“Jesus said to him, ‘Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?’” John 14:9
Have you ever tried to demonstrate or explain something and had your best effort go down in flames as being confusing and incomprehensible? I have. It can be extremely frustrating. And sometimes the frustrating part isn’t that the other person didn’t understand; I get it that other people don’t think like me and that just because I think somethings perfectly clear that doesn’t make it so. The frustrating part is that now I have to try and come up with another way to say what I wanted to say after I’ve already invested so much of my creative ability into saying it all the first time. It’s hard to switch gears and start over sometimes.
I think Jesus experienced the same kind of frustration, I’ve just tried to describe, when Philip asked him to show the Father to them.
Jesus had just spent more than three years demonstrating through the life he lived the reality of the connection he had with the Father. It must have come as a profound disappointment to realize that his disciple hadn’t recognized what was sitting, standing, and working right in front of them.
“Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip?”
In this question Jesus wasn’t suggesting that he and the Father are the same. Rather, he was questioning Philip’s perceptive ability to recognize the revelation of the Father that was present in the person of the Son.
“Philip, don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in me.”
Jesus has been, in the life he lived upon this earth, demonstrating how life as a child of God is lived. He was in the Father and the Father was in him. If we jump ahead one chapter we find Jesus using a similar turn of phrase to describe our relationship to him, “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.” No one reads John 15:5 and comes away with the understanding that you and are are the Son because we’re in the Son and the Son is in us. We understand that what Jesus is describing is a mutual submission; us to the care and direction of Christ, and Christ to shielding us from sin and directing us in righteous living. In Christ the Godhead demonstrated this reality by the Father and Christ dwelling in mutual submission within each other.
I feel that there’s a promise contained within the reality Christ described. So many times we yearn to see Jesus, and we especially yearn for our lost loved ones to get a clear view of our wonderful Jesus. Friends, in the same way that Christ’s life revealed the Father to his disciples it’s possible for our lives to reveal Jesus to our loved ones.
At this time we may lack the perfect consistency of our Savior, but that doesn’t change the fact that there are times, perhaps only minutes or hours at a time, when Jesus can be clearly seen in us.
O Jesus, come into my heart, live in life, and shine out into the world through me today.