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THE SON IS ENOUGH!
Text: John 14:1-14
Preached by Vicar Roy Askins

“Lord, show us the Father and it is enough for us,” (John 14:8). Is it ever enough? You know how it works with money. When a raise comes or a bonus, you think, “Finally, this will be enough to make it.” And yet, though the new funds are there, the money always gets consumed. There’s always something more that becomes necessary to life whenever there is extra money on the table. Once you’ve ‘adjusted’ to the new income level, your thoughts turn to the next financial rung and you think, “If only we had another .... you put the number in the blank.... dollars per month, we’d be good.” We all know how this reasoning goes.
THE SON IS ENOUGH!
Text: John 14:1-14
Preached by Vicar Roy Askins

“Lord, show us the Father and it is enough for us,” (John 14:8). Is it ever enough? You know how it works with money. When a raise comes or a bonus, you think, “Finally, this will be enough to make it.” And yet, though the new funds are there, the money always gets consumed. There’s always something more that becomes necessary to life whenever there is extra money on the table. Once you’ve ‘adjusted’ to the new income level, your thoughts turn to the next financial rung and you think, “If only we had another .... you put the number in the blank.... dollars per month, we’d be good.” We all know how this reasoning goes.

Philip thinks that a brief vision of God the Father will be enough. He’s not concerned with money. He wants proof. “Lord, show us the Father and it is enough for us,” (John 14:8). In other words, “Jesus, show us the Father, and then we’ll believe. If you can show us the Father, then there are no doubts. We’ll believe whatever you say.” Yet as Jesus points out, the very question he asks belies his ignorance, or unbelief.

Jesus had just proclaimed to Philip, “I am the way the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father except through me,” (John 14:6) and “From now on you know [the Father] and have seen Him,” (John 14:7) How can Philip now say, “Show us the Father”?

The question seems innocent enough. It was just a simple request. Philip just wanted a glimpse. It’s not as though he wanted to see the visions of glory like Ezekiel. Philip didn’t ask to see the firmament held up by the four faced seraphim and the wheels within wheels covered in eyes (Ezekiel 1:4-28). All he wanted was small glimpse to prove that Jesus really was the Son of God, to prove that Jesus was really the way the truth and the life, to prove that Jesus was telling the truth.

You certainly don’t ask such questions, do you? You don’t ask to see just a little miracle, like the healing of a parent or child to prove God’s really listening. You students certainly don’t ask, “Dear heavenly Father, please help me through this semester and then I’ll know that you really care.” You surely don’t ask, “I come to church every Sunday, just give me a little proof that I’m not wasting my time!” Just a little glimpse, and it will be enough for us. You don’t ask those questions, do you?

In sense, it’s understandable to ask this sort of question in a culture where spirituality is often vague. We wonder when so many seem to find God inside themselves whether or not we are looking in the right place. In a culture where universalism is the touchstone and the religious leaders, Christians even, are claiming that we all believe different manifestations of the same God. If we could have just a little glimpse, then we’d know we had made the right choice, choosing to be Christians that is. We just need a glimpse of the glory of the Father, that’s all it’ll take. Then we can stop worrying.

But when such questions are asked, it is tantamount to denying who God is. “How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?” Christ demands of Philip. “Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me?” (John 14:10). Philip had a hard time believing that Jesus is the Son of God. How can God become man? How can the creator become part of His creation? How can Jesus body and blood be distributed to Christians all over the world at the same time? All of these questions would be cleared up if we could just see the Father for a brief moment. We would then believe, wouldn’t we?

You know this is not true. If we saw God the Father for a brief moment, our sinful hearts would suddenly begin to question whether or not we had really seen the Him. If He really did give us a raise or bonus to ‘prove’ He is God, it wouldn’t be long until we were bargaining with Him again for another one. If He did spare a sick mother or child from death to prove we’ve made the right choice, it wouldn’t be long until we’d be bargaining for another proof, just to make sure, you know.

Each time you try to make a bargain like this, you are trying to come to the Father apart from Christ. Yet, like Alice in the looking glass, the more you strive to approach the Father apart from Christ, the further you will find yourself from Him. The more you try to find the raw power of God apart from His work in Christ, the more terrified and separated from God you will become. “God Himself is a terrible God if we want to deal with Him apart from Christ -- a God in whom we find no comfort but only wrath and displeasure,” Dr. Martin Luther wrote.

“Show us the Father and it will be enough for us.” Philip’s words take on a darker hue. Seeing the Father is a frightening proposition. But more than frightening it’s quite delusional. You and I sometimes think we can actually see God. We think we are capable of seeing into the hidden knowledge of God. Yet in truth, we cannot. For when we try to look into the hidden things of God we can see only the law and the law does not save.

Yet, you and I like the law because it’s something we can do. It makes us feel better about ourselves and how far we have progressed. Yet, this is not where the Father, in His love has chosen to be seen. And so Jesus’ patient words to Philip, “Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father... Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me.” (John 14:9,11) For you brothers and sisters of Christ, if you want to see the Father, look to Christ. When you want to be where the Father is, go to where Christ is.

It is easy enough to say, “Look at Christ” or “come to Christ,” and it’s quite another thing to actually do it. In fact, with man it is impossible. No, looking to Christ involves nothing you do. Looking to Christ involves the work of God in you here in His service. Coming to the Father through Christ occurs when Christ draws you to kneel here at this communion rail and to receive His flesh.

This is how the Father has chosen to be revealed and to work. He has chosen to hide Himself in His Son. If all it took were looking inside ourselves for our inner life force in order to see God, then our assurance would lie within ourselves. Yet God has not chosen to reveal Himself as our inner guide, or inner teacher. He is not a life force which floats about in space without being connected anything. He doesn’t fit into any of the vague categories of modern spirituality.

He has also chosen you. That’s right. You haven’t made the right choice. The choice never belonged to you. He claimed you. He called you by name. He marked you as one redeemed by Christ the crucified when you received the sign of the cross upon your forehead and upon your heart and then were washed and made clean. Being a Christian isn’t about making sure you’ve chosen the right God among all the available options. Being a Christian means being chosen by the Father who dwells within His Son.

So what is enough for you? Is another paycheck enough? A raise? Perhaps a good grade on the next test. What would be enough for you? Healing from your disease?

Let us not seek to see the Father just to make sure. Rather let us realize that the Son is enough. If you have seen Jesus, you have seen the Father. Have you seen Jesus? Yes. You have tasted that the Lord is good. Springs of living water have flown over you so that it is no longer you who live but Christ who lives within you. He lives within you so that your hearts might no longer be troubled. He lives in you so that you believe in the Father and trust in the assurance of Christ that He has gone to the Father to prepare a place for you. You no longer need to look all over the place for evidence of the Father. You don’t have to ask God, please just do this and it’ll be enough. You have seen the Son of God, and He is enough. Amen.