On Jesus and the Father–Lent 13, 2015

John 14: 7 If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.” 8 Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.” 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’? 10 Don’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. 11 Believe 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.

The disciples are trying so hard to get their minds around something that we struggle to understand, even though we have it written out for us.  Some ideas are just too big to fit well within the human mind.   With Christ in the Upper Room, the disciples are still wondering where Jesus is going.

  • Peter, the leader of the disciples, tries to get Jesus to tell him the destination and Jesus says you can’t come now.  Worse, you’ll deny Me.
  • Thomas, Mr. Evidence, tries (in his own way) to get at the destination via logic.
  • Now Philip tries the back door approach.  If You show us where the Father is, we can figure it out ourselves

on father and sonThen, BOOM! 

Jesus blows their minds wide open.

Philip says “Lord, show us the Father

Jesus responds,

Don’t you know ME, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time?” 

Jesus and the Father are One.

I’m not sure we’ll adequately understand the Trinity until we’re in heaven.  We’re too limited and Jesus knows that.  We either (1) imagine 3 separate guys (Father, Son and Holy Spirit), or (2) a mixture that morphs around sometimes looking like Jesus, sometimes looking like an old guy like Father Time, and sometimes looking like a dove.

Both of those are the stuff of heresies.

The Trinity is neither separate nor a mixture.  It is the Godhead, three-in-one.  Jesus is not a separate god nor is He just simply part of God, like 1/3 God.  I have offered an analogy before with the caveat that all analogies fall apart if pressed that you can read about here http://seminarygal.com/advent-12-2013-love-came-from-the-father/ .  While it’s not a perfect analogy, it’s important that we see that

Jesus is “God-accessible”, God Incarnate, Emmanuel, God with us. 

When we see Jesus, we see the Father.

* * *

Give it Up for Lent: Heresies about the Trinity, imagining 3 gods or a mixture.

Put it On for Lent: Humble acceptance of a concept being too big for finite minds.

For further thought:

  • How ought the miracles referred to by Jesus be evidence enough, even for Thomas?
  • Put yourself in the sandals of the disciples for a moment.  You’re following a Rabbi you think is a great human teacher.  He says He’s the Son of Man and alludes to His being the Messiah.  However, your expectations are earthly, not that you’ve been in the presence of God this whole time, even though the calming of the sea and the feeding of the 5000 might have caused you to think.
  • How might Jesus’ words in today’s passage be very confusing, even unsettling for men who think they’ve been in the company of a political leader who does miracles…when all along they’ve been in the presence of God?
  • Why is it so hard for us to trust the simplicity of Jesus and the Father being One?  Why do we insist on trying to understand how it all works?

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Categories Articles and Devotionals, Devotionals | Tags: | Posted on March 4, 2015

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