Today, the Church celebrates the apostles Philip and James, and we focus on the Gospel with a devotional reading from The Christian Year of Grace.
Though the world would have us believe that there are many ways to attain eternal life, Jesus teaches us that there is only one way: faith in Him. May God use His Word and Sacraments, delivered through faithful pastors, to strengthen us unto eternal life.
What response did these words of Christ [in John 14:6–7] receive?
Philip says, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” In other words, he said, “You tell us much concerning that Father that we know Him, yet I have never in my life seen Him with my eyes, and desire nothing more than to see Him.”
How did Christ respond?
He said to Philip, “I have been with you so long, and do you not know Me? Philip, whoever sees Me also sees the Father. How then do you say, ‘Show us the Father.’” In other words, He is saying, “Alas, Philip, have I spent all this energy on you for nothing? Do you not hear: whoever sees Me also sees the Father? If you want to know how you stand with God the Father, how He sees you, and how you can come to Him, seek no further, but look at Me alone, and listen to what I say, and lock it in your heart, and you will find the Father, and you have truly seen and known Him as He is supposed to be seen and known.” [He went on,] “Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The words which I speak to you I do not speak from Myself, but the Father who dwells in Me, He does the works. Believe Me that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me. If not, then believe Me because of the works.” This is the consolation of Christians, for as Christ’s words and works are the Father’s, so the apostles’ and all believers’ words and works are our Lord Christ’s. So when you hear the Gospel preached, see people baptized and absolved and given the most worthy Sacrament, you may freely say, “Today I have seen God’s work, have seen Christ Himself baptizing, absolving, giving the Sacrament, and preaching. The tongue and voice may well be men’s, but the office and words are God’s.” However, He requires faith along with it, for He says further, “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in Me will also do the works that I do, and will do greater than these, for I am going to the Father.”
Devotional reading is from The Christian Year of Grace, page 406 © 2014 Concordia Publishing House. All rights reserved.
Psalm 119:25, 30–31
My soul clings to the dust;
give me life according to Your word! . . .
I have chosen the way of faithfulness;
I set Your rules before me.
I cling to Your testimonies, O LORD;
let me not be put to shame!
Scripture quotations from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.