After Jesus told his disciples in the upper room about his Father’s House the conversation about the Father continued. When Thomas said to him, ‘Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?’
Jesus answered in John chapter 14,
“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”
Show Us the Father
Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.” Jesus answered,
Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me?
The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me.
Philip asks the question we all want to ask. Jesus speaks so much of the Father that we want to say, ‘Show us the Father and that will be enough!’ But, in fact, Jesus has already shown us the Father!
In this little exchange, we hear several interesting pieces of information:
- If you know me, you will know the Father
- If you have seen me, you have seen the Father
- I am in the Father and he is in me
- The Father living in me is doing his work
This does not mean that Jesus IS the Father; he is not. But Jesus is so identified with the Father that we can understand the Father through him. The Father is incomprehensible to us. We cannot see him because he is not visible to us, but the Father is in Jesus in a unique way and Jesus is visible to us in his words and actions.
Jesus represents the Father; if we want to know what the Father is like we need only to look to Jesus.
I and the Father are One
Jesus gave a similar answer to another group—the Jewish leaders. They urged him to say whether he was the messiah. In John chapter 10 he answered,
“The works I do in my Father’s name testify about me, but you do not believe because you are not my sheep. My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.”
Again his Jewish opponents picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus said to them, “I have shown you many good works from the Father. For which of these do you stone me?”
“We are not stoning you for any good work,” they replied, “but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God.”
“Do you accuse me of blasphemy because I said, ‘I am God’s Son’? Do not believe me unless I do the works of my Father. But if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me, and I in the Father.” Again they tried to seize him, but he escaped their grasp.
Notice what Jesus says,
- I and the Father are one
- I am God’s son
- The Father is in me, and I in the Father
Jesus and the Father are one—not one person but one in purpose. The relationship of Jesus to the Father is so close that we can understand the character and motives of the Father through the words and actions of Jesus.
The Question Answered
To answer our question ‘Show us the Father’ Jesus replies ‘Look at me!’
Next time, we will discuss a very important instance in which we see the Father through the action of Jesus.