“In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. . . Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us.” John 14:2,8
These two verses are not normally connected. They should be given their context and close proximity to each other in the text. Jesus had just explained the existence of eternity and how even in His teachings there had been somewhat of a silence on the subject. There was a discussion about “the way” that a person could be convinced that eternity was real, to which Thomas replied, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way?” It’s a very modern view. But Philip saw it differently. He said something so insightful. “Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us.” In other words, “I may not be able to see or understand everything that you’re talking about right now, but if you’ll just show us the Father, that’s good enough.”
Here’s what I think Philip meant. I understand this verse as saying that for one to be convinced in the existence of a future state there must be a clear conviction in the existence of God the Father. I must admit that I agree with this statement. For me, there can be no stronger evidence that I am going to spend somewhere forever and ever than the distinct realization that I am in the presence of God.
Tennyson put it so clearly when he wrote, “Thou art just; Thou wouldst not leave me in the dust.” So bold. He says that he finds his eternal hope not just in the grace of God but in the justice of God. If an eagle were to be made immortal that would be grace because his life is limited to and complete here. Nothing else is needed. But to make man immortal isn’t just grace, there is an element of justice to it. His life is not complete in this life. It is like an incomplete, uninhabited home. In that home there are certain things that will be, can be used – furniture even, but that furniture can be and will only be used in upper rooms. Well, what if those upper rooms never come? Will the furniture ever be used? Will the home ever be completed? Will man be the one fragment in all of creation? The bud that never blooms? The dawn that never comes? The bird that never soars? The river that never rolls to the sea? It would be incompatible with what I know of the nature of the Father.
When you deal with doubts about the future, look intently into His face, for a sure realization of His presence will certanly dispel all doubt. More than the opening of those pearly gates. More than the unsealing of those crystal fountains. More than the hearing of heavenly voices. More than seeing the panorama of the Promised Land, look to Him and realize that He never leaves anything undone, incomplete or unfinished.
That gives me great hope. My most convincing evidence of eternity isn’t my perfection, but my imperfection. It is the realization that when I am weak, I am strong. I have aspirations beyond my ability. I have desires beyond my strength. I have visions beyond my sight. I have a desire to be good beyond my ability to do so. I have a purpose and a passion beyond the bounds of my human life. I have debts to pay that will take eternity to execute. How could all of this be? Why would He have put me in clothes so large if I’m not to grow?
“Father, I don’t need philosophy or logic to prove the existence of eternity. I only need You.”