The ultimate goal of most religions is union with the divine, so it’s not remarkable that Philip wanted Jesus to show him the Father. What’s remarkable is that Jesus had been showing Philip all along, but Philip didn’t get it.
Perhaps Philip was looking for a set of rules, doctrines and practices to follow. Perhaps he was looking for secrets from an insider.
So Jesus is as clear as he can be. Keeping commandments doesn’t merit union with God. Following rules doesn’t produce love. No, Jesus says that following the rules is the result of love.
Be united and love first. Obedience follows.
Jesus is the walking, talking embodiment of God’s realm, the spiritual universe on display for all to see. He demonstrates that the most desirable things in life are readily attainable. They are not the result of following any doctrine or set of commands, or of knowing any insider’s secret, but rather the result of claiming them at any time.
Do you want love? Then love more. Do you want joy? Then spread it yourself. Do you want peace? Then practice it. They are already yours.
And like Philip, do you want satisfaction? Then stop clamoring for things you don’t have. Value what’s right in front of you. You already have union with God.
Generous God, make us courageous to claim your gifts. Amen. — LH