Monday, June 18, 2018. Do we know enough about faith? Do we know enough to be able to believe? Some people think they know enough to not believe. Let us follow up on this question: do we know enough? Have we been there in the church or with the church for long enough? What is the background of this question?
You still do not know? …
The gospel of John reports an incident where Jesus is approached by his disciples. They want to know more about the way to go, want to know more about what to believe and how to make it happen in their life. Jesus replies:
Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? (from John 14, 9)
The disciples have been with Jesus. They lived with him, walked with him, preached with him. They saw him day by day, they heard him day by day, they had a chance to get to know him intensely!
But the question is: did they get to know him? Did they understand? Did they see beyond the surface? Did they open their heart and their mind for him? Jesus seems to realize that they have not yet come to this important point, where they start to understand him, where they start to be with him! “Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Phillip?”
Jesus implies that they could know. They could know him, know that he is not only human, but that he is the son of God – that he is God, who became flesh. They have seen the miracles. They heard his speaches. They heard him day by day. They somehow knew that he is a prophet, they asked him for advice. But that there is more, that he is “the way, the truth and the life”, was hidden from them!
What about me? …
What about me? Do I know enough that I could know? Have I been in the church for long enough? Have I lived with Christian faith for long enough, looked into the bible many times? What do I see? Do I realize that Jesus is the center of life, that he is life himself?
Often we hear commands and ethical arguments in the church. But we should go one layer deeper. If we do not realize and see that he is God, how should we come to live with him. We need our hearts to be open, our mind to be open, our ears to be open, our eyes to be open! How long do we want to wait to see?
I know myself that it can take many years, for some of us. You can read theology, and yet the deep meaning of what you read can be hidden from you. You can see things, but not see. You can even argue, you can appear to be very clever with your arguments, but you are not there yet.
The only way I know is to become very humble, to see what you do not see. Then, you are free to go to God in prayer and ask him: God, come to me and show me who you are! The disciples here come to Jesus and ask him. They do not understand yet, they do not know - though they have been with him for so long. But they start to ask, and later we will see Thomas bow down before Jesus with the words: “my Lord and my God!”
We have enough information, enough material, enough stories, speeches, reports, parables … to get to know him. When we start our earnest personal search, we will find! (Roland Potthast) ... weitere Texte