THE FEAST OF SAINTS PHILIP AND JAMES [JOHN 14:6-14]
“He who has seen Me has seen the Father” (John 14:9).
Wouldn’t it be wonderful to know God – to have a relationship with Him that is as strong and real as any human relationship? How impossible this sounds! After all, God is way up there in heaven, and we are way down here on earth. He is spirit, we are flesh. He is so different from us, so holy and pure, that He must be forever beyond our grasp. Yet, like Philip, we all long to know God. Deep in every person’s heart is the same prayer: “Show us the Father, and we shall be satisfied” (John 14:8).
Jesus’ response to Philip’s request is amazing. He said that by knowing Him, the disciples had already come to know God. Because Jesus “reflects the glory of God and bears the very stamp of His nature” (Hebrews 1:3), to see Jesus is to see God Himself. Jesus, God-made-flesh, overcame the immense gap between God and ourselves and revealed the Father to us. In the gospels, we can see God Himself acting in and through Jesus, revealing His character, and inviting us to come to know Him personally.
Jesus’ words to Philip have a personal meaning for each of us. Jesus wants each of us to come to know Him and, by knowing Him, to come to know Him and, by knowing Him, to come to know the Father. This will come about as we make ourselves available to Jesus every day – through prayer, through trusting obedience, and through time spent pondering His word in Scripture.
We may not actually see Jesus with our human eyes, but we will surely “see” Him with the eyes of our heart. Every day, the Holy Spirit wants to reveal God’s love, His thoughts, and His personality, to us. Every day, He wants to build a new character within us that manifests God to those around us. All He asks is that we fix our eyes on Jesus in prayer and stay alert throughout the day for ways that God might be moving in us. He will take care of the rest, and we will know God, our heavenly Father.
Jakarta, 3 May 2014
A Christian Pilgrim