Thomas said to him,
“Lord, we don’t know where you are going,
so how can we know the way?”
John 14:5 NIV
Someone once told me that Shakespeare had a secret type of character in his plays. This specific character existed for only one reason: to keep all ages and intellects engaged in his storyline. The character was a bit of a moron and always needed everything explained to him or her, which kept the audience in the loop regardless of education level or cultural barriers.
Those types of characters in literature always make me feel pretty good about myself, too, because I usually understand the storyline better than him/her. AND, on the rare occasion that I missed a critical plot point, the moron character got me caught up to speed without me having to admit I didn’t understand something.
I bring this up because I’m pretty sure the disciples are God’s gift to us to keep us in the loop on Jesus’ story. Just about every time they speak, they are asking Jesus to explain something. Quite a lot of it makes me 1) giggle and 2) feel really smart. Just this past week I came across another doozy in John chapter 14. Jesus was offering the disciples comfort about the news that he would soon be leaving them and Thomas’ response is just brilliant.
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. 2 My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. 4 You know the way to the place where I am going.” 5 Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?” (John 14:1-5 NIV)
At that point, if I were Jesus, I would probably just stare at Thomas and then – in my impatient, excessively slowed down voice – say “HELLOOOOOOOO… I just told you where I’m going. MY. FATHER’S. HOUSE. His name is GOD. I’m going to God’s house because I’m the son of God… LIKE I TOLD YOU A 1000 TIMES NOW!!!!!” (My husband is so lucky.)
But Jesus doesn’t bust out the moron-treatment. He just keeps talking to his crew, answering all their questions and offering hope and love. And, I actually ended up getting a little deeper clarity on my understanding of God, too, because of their “moron questions.”
That’s when it hit me: I’m a moron, too. How many times do I totally miss the point and have to ask for answers to the same questions over and over again? How many times do I stress out about something that I should just entrust into God’s very capable hands? How many times do I bite someone’s head off in a moment of fear or insecurity when I should trust that my identity rests in Jesus’ sacrifice?!
And who is in my life that might need to witness my moron questions so that they can stay in the loop of the “salvation storyline”? Who might need to see me authentically bumbling through learning about Christ so that they can feel more free to become a Jesus-loving-moron too, like the rest of us?
This week, if you find yourself making the same mistake… again… tell someone about it. Tell them the whole story. Tell them the part where you:
- thought you had it all figured out
- and then the part where you screwed up
- and the part where you had to face the consequences of your actions
- and the part where you realized that God still loves you and forgives you
Tell them about the part where God said to you “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” And then thank God for how – on even the worst of days – it’s better to be a moron in his family than a genius alone. Maybe God can use your stumbles and your confusion to help keep someone else in the loop.
Dear Lord, I’m sorry I laugh at your disciples and forget that I’m just as clueless. Thanks for helping me remember that I don’t have to have all the answers to possess worth. You are my answers and you are my worth. Amen.