I have a very close friend. We met as students in a philosophy lecture and found ourselves laughing at the absurdity of our professor. From then on, we knew we had the same sense of humour. Years later, we would spend a day together in the city of Bath shopping, having coffee, lunch, talking non-stop. Husbands, families, grandchildren down the line, we still phone each other. We share big issues of our lives: the tragedies, the really hard things, the hilarious ridiculous things, and we pray for each other with passion and deep understanding. I know my friend will totally get me. She knows where I’m coming from, what makes me tick, what I deeply care about.
I think the disciples were a bit like this with Jesus. After three years of being on the road with Jesus, they knew what made Him tick. They knew how passionately angry He became when He saw greed and hypocrisy; how He just melted with compassion when He came across parents with a dying child, or a widow with her only son on the way to the funeral. And what respect Jesus had for a woman, covered in shame, who dared to touch His garment to get her healing! And there was the centurion who came to Him with awesome reverence and humility asking Jesus to heal his servant.
Jesus loved those men He was with. He knew them. He laughed and teased them for their funny habits, and secretly ached for Judas, who couldn’t resist dipping into the common purse he held in trust. Jesus knew. But he still extended compassion to the man. And the other disciples may have noticed – noticed how Jesus responded to Judas.
And at the end of the three years, Jesus said an amazing thing. He told the disciples that He was returning to His Father, to God. And then He said, “Very soon, the time is coming when you will each talk to my Father and pray to my Father just as you have talked with me”. Jesus said, “Look! You know My Father. You know how my Father ticks because you know me. You know what I love, what I hate and how I feel about you and know you. Well, if you know Me, you also know my Father. We are the same. I am making it possible for you to come to my Father, and my Father will do anything you ask if you come through Me”.
Prayer. Our Father, thank You for Jesus and that we can know You because Jesus has opened the way to You. Thank You that You delight in us and answer our prayers because You love us, and we love Your Son. Amen.
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