The day after the 4th of July. It’s Wednesday, “hump day!” What greater day could there ever be?? It is a day which has been filled with the presence of Jesus Christ, as is every other day. Because, after all, he “…fills all things everywhere with himself.” Ephesians 1:23 NLT.
The world is burning with the glory of God. We do know this, just as we know that it is he who “…made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb.” Psalms 139:13 NLT. We know his love, we feel the awe and wonder of our creation. But do we understand the nature of the one who made all of nature? Do we understand the nature of the one who knit us together in our mothers womb, yet also created the whole cosmos, of which our galaxy, with its tens of thousands of stars, us apparently just one of billions of galaxies?? And when I say billions, that is as in hundreds of billions of galaxies. We see the wonders on our own, tiny blue planet, and while we can know there are billions of not just stars but galaxies out there, can we even begin to truly comprehend the magnitude of what God created? We think we have a diverse planet. Imagine the unknown, untapped, and incomprehensible diversity in just this galaxy. Then try to wrap our heads around hundreds of billions of galaxies. Just think…there are only 6 billion people on our planet, there might be 50 galaxies for every human being, maybe more. The psalmist had no knowledge of any if this, but he could see enough to ask “When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?” Psalms 8:3-4 ESV. What is man, and how can we ever understand the nature of the one who created all of this creation??
Jesus gives us some insight on a tiring, harsh night with his disciples. Jesus was talking much this night. He had washed the disciples’ feet. He had predicted Judas’ betrayal and Peter’s denial. He had talked much about love and about the father. Finally, Phillip has heard enough, and he just wants to cut to the chase. “Philip said to him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” Can you feel Phillips frustration? ‘You keep talking about the father, the father, the father!! If you would just show him to us, that’s all we would need!!’ To which Jesus replies “Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?”
Read this again. Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. He’s been with us for so long, yet we still do not know Him. Because we read this, and we just find this to be unbelievable. By which I mean, we just don’t believe it. I mean, do you believe it? Can the nature, the character, of God, creator of the whole cosmos, be the character of we see in Jesus? The answer, if we believe in Him who said so, is a resounding YES!!
What does this mean?? It means that the character we see in Jesus with the woman sitting by the well is the character of God the Father. It is the character of one humble enough to ask the Samaritan woman for water to drink and loving enough to offer her ‘living water’. The character of one who does not condemn her for having has 5 husbands and living now with another who she had not even bothered to be married to, but instead offers her salvation.
The character of God the Father is the character of the one who, when he found a man sitting by a pool for thirty-eight years, waiting for salvation that was seemingly always just out of his reach, he doesn’t condemn him, he heals him in the spot. Even though it was the sabbath, even though “the rules” said ‘you can’t do that on the sabbath!!’
It’s the character of the one who, when his disciples wanted to tell the people to go home and fend for themselves, “Jesus said, “Have the people sit down…” John 6:10 ESV. Then he proceeds to feed 5000 men, plus the women and children, maybe 15-20,000 people in all. Did I mention he fed them with 5 fish and a couple pieces of bread? Because, after all, he is the creator of the universe and the master of all molecules!!
It’s the character of the one who, when wine ran out before the feast was supposed to be over, turned 5 jugs of water into 150 gallons of the finest wine. The party wasn’t over. Get this through our heads. Jesus, in whose name we judge and condemn those who would consume so much wine, did not judge or condemn. He made more wine. Because with Jesus, in whose name has come so much judgment and condemnation, the party never ends. The party still hasn’t ended. It’s found every Sunday at communion tables around the world. It’s found in every believer who’s discovered the truth about Jesus. The truth about the Father who sent him. The truth that with him, and only with him, all the sour grapes, all the rotten water, all the troubles of our lives can be turned into the finest wine. And the party will go on.
The nature of the Father is the nature of the one who went to the cross as a common criminal with common criminals on our behalf. It’s the nature of the one who, when his star disciple cut off the ear of one who was coming to arrest him and take him to his own tortuous death, he said “No more of this!” And he touched his ear and healed him.” Luke 22:51 ESV. It’s the nature of the one who, while dying upon the cross, with the guards shooting dice for the last of his clothing, cried out from the cross not for vengeance but forgiveness. “And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” Luke 23:34 ESV
He’s been with us so long, yet we still do not know him. Because we just can’t wrap our heads around the fact that yes, God is exactly like Jesus. “No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known.” John 1:18 NIV
“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 not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?”
John 14:8-9 ESV