Current Message‎ > ‎

Sunday, April 7, 2019

posted Apr 7, 2019, 3:10 PM by Site Administrator

ANYONE WHO HAS SEEN ME HAS SEEN THE FATHER

 

John 14:7-14

Key Verse 14:9

 

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’?

 

First, From now on, you do know him and have seen him (7). In the previous passage, we heard the most bold and solemn proclamation of Jesus when he said, I am the way and the truth and the life. Jesus is the cause, reason, and purpose of all things that are there in the universe, both in the visible realm and the invisible realm. He is all to all. Right after making such a solemn proclamation, Jesus said to his disciples, If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him. Let’s read verse 7 together:

 

7If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.

 

Here, the Father refers to Jehovah Elohim, the God of Israel. He is the Sovereign Ruler. He created the universe and everything in it. He is the One who made the Garden of Eden and gave it to Adam as his special gift. He is the One who called one old man, named Abram and shepherded over him until he became a blessing. He is the One who said to Moses, I AM WHO I AM. He is the One who came down on Mt. Sinai in thick clouds with billows of smoke and an ever-louder trumpet sound right before the eyes of the Israel people. When the Israel people saw this glory of God, they were terrified. They were so afraid that the mountain would melt and the earth would collapse any moment because of the awesome glory of God. To the Israelites the glory of the LORD looked like a consuming fire on top of the mountain. (Exo. 24:7) So they cried out to Moses, saying, Speak to us yourself and we will listen. But do not have God speak to us or we will die. Now Jesus said to his disciples, If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. Are you children of God? If so, shouldn’t you know your Father, Jehovah Elohim? Yes, you should. Then, how can you know Him? The way to know this awesome God, Jehovah Elohim, is to really know Jesus, and if you know Jesus, you do know Jehovah Elohim, and if you have seen Jesus, you have seen Jehovah Elohim. 

 

How can you know Jesus really? This knowing Jesus really is different from having some knowledge or information about him. Do you know Donald Trump? We know him because we have seen him on the TV, or heard about him – we know that he is the President of the USA; we know what he said and did. But do we really know him? No. We don’t know him because we don’t have personal relationship with him. Many people think that they know Jesus because they read the Bible or heard many sermons just in the same way they know Donald Trump. They think that they know Jesus because they memorize what he says in the Bible, or because they write about him. But that’s not what Jesus is talking about when he says, If you really knew me,…

 

In high school, you had many classmates, but do you know them really? Mostly not! Even between husband and wife, often they feel that they don’t know each other. So, how can we know anyone really? By having life together, and by working together for a certain task wholeheartedly. As you pursue a certain task with that person wholeheartedly, both of you go through many ups and downs, sharing great victories and painful failures together, laughing and weeping together, and through all these things, you come to know that person really. That’s how you can know a person really. That’s how we can know Jesus really – by working together with him for something very important, something real, and thereby, going through all challenges and difficulties together, sharing all victories and failures together, laughing and weeping together – through all these struggles and experiences, you come to know him really – who he is, what kind of person he is, what he likes, what he dislikes, his hopes and desires, his plans and purposes. When you know him really this way, you know the Father as well. 

 

Then, Jesus said to the disciples, From now on you do know him and have seen him. In Jesus’ eyes, his disciples did know him, and thereby, they did know the Father and had seen him. Actually, at this, his disciples did not think that they knew the Father or had seen him. Instead, they were a little bit confused, and scratching their head, they said to him, But Lord, I am not sure about that. Even they did not think that they knew the Father and had seen him. But how come Jesus saw it that way and even proclaimed about it, saying, From now on you do know him and have seen him? What was the basis of this conclusion? He saw it that way, because they had indeed had life together with him, pursuing and serving God’s kingdom work with him for the past 3 years. Indeed, they had been through many things together, and thereby, came to know each other. In Jesus’ eyes, they indeed knew him, and thereby, knew the Father as well. 

 

Do you know the Father? Have you seen Him? At these questions, we are hesitant to answer. We are not really sure if we can say, Yes. We are just like Philip, saying to Jesus, But Lord, I don’t think I have seen Him yet. But based on our life dedicated to his kingdom work, Jesus says, From now on you do know him and have seen him. Whether we acknowledge it or not, in Jesus’ eyes, we do know the Father and have seen himbased on the fact that we have had life together with him, by dedicating ourselves to God’s work for the past several years.We are really comforted. We can see that Jesus truly recognizeswhat we have been through to serve God’s kingdom work for the past several years. 

 

Second, Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father(8-11). Look at verse 8. When Philip heard Jesus say, From now on you do know him and have seen him, he could not wait any longer. He asked Jesus, Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us. He could not simply accept Jesus’ statement that said, You do know him and have seen him,because he had never seen the glory of God yet. In the Bible he read that the Israelites saw the glory of God that came down on Mt. Sinai as a consuming fire with an ever-increasing trumpet sound and with thunder and lightning, with billows of smoke going up and up, which caused them to be terrified. But even though he had followed Jesus for three and a half years, still he had never seen such glory. He could not accept Jesus’ statement that he had seen the Father. As he remembered what Jesus had done and said so far, there was some possibility that Jesus might be the awesome God of Israel, but he still could not accept it. Sohe said, Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us. If only he saw the glory of God as his forefathers had seen on Mt. Sinai, that would be enough for him to say, Now I do know him and have seen him.

 

What was Jesus’ reply to him? Look at verses 9 through 11. Let’s read these verses together:

 

9Jesus 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 Father10Don't you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. 11Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves.

 

How sorry Jesus was when Philip did not accept his message! Jesus felt so sorry that he said to Philip, Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Don’t you believe? Jesus was really hurt. Not too often had Jesus exposed himself this way; he was really pleading with Philip. Many people say exactly the same words, If God appears to me and speaks to me, I will believe and obey. With this, they refuse to obey God. But they don’t know how much Jesus is hurt when they say so. Surely, Jesus has been with them during their whole life, and even now is helping them by sending his servants personally, but they still don’t believe and obey. What they really need is simply to trust in Jesus and follow his guidance. 

 

Jesus’ words in this passage sound like a riddle in our ears. Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. I am in the Father, and the Father is in me. What is he talking about? Here, Jesus identifies himself together with the Father; he didn’t say that he is the Father, but he did say that seeing him is seeing the Father. Jesus prays for all the believers in John 17:21, …that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. He also says in verses 22 and 23, …that they may be one as we are one: I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity… So, here, the statement, I am in the Father and the Father is in me, reveals complete unity, complete oneness between the Father and the Son Jesus. They are two persons, but they are one, forming complete unity, living and doing things in complete harmony – this is the mystery of the Trinity God. 

 

How could he make such unity with the Father? The clue is found in Jesus’ words, I am in the Father and the Father is in me. The first expression, I am in the Father, means that he did everything in God’s will. All his will and purpose, direction and meaning of life were completely in line with God's will and purpose. This explains the Son’s struggle to live and do everything according to the Father’s will and purpose. Jesus did everything God wanted him to do; Jesus didn’t do anything God disliked. Even though he was a free man who could do whatever he desired, he took the form of a servant and lived for God according to God's will and purpose. Moreover, as the Almighty God, he could indeed do what he desired; yet, he submitted himself to the Father's will and purpose and did everything the Father wanted him to do. Now, as he checked out his life - how he had lived and what he had pursued, he could confidently say that he was in the Father. I am in the Father. When Jesus said this, he was indeed victorious. Despite all difficulties and temptations, despite all sorrows and pains, he had lived in God, and now, at the end of his life, he was victorious - I am in the Father. He was a true victor. How happy we are when we can say, I am in the Father. In regard to the job matter, I am in the Father. In regard to the marriage matter, I am in the Father. In regard to the future direction, I am in the Father. Such statement comes from the struggle of denying oneself and submitting oneself to God's will and purpose. Self-seeking people can never understand this; they can never say, I am in the Father.

 

When the Son struggled this way, submitting himself to the Father's will, how did the Father respond? He felt so good; he felt so honored and loved; and out of honor and respect for the Son, the Father also did everything in the will and purpose of the Son. The Father submitted Himself to the will and purpose of the Son and did everything the Son wanted. In this way, the Father was in the Son. Whatever the Son wanted, that's what the Father wanted; whatever the Son said, that's what the Father wanted to say. In this way, the Father and the Son formed the complete unity, the complete oneness in the life of Jesus, by submitting themselves to each other. Jesus boldly says, I am in the Father, and the Father is in me. They are one in humility; they are one in submission to each other; they are one in love for each other; they are one in love for the fallen mankind. The Son is just like the Father in nature, in love, in humility, in direction, desire, purpose and in everything. Indeed, anyone who has seen Jesus has seen the Father.

 

This unity between the Father and the Son is indeed mysterious, divine and glorious - our God is indeed great and beautiful. We have seen God's nature, God's character, God's beauty - in their humility, submission, and love for each other.Indeed, our God is beautiful; our God is wonderful. And amazingly, Jesus wants us to participate in this unity of the Trinity GodIn John 17, we see Jesus’ prayer topic for all the believers. He says, I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us... 23I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity... Jesus expresses his desire to extend this complete unity to all the believers, saying, May they also be in us... I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity... Jesus’ will for you and for me is that we may partake in the blessed oneness of God the Father and God the Son. Once we form oneness with the Trinity God, we no longer think or say or act like sinful and proud humans, but we think like God and live like God. Surely, it is Jesus’ invitation for us to participate in God’s character - in his humility, in his gentleness and kindness, in his submission, in his love for each other, and in his love for mankind. He wants us to live like God, instead of living as silly, selfish and proud humans. This is Jesus’ invitation for us to participate in God's nature. How can we form oneness with the Trinity God? The secret is submission! Instead of insisting our own understanding and desires, we must submit ourselves to God, living for God and pursuing God's will and purpose. We strive to live in God, doing everything in line with God's will and purpose. No more silly and proud human beings, but children of God so mature, beautiful and praiseworthy, just like God Himself. 

 ThirdAnyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing (12-14). Even though Philip seemed to not believe in his deity that he was God, and that the Father was in him, and that he was in the Father, Jesus did not despair. Rather, in verses 12 through 14, he showed his disciples how things would change when they acknowledged him as God. Look at verse 12. Let’s read this verse together:

 

12I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. 

 

Jesus says, I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. That’s what happens to anyone who has faith in Jesus. Until then, the disciples did not see him as God – the object of faith. Even though they understood him as the Son of God, still it did not mean that they considered him as the object of faith, but as the object of respect and honor. But then, when they truly knew him as their God, the object of their faith, they would live a totally different life; their attitude toward him would change completely and they would do what Jesus had been doing. What had he been doing? He had been serving great works of God, teaching, preaching, establishing disciples and performing great miracles. Jesus says that if you have faith in him, you too will do what he did, dedicating yourselves to God’s work and doing great works of God. Your life changes completely from an ordinary life to the life of doing God’s work, the life of Jesus’ disciples, the life of God’s servants. This great change happens to anyone, everyone who has faith in Jesus. Do you have faith in Jesus? Then, this change happens to you as well! How come such great change happens? It is because, when they acknowledge Jesus as their God, the object of their faith, they can see what their God pursued and did; they can see what their God wants; God’s will becomes clear to them. Thus, they dedicate themselves to what Jesus did, serving God’s kingdom work, teaching, preaching, and even performing great miracles by God’s power. When we think about what Jesus says here, “I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing,” his emphasis is that we will do great things, even as great as what he did, because of our faith in him. No longer that ordinary life, but the life of doing great things in Jesus – this happens to everyone who has faith in Jesus, not just the twelve apostles, not just great Pastors such as Chuck Smith, but everyone, including you and me. Aren’t you excited to do what Jesus did? Aren’t you thrilled to live a great life? 

 

Jesus also says, He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. 2,000 years ago, Jesus served mainly a small country Israel, walking on foot, and only for three and a half years. He was limited by time and space. But when Jesus went to the Father, he sent his Holy Spirit toeveryone who believed, and empowered them to do mighty works of God. Simon Peter converted 3,000 people in one day and established the powerful church in Jerusalem despite enemies’ threat. The apostle Paul changed the course of history. John Wesley established a powerful Christian church called Methodist Church that has covered the whole world. When Billy Graham served God's words in Seoul Korea in 1973, 1.1 million people gathered. In Christian history, there are so many mighty servants of God who have done great works of evangelism, even greater things than Jesus did – there are as many as stars in the universe

 

He will do even greater things than these. When we think about this statement of Jesus, we are only shocked, and at the same time, thrilled at what great things Jesus wants us to do. Jesus wants each of us to do even greater things than he did. Doing even greater things than Jesus did! Wow! We are really thrilled! This is far greater and fulfilling than establishing a silly career successfully in the world. Let’s establish 200 disciples this year. Let’s conquer all the campuses in California, in America, and in the world. Let’s aim to become world classspiritual leaders. Let’s aim to change the course of human history. Jesus’ vision for us is this: He will do even greater things than these.

 

Look at verses 13 and 14. Let’s read these verses together:

 

13And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. 14You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.

 

While Jesus was with them, the disciples did not pray. At that time, Jesus was not the object of their prayer. But when he was gone, when they acknowledged him as their God, they would pray to him, and Jesus promised that he would do whatever they asked him for. That’s what happens to everyone who acknowledge Jesus as their God - you do what Jesus did, and pray for help in Jesus’ name. What should we pray for? Two words stand out: Whatever and anything. But here, whatever is not whatever you want, but whatever you need as you struggle to do what Jesus did. Jesus says, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. This is Jesus’ confirmation that he will surely answer our prayers as we struggle to do God’s work in his name. When we do great works of God by doing what Jesus did and praying, God will be revealed to the world.

 

In conclusion, when we know Jesus really, we know the Father, Jehovah Elohim. Let’s have life together with Jesus by working together with him for God’s kingdom work so that we may know him really. Let’s form a beautiful unity with the Father, with the Son and with one another, by humbly submitting ourselves to God’s will fully, and we will be indeed blessed and happy to be found in him. Jesus also invites us to do mighty works of God by faith, saying, Anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these. Let’s accept Jesus’ vision for us. Together with the Holy Spirit, and through prayer, with absolute faith in Jesus, we can conquer the world and advance God’s kingdom powerfully on earth. 

 

One Word: From Now On, You Do Know The Father And Have Seen Him

Comments