Christian Art | Easter To Pentecost
John 14: 7-14 | King James Audio Bible KJV | King James Version | Daily Verse
7 If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.
8 Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us.
9 Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?
10 Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.
11 Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works’ sake.
12 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.
13 And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
14 If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.
We have known the Father through the Son. Indeed, Jesus now tells the disciples that they have actually seen God the Father. This is the vision of faith, and of our knowledge, as Jesus tells us that he is in the Father and the Father in him. The unknowable, in this life to our natural senses, has become a knowable truth of faith.
This is a great mystery, and still the disciples do not understand. Philip persists in asking Jesus to show them the Father, and now Jesus rebukes him. Having spent so much time so closely with Jesus, hearing his teachings and witnessing all his signs and miracles – the healing miracles, the feeding of the five thousand, the walking on water, the raising of the dead – can Philip not yet see Jesus’ divinity? Can he not believe?
As the apostles are given their mission, to carry the word of God, the truth of Jesus Christ, into the whole world, so Jesus tells them that they too can perform great works, great miracles, if they believe in Jesus as God the Son. As we know, the truth of this teaching was important in bringing people to have faith in the risen Christ. The Book of the Acts of the Apostles tells us of incidents when people’s faith was newly awoken through miracles worked by the apostles in the name of Jesus.
The apostles are sent to heal and to save in the name of Jesus. Jesus tells them that they will do even greater works than he himself has done, perhaps meaning that they will spread the message of Christ throughout the whole world. Whatsoever they ask to be done in Jesus’ name, Jesus will do this for them, and still in complete obedience to his Father. More broadly, we may think of the ways in which we seek to live our lives in accordance with Christ’s name, welcoming Jesus within our souls to heal us, and so that we may do good for others, through practical works and as a Christian example to all.
‘Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles.
For so hath the Lord commanded us, saying, I have set thee to be a light of the Gentiles, that thou shouldest be for salvation unto the ends of the earth.
And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed.’ Acts 13 46-48
If Ye Had Known Me | A Misrecognition Of Jesus
The question that Jesus poses to his disciples in John 14:7 – ‘If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him’ – is a powerful one. It reveals the close and intimate relationship that Jesus shares with God the Father, and challenges his disciples to deepen their understanding of who Jesus truly is.
In asking this question, Jesus is not simply seeking affirmation of his own identity or seeking to prove his divinity to his followers. Rather, Jesus is inviting the disciples into a deeper and more profound relationship with Jesus and with God the Father. Jesus is encouraging the disciples to let go of their preconceptions and assumptions about who he is and to open themselves up to a new and transformative understanding of his nature and mission.
For the disciples, this would have been a challenging and even unsettling proposition. They had spent years following Jesus, learning from him, and witnessing his miracles and teachings. Yet despite all of this, they still struggled to fully comprehend the depth and complexity of Jesus’ identity as the Son of God.
In the centuries since Jesus posed this question to his disciples, countless theologians and religious leaders have wrestled with the same challenge. How can we truly know and understand who Jesus is, and what he represents in the Christian faith?
For many, the answer lies in a deep and abiding faith in Jesus and a willingness to engage with his teachings and message. Through prayer, study, and contemplation, we can come to a deeper understanding of his nature and mission, and cultivate a more intimate and personal relationship with him.
On Jesus And The Father
- St. Augustine of Hippo, prominent theologian and bishop in the early Church, wrote extensively about the Trinity and its implications for our understanding of God’s nature. He wrote: ‘The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are distinct from one another, yet they are not separate. They are one God, co-equal and co-eternal, a unity of three Persons in one divine nature.’ (De Trinitate, Book I)
- Martin Luther, father of the Protestant Reformation, emphasized the importance of a personal relationship with Jesus and the transformative power of faith. He wrote: ‘Faith is a living, daring confidence in God’s grace, so sure and certain that a man could stake his life on it a thousand times.’ (The Smalcald Articles, Part II)
- Pope Francis has placed a strong emphasis on the importance of social justice and care for the marginalized. He has said: ‘We Christians cannot stand with arms folded in indifference or with arms outstretched in helplessness. No. As believers, we must stretch out our hands, as Jesus does with us.’ (Angelus address, March 15, 2015)
- Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Lutheran pastor and theologian who was executed by the Nazis for his resistance to their regime, emphasized the importance of discipleship and the call to action in the Christian life. He wrote: ‘The call to follow Christ is not an easy one. It demands a radical break with one’s past and a willingness to surrender one’s future to God’s purposes.’ (The Cost Of Discipleship)
- Billy Graham, prominent Protestant evangelist, emphasized the importance of a personal relationship with Jesus and the power of faith in transforming one’s life. He wrote: ‘Faith is the avenue through which we receive God’s grace and forgiveness. It is the foundation of our relationship with Him and the source of our hope for eternal life.’ (The Journey)