Show us the Son

 

Today I want to consider what Jesus said about seeing His Father and then see if we can apply it to seeing Jesus. Keep in mind what the Bible says about seeing God.

*   (John 1:18 RSV)  No one has ever seen God; the only Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, he has made him known.

*   (1 John 4:12 RSV)  No man has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.

*   (3 John 1:11 RSV)  Beloved, do not imitate evil but imitate good. He who does good is of God; he who does evil has not seen God.

 

OK, now for the scripture that is the basis for today’s sermon.

*   (John 14:7-9 NIV)  “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'?

 

It seems to me that we should, each of us, be able to say something similar to this when asked about Jesus. It would go something like this.

*   If you really knew me, you would know my Lord as well. And if you know the Lord Jesus then you know the Son of God, His Father. The Father and Son are one. And I am one with them. {9} Can’t you see Jesus in me, even after I have been with you such a long time? How can you say, 'Show me Jesus'?

 

Does this seem a bit presumptuous? It may seem that way but I really don’t think it should. Consider this from scripture.

*   (John 17:9-26 NIV)  I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me, for they are yours. {10} All I have is yours, and all you have is mine. And glory has come to me through them. {11} I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name--the name you gave me--so that they may be one as we are one. {12} While I was with them, I protected them and kept them safe by that name you gave me. None has been lost except the one doomed to destruction so that Scripture would be fulfilled. {13} "I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them. {14} I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. {15} My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. {16} They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. {17} Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. {18} As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world. {19} For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified. {20} "My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, {21} that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. {22} I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: {23} I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. {24} "Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world. {25} "Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. {26} I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them."

 

Sometimes we repeat ourselves for emphasis. Sometimes we repeat ourselves to be sure we have been heard. How many more times does Jesus need to repeat Himself before we hear Him and get the message? We have declared many times and many places, “Unity of belief, diversity of understanding, one in Christ.” That oneness is exactly what Jesus is talking about in these scriptures.

 

Don’t get hung up on seeing. Like so many words, “Seeing” has various meanings. Even a blind man can, “See” what I mean! We talk routinely about seeing the father in the child. Although we sometimes mean physical traits, often we mean traits such as a need to understand or a sense of humor, or perhaps a love for animals. So, people should be able to see the attributes of Jesus in us. And when they see those attributes they should have a sense of knowing Jesus. They should be able to see Jesus in us.

 

We call ourselves Christians. We have taken the name of Christ for ourselves. We are the Bride of the Lamb. We must not take the name of the Lord in Vain. When the world looks at us they expect to see Christ in us. It behooves us to be sure that they do.

*   (2 Cor 13:5-6 RSV)  Examine yourselves, to see whether you are holding to your faith. Test yourselves. Do you not realize that Jesus Christ is in you? -- unless indeed you fail to meet the test! {6} I hope you will find out that we have not failed.