From Pastor Lamb
As I prepared for a recent sermon, I was reading the Gospel according to John and realized that Jesus’ disciples, followers, and even his opponents asked Jesus a lot of questions.
As Jesus called his disciples, Nathaniel asked him, “Where did you get to know me?” When Jesus went to the temple and drove out money changers and animal sellers, the people asked him, “What sign can you show us we’re doing this?” When a leader of the Jews, Nicodemus, came to Jesus one night and heard Jesus talk about being born from above, he asked Jesus, “How can anyone be born after having grown old?” On the night Jesus would be betrayed and arrested, his disciple Peter asked him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?” Later that same night, Thomas asked him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going; how can we know the way?”
From these few examples it seems clear that those around Jesus, or those who came in contact with him, were eager to figure him out. Jesus clearly did not fit into any categories that they used to figure people out. Are we any different today? Does Jesus fit into our understanding of what we can expect from people? Does it make sense that Jesus could be God, also? Are we any closer to figuring out who Jesus was and is than the people who followed him, learned from him, saw him killed, and walked with him after he was raised from the dead? It seems natural for us to have a lot of questions about Jesus and about God. But where do we go with our questions?
While Jesus lived here, he was directly available to answer questions. But now we experience Jesus indirectly through the activity of the Holy Spirit within other people. That means Jesus is primarily available through others. Is there a person you talk to about God? Is there a place you go where people are talking about God? Does God interest you to the point that you have questions? Is it important to you that there be a people among whom God is discussed, sought after, and experienced? If somebody close to you had a question about God would you feel comfortable answering it? Would you want to include others in answering the question? Do you know people or a person to whom you could ask your questions?
We are not the first to ask these questions. Ever since Jesus came among us these questions have been asked. And we read in the Gospel of John that Jesus was aware that we would have questions. He knew that we would continue searching to know him and to know God through him. So he set for us a way that we could remain connected with him, a way that allowed us not only to ask questions but to find some answers, too. That place is his body, the church.
Will you find all the answers to your questions at church? No. But you will find people like you who are eager to follow Christ through this world. You will find others asking questions like Where is Jesus going? How does Jesus get to know us so well? What does it mean that Jesus has given us new life? How does following Jesus make us different? What can we do to work with Jesus as he tries to love the world?
One thing about Jesus is clear: that no matter how many questions we have or how few answers we have, we will always have Jesus. And that is the truth.
I pray that we will find that truth together. See you in church.