both. And only realised that after reading these verses today.
How cool is that! All those who “know Jesus” and love Jesus! All those who don’t get God and never “love” God as they “love “Jesus … All that “BIG GOD” stuff so many (me included) have struggled – still do – to comprehend (let alone explain to others)! All that distance and toenail worship and pedestal God and “God is not Jesus and Jesus is not God” stuff I hear week after week after week (and believe less and less and less week after week after week) …
I knew God before I knew Jesus. WOW!
And just like when I hear a foreign language and want to learn the words – hear the words – understand the words – speak the words – of this new language … and off I go and find a teacher and tutor.
Over time I learn the language and come to understand the words of “unconditional love”, the language of “if I allow”, the nuances of inclusivity and uniqueness and diversity and abundance. And as I learn the words I find the people. I become familiar with a lifestyle rather than just a language. I realise that I am living in two worlds – both joined seamlessly as one. More and more I find I can move between people who speak many different languages.
I find I have become a speaker of all languages. Attuned to the vibration that connects us all. That subsonic flutter that we know intuitively – but have yet to understand as connecting, as alive, as safe – and as our hope for today and the future. I find I can speak all languages because there is only one language.
It’s just that I never knew that I already knew.
I have named my God “God Soft Hands Jesus”. What have you named yours?