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.” John 14:9
According to legend, British conductor Sir Thomas Beecham once saw a distinguished-looking woman in a hotel foyer. Believing he knew her but unable to remember her name, he paused to talk with her. As the two chatted, he vaguely recollected that she had a brother. Hoping for a clue, he asked how her brother was doing and whether he was still working at the same job. “Oh, he’s very well,” she said, “And still king.”
A case of mistaken identity can be embarrassing, as it was for Sir Beecham. But at other times it may be more serious, as it was for Jesus’ disciple Philip. The disciple knew Christ, of course, but he hadn’t fully appreciated who He was. He wanted Jesus to “show [them] the Father,” and Jesus responded, “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father” (John 14:8–9). As God’s unique Son, Christ reveals the Father so perfectly that to know one is to know the other (vv. 10–11).
If we ever wonder what God is like in His character, personality, or concern for others, we only need to look to Jesus to find out. Christ’s character, kindness, love, and mercy reveal God’s character. And although our amazing, awesome God is beyond our complete comprehension and understanding, we have a tremendous gift in what He’s revealed of Himself in Jesus.
How well do you know God’s character? How does it match your perception of who Jesus is?
Dear God, help me to grow in my knowledge and appreciation of who You are.
Jesus’ response to Philip’s request to “show us the Father” (John 14:8) likely echoes Moses’ request in Exodus 33:18 (“show me your glory”). In response to Moses’ request, God promised to “cause all [His] goodness to pass” before Moses, but Moses wasn’t permitted to see His face (Exodus 33:20). Jesus’ response to Philip in John 14:9—“Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father”—makes it clear that Jesus is the fullest possible encounter with God’s glory. Echoes of Moses’ request can also be heard in John 1:14, which describes witnessing in Christ “the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father.” John explains, “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” (v. 18).