December 31, Monday

Jesus and John at the Last Supper, by Valentin de Boulogne

Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known me?

John 14:9.

The Lord Jesus addressed this question to His disciple Philip, who through his request, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us” made it clear how little he had understood who the Lord really was during the three years spent in His company. And that was not only the case with Philip.

The Lord, from whom a thousand years are as one day, designated those few years as “so long”. How much must He, the Man from heaven, have sensed being a stranger here on earth! How He longed to find some understanding among His beloved disciples! From them, too, it had been a long time, giving them sufficient opportunity to get to know Him. Even then He took advantage of those precious final moments before the cross to make them acquainted with the Father which they were about to enter. Could He not expect them to “know” Him?

“Have I been with you so long?” Doesn’t this word also apply to us today, the last day of the year? So many of us have had the Word of God brought before us daily, not just this year, but regularly for years. “So long” to be able to learn and enter into His thoughts, to “grow up in all things to him who is the head, Christ” (Ephesians 4:15). Let us glance back over the past months and the past year! What have we really taken in of what we have read and heard? Doesn’t the result make us ashamed? On this issue, let us “redeem the time, for the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:16).

Image: By Valentin de Boulogne – St. John in Art, Public Domain,