Musings From the Gospel of John – Number 34

The Scriptures covered in this post are from John 14:7-15

I’m having a hard time moving on from John 14:6 where John records: “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father except through Me.” If this isn’t one of the most profound statements that Jesus ever made, I don’t really know what is.

The seven “I am’s” that John records in this Gospel that Jesus states about Himself are like major bold type headlines that you would see in a newspaper that literally, individually and collectively, declare beyond all doubt, who Jesus is and why He was sent. I am going to include a post link directly below here and if you have the time, please take a good hard look at what all of the “I am’s” in the Gospel of John entail: https://indycrowe.com/2019/02/13/the-7-i-am-statements-of-jesus-ot-background-nt-meaning/

John 14:7-15 NASB reads as follows:”If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; from now on you know Him, and have seen Him.” Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you for so long a time, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip? The one who has seen Me has seen the Father; how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own, but the Father, as He remains in Me, does His works. Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me; otherwise believe because of the works themselves. Truly, truly I say to you, the one who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I am going to the Father. And whatever you ask in My name, this I will do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it. “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.”

John 14:7-8 NASB “If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; from now on you know Him, and have seen Him.” Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.”

I think what Jesus is saying here is that if they had of recognized who Jesus was, right from the onset of His ministry, and understood the words that He spoke, that recognition would have only been possible, if they had already come to know God the Father. The terminology, “like father, like son” comes to mind. You recall that in the Old Testament, Moses had asked God, to be able to see Him in His glory. And God granted this partially, but did not allow Moses to see His face, citing that to do so would necessitate that Moses would die. This is recorded in Exodus 33:17-33.

There are a whole bunch of factors involved here, such as that God is a Spirit and Holy and Moses and all of mankind is flesh and not Holy (sinful since the fall of Adam and Eve), but suffice to say that while we live in these bodies, God our Father does not permit us to see Him face to face. That in itself is just one of the reasons why Jesus, as the Son of God, was sent by the Father, in the flesh. So that we could learn and know more of God the Father, through Jesus the Son.

Notice that Jesus is addressing His disciples because Philip responds and notice that Jesus lets them know that because they know and have seen Him (Jesus), in essence, they have seen and can come to know God the Father.

Philip doesn’t get the connection that Jesus is making and asks Jesus to show them the Father and actually states that if Jesus does this, it will satisfy there burden of proof or validation requirements, that Jesus is the Son of God and the expected Messiah.

One would think that having heard all that Jesus had said, up until this point in time and having seen the healings and other miracles that Jesus performed, there would not have been a necessity for Jesus to provide the additional proof of showing them the Father, but evidently such is not the case for Philip, and possibly some of the other disciples because Philip does say “us”.

I could write a small book on how Jesus relates to us where His actual words and actions come from (God the Father), but suffice to say that the Father’s love is seen in the incarnation where the Son is sent to reveal the Father to us. Jesus, God incarnate among us in human flesh, is the revelation of God that uniquely reveals what God is like. Jesus said that “whoever sees me sees him who sent me” (John 12:45). Jesus is the revelation of God to us as one of us (John 1:14; 6:40). He is “the image of the invisible God” (Colossians 1:15). We cannot know the Father unless we know the Son (John 14:6–11) Jesus is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature” (Hebrews 1:3).

John 14:9-11 NASB reads: “Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you for so long a time, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip? The one who has seen Me has seen the Father; how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own, but the Father, as He remains in Me, does His works. Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me; otherwise believe because of the works themselves.”

What Jesus says to Philip is really telling. One can sense the disappointment within Jesus’ response and having to resort to the necessity of calling attention to the works that God the Father has done through Jesus, to believe, trust and comprehend. This highlights the fact that we can “know” about Jesus but not really “know” Jesus, and there is a difference.

It’s also interesting to note that at the judgement, as indicated in Matthew 7:21-23 NASB the following is indicated about “knowing”: “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; leave Me, you who practice lawlessness.’ (Emphasis is mine).

John 14:12-15 NASB reads as follows: “Truly, truly I say to you, the one who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I am going to the Father. And whatever you ask in My name, this I will do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it. “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.”

Because Jesus returned to His and our Father, the Holy Spirit was sent to indwell all who now believe in Jesus and as such, the extent of what the Apostles and many others have done since then, exceeds the geographically restricted ministry that Jesus operated in when He was here with us. Two points to be aware of, when we ask God to do something in the name of Jesus, it should result in our Father being glorified in the Son. Remember that Jesus always fulfilled the will of the Father. In other words, the Father’s will is always sovereign. And secondly, in closing, be mindful that Jesus deliberately linked us asking Him to do things in His name, with us loving Him and following His commandments. When Jesus speaks, there are no coincidences, the words are linked for a reason.

More to follow:

Worthy is the Lamb! Blessings!









5 comments

  1. Food for thought and discussion Bruce: Most of us cannot think in terms of “Truth”, for instance, being a person and not an ideology or fact outside of that person. We also cannot really know “truth” without a relationship to that person. We somehow pridefully believe that truth, or elements of it, can be contained cerebrally and put into words when really by the time truths reaches the word stage they are quite diluted to poor reflections and shadows of the “Truth”
    Knowing Jesus is the password to knowing “Truth” and knowing the “Truth” that sets us free. This is more than most small groups and campfire discussions (possibly theology classes) can handle in a short setting. However…what do I know, I’m just a fisherman…

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    • Hi Gary, I agree and I think that is where the knowing about and knowing Jesus aspect comes into play, at least partially. I don’t know if you have been watching The Chosen series but I find the interaction with the disciples interesting because, although they have taken some liberties, it still presents that personal aspect that we don’t see that often, in the Gospels, which deals with the common questions and uncertainties about the Messiah, that some of the disciples had, during the time of Jesus’ ministry. The fact that John records that Philip used the word “us”, caught my attention.

      When I was putting this one together I did have to leave a lot out, that I wanted to include, because so many words that Jesus actually said, merge into this part of the Scriptures. It’s almost like a paint by number picture where slowly the big picture takes form as some of the truths are painted in. The more I get to know Him and I acknowledge that I have only scratched the surface, the more He melts my heart. And I agree, that is all that any of us are, fisherman or beggars telling other beggars about the bread of life. What is so amazing is what can be conveyed in His words that were written down. That little word “us”. It matters.

      I’m thinking that if you and I were sitting around a campfire, we probably wouldn’t be getting all the beauty rest we need! Blessings brother.

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    • Hi Jim, I kind of have that already with the web page that has all of the links available and it is also on the Christian Resources page, but I will keep that prayerfully in mind when I finish the Gospel of John, God granting me the grace to complete it. Maybe do it chapter by chapter instead of the progressive Scripture verses from beginning to end. Thanks for the idea, appreciated. God’s blessings to you and yours and your ministry as always. Love in Christ – Bruce

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