Once again, one of the disciples almost has it figured out. In the gospel lectionary passage this week Philip asks Jesus to show them God. They’ve figured out that Jesus is special, has a remarkable relationship with God, and has an incredible ability to make things happen. So Philip asks a pretty astute question. For me, this is up there with the disciples finally realizing they should ask Jesus to teach them to pray. The chance to see God… wow! Jesus responds by asking him where he’s been this whole time. He explains his relationship of mutuality with God. That he and God are one. When Jesus teaches or carries out an action of some kind, it is an opportunity for Philip to see God. Then Jesus says something that has often puzzled me. He states that those who believe in him will do even greater things than he has done. It seems like a head scratcher… do something greater than God did? How could that be possible?
This week we celebrate Pentecost, the gift of the Holy Spirit to the Church and the world. The presence of God indwelling us. That sounds awfully familiar. It is very similar to what Jesus said about his relationship with the Father. But what about doing these things and greater? Some of my favorite stories about Jesus are the massive feedings, and then his directives to his followers to feed the hungry. Jesus fed thousands. We don’t feed thousands at one sitting, at least at Berryton UMC we don’t. But we are an integral part of I-CARE, the local food pantry. We are a part of feeding thousands of households every year. It sometimes seems a small thing to send a few bucks or a couple cans of food to I-CARE, but when viewed from the broader perspective we see God’s power at work on a remarkable scale.