God Above and Within: Trinity Sunday

John 14:8-21  (ESV)

Philip said to him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? 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 authority, but the Father who dwells in me does his works. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else believe on account of the works themselves.

“Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father. Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.

“If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.

“I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Yet a little while and the world will see me no more, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.”

 

Reflection

Sharing your experience: How has the doctrine of the Trinity impacted your life? How do you try to relate to the different persons of God in prayer and thought?

 

John 14:8-21: It's the night Jesus was handed over to death; Jesus and the disciples recline around a table in Jerusalem while pilgrims around the city prepare for the Passover celebration (13:1). Clearly agitated, Jesus talks about betrayals and going to his Father in a somewhat stilted way. In 14:8, Phillip asks him to "Show us the Father," which sends Jesus into a string of thoughts surrounding his relationship with the Father and the Spirit, and the inner being of God. 

Comprehension: Read Jesus's words and try to describe the relationships. Who is the Father in relationship with the Son? What is their relationship with the Spirit? Where does the believer fit into this picture?

Purpose: Jesus seems to think this question is worth answering, and even urgent to say before he dies. Why does Jesus want his disciples to understand these? Why did John write it for future Christians? 

Implications: What are the practical implications of the Trinitarian relationship of God for believers? How does knowing these things help us relate to God, and to other people?

 

Loving God: When you love someone, you want to do things for them. Jesus says those who love him will want to do his will (vv. 12, 21), and (somewhat more amazingly) he will want to do theirs (vv. 13, 14)! Read James 1:22-25, 1 John 2:3-6. These passages indicate that you can measure love by your desire to be with and please someone. Based on this criteria, how much would you say you love God? How can you grow in love for God? What is holding you back from loving him more?