“Philip said to Jesus, ‘Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and you still do not know me? 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?’”
~John 14:8-10a (NRSV).
Give or take nuances of theological technicalities, Jesus and the Father, together with the Holy Spirit, are one. But it’s something not immediately apparent to the disciples.
Jesus’ interactions with the disciples are interesting as they’re frustrating, because of their plain inability (a lot of the time) to see the Divinity of Jesus. Yet, if not for the benefit of 20/20 hindsight we’d be no better positioned.
Indeed, we’re so inclined to spiritual laxness—by virtue of our plain humanity—that we miss the ‘Jesus’ in very much of life. I defy anyone to test this thesis and find it wanting, for in the real course of life we’re all quite bereft of Christlike character.
But that doesn’t mean we give up trying; we submit, again, to discipleship.
Jesus Reveals the Father
The works of Jesus speak for themselves. They point us to the Father. Because our Lord was in the Father and the Father was in our Lord there was an inherent quality within those works, as they spoke of, and for, God.
Notice that Jesus was not taken with the rich, favoured-by-society type, but the poor, repentant outcast.
By virtue of these works, the Jesus of the gospels was revealing the Father—thankfully we have the gospel accounts with which carries forth this cosmic legacy. What a God we have that came here to make the works of God real in our terms.
But again, we fail to see the fully-fledged sight of Jesus in this life; that is, believer and non-believer alike. We have to be reminded, in the everyday living of life, that Jesus is here, and in that, so is the Father.
From the Father, and For the Son, Comes the Holy Spirit
A truly Divine theology falls flat without the Holy Spirit.
Jesus talks a lot about the Godhead and the interplay between Father, Son and Holy Spirit in John 14 onwards.
John 14:26 is particularly relevant.
Jesus is making connections for the disciples; connections that will go for them into the time beyond Jesus’ ascension. If they couldn’t ‘see’ Jesus pre-the-cross, would they ‘see’ the Holy Spirit afterwards? Of course, God knew better. The event of the cross and of Jesus’ resurrection would seal the deal of the disciples’ faltering faith, besides the power that came on them at Pentecost.
As we’re filled, and then inspired, by the Holy Spirit, the Father and the Son are made more fully known. How wonderful it is that the Deity is, for now and all eternity, inseparable.
© 2011 S. J. Wickham.