Wednesday 01 May 2019

Bible Book:

Philip said to him, ‘Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and you still do not know me? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, “Show us the Father”? (vs. 8-9)

John 14:1-14 Wednesday 1 May 2019

Psalm: Psalm 139


In order to understand John 14:9 fully we have to understand what it means to “see the Father” in the wider New Testament context. John’s gospel is at one with other New Testament writings in seeing God in Jesus Christ. Colossians 1:15 speaks of Christ as the image of the invisible God. Hebrews 1:3 describes him as “the reflection of God’s glory and the exact imprint of God’s very being”. To see God in Jesus means more than seeing a picture of Jesus kindly cradling a lamb as an illustration of what God is like. It is completely valid to read the stories of Jesus moved with compassion for a leper, or lovingly calling Zaccheus down from his tree, and to say of them what we have “seen the Father”. But there is more to seeing God in Jesus than this.

In the previous chapter, Jesus washes his disciples’ feet (John 13:1-7). This is what God is like; not an omnipotent sovereign. Before that, in John 12:23-24, Jesus announces that his hour has comes to be ‘glorified’ – which he compares to a grain of wheat falling into the earth to die. Then chapter 14 leads on to John’s account of the suffering of Jesus in chapter 19. The suffering, dying Jesus is an image of what God is like. We see the glory of the Father in Christ crucified. All of these are involved in what it is to “see the Father” in Jesus.

When we understand this, we may be better able to understand Jesus’ statement in John 14:6 that, “No one comes to the Father except through me”. Just as there is no other image of God than Jesus, so also there is no other way to God than the way of Jesus. Jesus’ way is washing others’ feet and embracing outcasts. It is being the grain of wheat which dies in order to bear much fruit.


To Ponder:

  • What impact does Jesus have on how you see God?
  • Many people struggle with the apparent exclusiveness of John 14:6. What is your understanding of Jesus as the only way to the Father?
  • What does the mini-parable of the grain of wheat mean in practice in your life?
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