“Philip saith unto him, ‘Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us.’ Jesus saith unto him, ‘Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?’” John 14:8-9 (KJV)
Happy New Year, blog family! Before I get into the belly of today's blog, let's start with a definition of terms that is derived from the title and then we will transition to the thoughts that come from the text.
A Definition of Terms:
1. Heart: The seat of the mind and the will as well as a wide range of emotions. In essence the heart involves:
2. Hostage: one that is manipulated by the demands of another one that is skillfully influenced or controlled especially in a unfair manner
3. Hesitation: To pause in uncertainty; to be reluctant and unwilling
Now that we have these definitions established, let’s review the setting of John chapter 14. In this chapter of Scripture, we have the witness of worry-filled, weary and wayward disciples. Our Lord’s disciples were dumbfounded and begin to dump themselves into a ditch of discouragement due to the fact that our Lord Jesus had said, “My time of departure has come and I am going to be put to death.”
“Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man shall be betrayed unto the chief priests and unto the scribes, and they shall condemn him to death, and shall deliver him to the Gentiles to mock, and to scourge, and to crucify him: and the third day he shall rise again.” Matthew 20:18-19 (KJV)
Caught in disappointment, down in the dumps, and dropped in despair the Prince of Peace proceeds to comfort and encourage hearts of hope for hearts filled with hurt.
“Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.” John 14:1 (KJV)
Even to this present day Jesus continues to say: “Let not your heard be troubled.” When our hearts are filled with trust, not trouble, we are able to take God at His Word. Departure and death should not arrest or capture our hearts with anxiety, anger, apathy, bitterness, confusion or despair. A troubled heart establishes the conditions of a heart held hostage by hesitation. Conversely a trustful heat solidifies a heart in all circumstances whether desirable or difficult.
From our text we see the consequences of hearts caught in circumstances that they could not comprehend. As a result, it caused them to be hesitant in their belief so that they wanted proof from the Lord with respect to God and who He is. I would like you to consider the following thoughts:
A heart of hesitation is:
- Held hostage by a worldly wish,
- Held hostage by a heart of idolatry, and
- Held hostage by unbelief.
First, Philip and the disciples’ hearts were held hostage because, just like the world, they wanted a desire (proof) that would satisfy their selfish wish. Second, a self-centered heart is preoccupied with its passions as opposed to the purposes of God. This is idolatry. Thirdly, although the evidence of God has been with them for a substantial amount of time (three years) they still did not believe.
Again, like the world, Philip expressed a universal desire of mankind. However, to see God in a fleshly form is a desire that leads to idolatry. Philip was probably longing for a theophany like we find in Isaiah 6:1 or some visible display of God’s glory. Jesus’ statement, “Anyone who has seen Me has seen the Father,” is one of the most mind-blowing declarations that He ever made. The Father is in Jesus and Jesus perfectly reveals Him. Therefore no theophany was necessary, for by seeing Jesus they were seeing the Father!
So, how to heal a heart held hostage by hesitation? Trust the evidence and truth that Jesus has graciously set in front of you.
For the Glory of God,