The disciples constantly struggled with believing in Jesus and believing in God, even when they were with him, witnessed the miracles he performed, heard first hand the things we only read and have read to us. Philip wants Jesus to "show us the Father, and we will be satisfied." That is a pretty gutsy request on Philip's part. This, after Jesus has just said those famous words about way and truth and light. It is like Philip is saying, "Okay, enough with the rhetoric, the metaphors, the nice words! Show me something concrete! Something, perhaps I can understand!" And Jesus, somewhat gently, chastises him, and points Philip, and us, to the fact that who and what Jesus is, and how God operates in the world, is far different than Philip, or we, commonly think.
God has done something new, Jesus is saying, and that is part of what makes this "belief thing" such a constant challenge, for his disciples.....and for so many of us.
Copyright 2010, The Rev. John F. Dwyer. All Rights Reserved.