Tuesday, April 21, 2015

“Believe Me” (John 14:7-11)

“If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also. From now on you do know Him and have seen Him.” Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know Me, Philip? Whoever has seen Me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 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 authority, but the Father who dwells in Me does His works. Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me, or else believe on account of the works themselves.” (John 14:7–11, ESV)

In verse 6 Jesus told His disciples that He was the way to the Father. Continuing on He added that to know Him was to know the Father also. It again is one of His statements of truly “like father like son.” Before taking on the form of man Jesus was eternally present with the Father and completely one with the Father as well as with the Spirit. The three are uniquely one as God.

Their oneness truly is unique. My name has a “Junior” on the end of it. I was named after my father, and while both my father and my mother shaped who I am, I am neither of them. Looking at me might shed light on them, but no one would really be able to say that they know them because they know me.  And now that they have passed into eternity people can only see but a shadow of them in me. This is not true of Jesus. He is the perfect representation of the Father. There is no difference in their heart, attitudes, judgment, presence, knowledge of anything else. They are eternally and absolutely one existing in three persons.

Reading Philip’s response we almost have to ask if he was even listening. Jesus had just finished saying that having seen Him they had seen the Father and know the Father. To this Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” Philip, Philip, Philip. All the time they spent together and Philip still did not get that Jesus was sent by the Father as His full and perfect representative. He was God become man living with them, and in living with them they had grown to know God. Jesus restated to them that whoever had seen Him had seen the Father, and then He questioned Philip about how He could possibly ask such a question.

At the heart of this question had to be a remaining core of confusion indicating that His disciple still did not know who He was. They did not fully grasp that He is in the Father and the Father is in Him. They truly are one and there is no separating them. One does not exist apart from the other, and one did not come from the other. They are fully and eternally one.

Then Jesus went on to tell them (again) that none of what He said or did was of His own initiative, but was what the Father who dwells in Him does. It is so easy to think of Jesus as a man come from God. It is even easy to think of Him as God becoming man and having a close relationship with the Father who sent Him. But grasping fully how the Father was in Him and He was in the Father while He was in the form of man is simply something that we have to trust is true because God said it is so. Jesus, being fully man, never ceased to be fully God, and the relationship between the Father, the Son, and the Spirit was a constant and inseparable oneness. This is almost the last appeal Jesus makes on this issue. To them He said “believe Me,” and then He finished His appeal by saying that if “believe Me” was not adequate at least believe on account of the works He had done.

I don’t believe that their lack of belief was a lack of trust in His integrity or them thinking that He didn’t know what He was talking about. Rather, it appears that they truly did not comprehend yet what He had been telling them, and based upon their lack of comprehension of His words He told them to at least look at the works and believe. Believe is an awesome thing that we have been given. It is that ability from God to take something that we may not fully understand and accept it to be true. This does not make us ignorant or simple, but people who have come to trust in God who has proven Himself to be true even to the things we may not fully grasp; that remain mysteries in some way.

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5–6, NASB95)

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