This post is part of an ongoing series in the study of John we are doing during January. Subscribe to the blog for daily updates in the Bible Study posts. Subscribe to the podcasts to hear our discussion of the book of John throughout this month. Join us in your daily devotions as we travel through this fascinating account of the life of Christ.
“If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and from now on you know Him and have seen Him.” Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us.” 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’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works. Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me, or else believe Me for the sake of the works themselves. John 14:7-11 (NKJV)
One of my favorite takeaways from a study of the Gospel of John is this insight – Jesus reveals the Father. There are some Christian sects that actually suggest Jesus never referred to Himself as God. I have never spent too much time debating this issue with people who believe it, but I wonder what Bible they are reading. This passage alone contains multiple examples of Jesus expressing His oneness with God.
- If you had known Me you would have known My Father.
- He who has seen Me has seen the Father.
- Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me…
The Son and the Father
When my children were very young, and I was a young father (I was 21 when our oldest son was born), I had a revelation regarding these verses. The nature of a son is always to reveal his father. It is not deliberate. It is the way life works. For better or worse, what goes on behind closed doors is demonstrated in public by the children. People would know my true nature by observing the character and attitude of my children as they grew and developed.
There is a spiritual principle in this truth. The Son reveals the Father. That is the whole nature of who and what Christ is. He is the invisible God made known. Christ reveals the Father.
No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known. John 1:18 (NIV)
The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. Colossians 1:15 (NIV)
God is Spirit and not visible to the human eye – except through Christ. When we see Christ, we see the Father. So when we study the character and nature of Jesus in the Gospels (like we are doing in this study of the Gospel of John), we are discovering the character and nature of God. Jesus, as He is revealed to our physical eyes and mind, unveils God to our spirit.
But Christ is not only the historical Jesus. Jesus was the purest revelation of God to humanity (Hebrews 1:1-2) has ever seen, but there are others. Remember, there is a reason He is referred to as the Word in the opening of John. The Word of God clearly reveals the character and nature of God; ergo, the Bible is also Christ because Christ always reveals the Father. Wherever we see God revealed, we find Christ.
For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. Colossians 1:16-17 (NIV)
Solomon looked at an ant (Proverbs 6) and discovered the character and nature of God – there was Christ. Jesus directed us to look at the wise and foolish builder, the fig tree, the lilies of the field, and a host of other things in the natural world to discover the ways and mind of God. If Christ reveals the Father, then we are finding Christ when we see God in these things. And why shouldn’t we find Him there if all things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, were created through Him?
When we see this principle of Christ revealing the Father, we discover His overarching authority in heaven and earth. We also see the overarching desire of God to be seen and known by us.