The Truth Stares Us in the Face


Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 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 knot know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?

—John 14:6-9


If you’ve grown up in the church or attended many Christian (or Christian-adjacent) funerals/memorials/celebrations of life, you will know the first few verses of this chapter. They are the glorious words of Jesus:

“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.”

Amidst the general confusion of the disciples, despite the Lord’s clear explanation, Jesus deigns to give more grace (as is typical of our Savior). He explains that he is the Way; the Son of Man who must be lifted up, die, and rise again to establish that Way to heaven for those whom the Father has given to him (Jn 6:37).

Philip, who saw Jesus as the Messiah early on in John’s Gospel (Jn 1:43-51), seems to forget or momentarily disbelieve the Master’s two years of teaching. Philip, who beheld Nathanael’s astonishment of Jesus’ supernatural knowledge (Jn 1:48), asks for Jesus to show him the Father. In response, Jesus lovingly rebukes this disciple: “Have I been with you so long, Philip, and you still do not know me?”

Are we not cut to the heart by how often we ask the same question? Do we not rummage around in the trappings of Evangelical America searching for a view of the Father when the Truth, himself, is staring us in the face? This can take so many different shapes, from what is important to us in Sunday worship to how we respond to trials. When we prioritize the sensation and experience of worship over the subject of it, we set aside Jesus, as if we can experience God any other way. He is the way. When we are challenged by trials—sometimes of our own creation—and cry out to God for immediate deliverance, we can be tempted to set aside Jesus and his suffering, as if experiencing God did not mean partaking in his Son’s suffering.

We wonder, don’t we, at what was behind Philip’s question. He knew his Bible, didn’t he? Particularly the part where God explains that no man can see him, lest he die (Exod 33:20). Did he think God would provide him some partial glimpse of his manifested glory, as Moses received (Exod 34:5-8)?

If he did, here’s the problem: the greatest glory of God ever manifested was already staring him in the face.

Greater than the cloud of smoke or pillar of fire, the Son of God—the only authorized image of God—full of grace and truth, and the Father’s express image (Col 1:15), was breathing the same air.

Our Great God, help us to seek your glory only in the face of Jesus Christ, and nowhere else, lest we both insult you and cast aside that which we say we are seeking.

 “Jesus, Jesus, Precious Jesus!
O for grace to trust Him more!

—Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus 🎵

He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high…
—Hebrews 1:3

1 Comment

DonnaDee - January 10th, 2023 at 11:51am

Outstanding! All true and Biblical. I thank you that it was directly to the point, stayed on point AND is applicable to me right here and now. God bless you Jamie. May the Lord be with your spirit. And May His grace be with you all ~ 2 Timothy 4:22