Seeing the Father

Yoda“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 14:9 (ESV)

Chapter         (ESV)

Audio              (4:17)

When I was in medical school, the first episode of the now famous Star Wars saga came out. I was absolutely smitten! I can even remember where I sat in the theater…and that was over 35 years ago!

I was a young and impressionable Christian, and the concept of the “force” captured me. I found the whole idea of a supernatural all-present force that I could control altogether too attractive. What was unattractive to me though was the fact that this ‘force’ had no emotion.

While hopefully we won’t see God through the lens of the force in Star Wars, many may still view God as impersonal…without real emotional investment in their lives. To them, He is a passive observer who knows how the story ends.

When we see God as emotionally detached, it’s very difficult for us to become emotionally involved with Him.

Even worse, we might see God as the Heavenly Tyrant as Trevor Hudson describes in his book Discovering Our Spiritual Identity. As the Heavenly Tyrant, God is waiting for us to “blow it”, and when that happens…He comes down hard on us.

If we see God as a tyrant, we will never go to Him to meet our need for love.

We will only approach Him in fear and see ourselves as undeserving of His love. If you’ve had a father who was a tyrant, it’s easy to transfer that image over onto God. In today’s verse, Jesus tells us what the Heavenly Father is like.

The Heavenly Father is just like Jesus.

Jesus is the exact representation of the Father. If we want to know what God the Father is like, we simply need to look closely at what Jesus is like.

If you struggle with your perception of the Heavenly Father because of a poor or absent relationship with your earthly father, consider the following exercise.

As you read through the Gospels, write down the characteristics attributed to Jesus. Then find some time to reflect that these same characteristics describe the Father.

Prayer: Father, show me any misconceptions I have of You, and help me see You as Jesus.

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2 Responses to Seeing the Father

  1. John Rue says:

    Fantastic reminder to see the Father for who HE is not the way we ARE. This is a big obstacle to faith (Heb 11:3,6 “believing that He is who HE says He is… and He is a rewarder of those who seek Him”). As Anais Nin put it, “we don’t see things (e.g. HIM) the way they are, we see things the way WE are.” God help correct our vision and see You the way You really are!

  2. Jeff says:

    Great insight John!

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