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Jesus said to his disciples, ‘If you know me, you will know my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.’
Philip said to him, ‘Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied.’
Jesus said to him, ‘Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and you still do not know me? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, “Show us the Father”? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own; but the Father who dwells in me does his works. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; but if you do not, then believe me because of the works themselves. Very truly, I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these, because I am going to the Father. I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If in my name you ask me for anything, I will do it.’
Jesus said: ‘… the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these.’
In a world of increasing social awareness and sensitivity to the diverse needs of others we have come to recognize the notion of the ‘glass ceiling’. We place limitations upon our expectations and, therefore, we place limitations upon that which we might achieve as we go through life. Whether our glass ceilings are rooted in notions of gender, class, intellectual capacity, or whatever, they provide a damaging barrier to the achievement of our full, God-given potential. We often hear the language of the ‘glass ceiling installer’ … ‘I could not possibly do that’, ‘That is not for the likes of you and me’, ‘There is no hope of me doing that.’ These are statements of despair and resignation, they are the putty that makes those terrible glass ceilings secure.
Throughout the gospels we hear of Jesus doing wonderful deeds in the name of his, and our, Heavenly Father. He teaches and preaches with eloquence and power, he brings healing and wholeness to those who are sick, he works wondrous signs. Then, in today’s reading he says: the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these.
Jesus’ words for us today are a challenge to the strength of our faith! How strong is our belief in him? Do we believe that we might do works greater than those we read of in the gospels?
In recent times I have heard devout followers of Christ say that they know that they cannot preach, heal and work miraculous signs. But, Jesus says the true believer will not only do these things, but do even greater works. Do we not trust Jesus’ words? Do we not believe that he is speaking the truth?
We may never heal a cancer with a touch of our hands; we may never turn a jug of water into the finest wine; we may never feed five thousand people out of our lunch boxes; we may never walk across a stormy sea, but that does not mean that we cannot bring new light and new hope into the lives of others.
Even the most ambitious people, those who aim for the top in their professional lives, place that glass ceiling on their spiritual ambitions. They fail to see how their God-given gifts and talents can make a miraculous difference to those amongst whom they live. And that spiritual glass ceiling is a symbol of lost hope, doubt and spiritual inertia. Let us pray that we might take Jesus’ words to heart, believe in the truth of his words and step out in faith and joy as we work hard to prove that Jesus is right!