Much ink has been spilled over the centuries attempting to prove the existence of God. Philosophers have published thousands of pages debating the existence of God. Hollywood has developed miles of film featuring conversion stories that have come as a result of debate. Truth is, however, you can’t prove God.
Today’s Gospel lesson (you can read the entire passage below) begins “Jesus revealed Himself to his disciples after he was raised from the dead.” This was AFTER they had already spent three long years, journeying through the countryside, sleeping outdoors in fields and rocky gardens. This was AFTER they had confessed His and watched Him be crucified. STILL Jesus had to reveal Himself to His disciples.
God is unknowable. It is impossible to debate belief in Him into someone whom God has not revealed Himself. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t spend time introducing God to our friends and coworkers. Our responsibility is to introduce others to God through our changed life. The Holy Scriptures help, but are in themselves insufficient to convert hearts unless God reveals Himself.
At that time, Jesus revealed himself to his disciples after he was raised from the dead, and he said to Simon Peter, "Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?" He said to him "Yes, Lord; you know that I love you." He said to him, "Feed my lambs." A second time he said to him, "Simon, son of John, do you love me?" He said to him, "Yes, Lord; you know that I love you." He said to him, "Tend my sheep." He said to him the third time, "Simon, son of John, do you love me?" Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, "Do you love me?" And he said to him, "Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you." Jesus said to him, "Feed my sheep. Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were young, you girded yourself and walked where you would; but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will gird you and carry you where you do not wish to go." (This he said to show by what death he was to glorify God.) And after this he said to him, "Follow me." Peter turned and saw following them the disciple whom Jesus loved, who had lain close to his breast at the supper and had said, "Lord, who is it that is going to betray you?" When Peter saw him, he said to Jesus, "Lord, what about this man?" Jesus said to him, "If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? Follow me!" So, the word went out among the brethren that this disciple would not die; but Jesus did not say to him that he would not die, but, "If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you?" This is the disciple who is bearing witness to these things, and who has written these things; and we know that his testimony is true. But there are also many other things which Jesus did; were every one of them to be written, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written. Amen. (John 21.14-25)