How well do we think we know Jesus?
The disciples would probably have said that they knew Jesus very well.
They had, after all, spent quite a lot of time in His company, day and night, travelling, eating, sleeping side by side; talking for hours on end, working together.
The disciples must have been pretty confident that they had seen the real Jesus.
I’m sure that they were aware that they didn’t always understand everything he said.
They knew He had His enigmatic side; they didn’t entirely understand His relationship with God or His vision for their joint mission.
And now, in this time before the crucifixion, the disciples get quieter and quieter, and they realise that there is a grim certainty about Jesus that they do not understand, and He keeps talking about a time when He will no longer be there.
They begin to see that, important as they are to Jesus, and genuine as their friendship is, there has always been another Jesus; there has always been someone who knew Jesus much better than they did, and whom Jesus knew with an intimacy and total understanding.
The God whom He called Father.
This was a troubling time for the disciples; but Jesus did everything He could to reassure them.
His relationship with the Father would help them to know Him better.
It would bring Him closer to His friends.
All those things about Jesus that the disciples had found hard or incomprehensible were now to become clearer, because of the light cast by the relationship between Him and the Father.
They had often found it difficult to follow Jesus’ instructions because they just didn’t understand them or see where they were going.
But now, because in Jesus, they could see the Father, the guiding principle behind all of Jesus’ actions, they began to understand;
They weren’t fully there yet because they were still to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit, but the disciples began to recognise who Jesus really was in His relationship with the Father.
Nowadays it’s hard for us to imagine ourselves in the disciple’s position.
We came to Jesus already knowing what is said about Him and who He is in relation to God the Father and God the Holy Spirit.
But the disciples had to make a huge imaginative leap as they realised the that the relationship with the Father was the defining relationship with Jesus.
Jesus tells His disciples, tells us, that following Him and keeping His commandments will bring us into His relationship with the Father.
And the relationship with Jesus is a relationship of promises; He promises to look after us, no matter what.
We can only see Jesus when we see Him with His Father.
But the minute we see that, the moment we understand that, with the help of the Holy Spirit, we are part of it.
The love between Father, Son and Holy Spirit has room for us too.