John 14: 1- 4 `You know the way…`
Daphne Stephenson – I am the Way the Truth and the Life
In this soothing, lush picture, it appears that heaven and earth, all creation, combine in an ethereal tropical paradise. Unusual flora and fauna, in soft, pastel greens and blues, surround an open faced, wide eyed, cruciform Christ who, with outstretched arms and upturned hands, shows us, confronts and invites us to reflect and wonder at what is before us: something, someone, of profound simplicity, wondrous beauty, and uncompromising presence.
The canvas teems with life – with serenity, hope and promise. It is an idyllic scene.
Too good to be true? What if it is true?
Christ holds the beauty together yet does not overpower it.
Christ gives this world its proper context and perspective.
The Holy Spirit hovers above him and pours out light and power upon him.
Vivid. Dynamic. Energetic.
Jesus as the way, the truth, the life - could this be paradise restored?
Is this a picture of what is not yet? Or is it a picture of what is now?
John 14: 9
`Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father.`
Saviors Face Head of Christ Painted originally by: Alexei Jawlensky
Here are two bold, striking images of Jesus. They are like icons: if we sit prayerfully with them, are open to them, through them we may come to see and understand new truths about Jesus, about ourselves.
We all have images in our head of what Jesus looked like.
We have all been influenced by films and film stars, by story books and children`s bibles, by our own culture and upbringing.
These images are not what we consider to be usual or conventional depictions of Jesus. Angular, sharp lines and heavy, dark definition are at odds with the soft, pastoral image of Jesus most of us harbour from youth.
What do you make of these two modern icons of Jesus?
What simple words would you use to express your response to them?
What do you see? Whom do you see?
We say `Like father, like son…` and mean that there is something to recognise of the father in the son, a likeness. What do we learn about God the Father by looking at Jesus? And what might it mean when Jesus says that `If you have seen me you have seen the Father`?