"Whoever Has Seen Me Has Seen the Father"

John 14:8-14
8 Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” 9 Jesus *said to him, “Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 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 initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works. 11 Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me; otherwise believe because of the works themselves. 12 Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father. 13 Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.

Final Teachings in the Upper Room

This passage in John's gospel is part of Jesus' final teaching with His disciples, known as the Final Discourse, before He would go to the cross.  Just prior to this exchange with Philip, after observing the Passover meal and washing their feet, the disciple's hearts were troubled by Jesus' prediction of Judas' betrayal and Peter's denial.  Jesus comforts them by explaining His return to the Father would be a benefit to them.  Jesus would go and prepare a place for them.  He also tells them He is not one way but the only way to be reconciled to the Father.  To know the Father, they (as we) must look to the Son.

The Disciples's Confusion & Jesus' Response

Even though they had walked with Jesus for three years, they were still struggling to understand that Jesus is the full and final revelation of the Father.  This is evident in Philip's question, "Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us."  Philip was asking for a demonstration of the Father and then they would believe.  I can almost hear the exasperation in Jesus' response.  "Philip, you've been with me for three years, listening to my teaching, seeing 5,000 people being fed, calming of the storm, healing the sick, and the raising of the dead.  Do you still not see?  I've been showing you the Father the whole time we've been together."  His words and His deeds have confirmed His identity.  If you see the Son you see the Father.  Philip was able to see that Jesus and the Father are distinct but couldn't see yet that they are identical in essence.

Then in verse 12, Jesus makes a promise.  Those who believe in Him will do greater works than Jesus did.  While Jesus was here on earth many came to believe through His teaching but His teaching ministry was restricted to Galilee, Judea, and the surrounding area.  After His ascension and the sending of the Holy Spirit, His people (the church) would take the Good News to the ends of the earth.  Those saved has multiplied as millions of voices continue to share His words all over the world over many years until He returns.  This is accomplished by believers as they go to the Father in prayer, being totally dependent on Him and His enablement, and asking according to His will to do the work He has called us to do.

The World's Confusion & the Believer's Response

Like Philip, many people don't understand the Trinity and their unity.  They don't understand God as three distinct Persons yet One.  Distinct yet the same in essence.  People will say " I will talk about God with you but don't bring up Jesus."  Old television shows like Touched By An Angel. will talk about God in every episode but will never mention the name Jesus.  They don't understand no one can be reconciled to the Father and reject the deity of Jesus.  Jesus said, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me."  It's important for believers to know and understand who Jesus is from His Word so we can accurately share the Good News and lead people to the only One who can save them.