Why is seeing Jesus seeing the Father?


The Bible says no man can see God and live (Exodus 33:20). Yet, Jesus said anyone who has seen him has seen God the Father (John 14:9).

What gives?

“When Philip asked to see God the Father, Jesus responded that he had been looking at the Father the whole time,” says Anais, 11. “We have to believe that God may open our eyes to see the wonderful secrets of God.”

In our modern world, it’s hard for us to accept mysteries that are beyond the scope of scientific methods. Because we can’t put God under a microscope or see him through a telescope, we’re dependent upon God’s revelation in the Bible. Certainly there’s no greater mystery than the union of God the Son, God the Father and God the Holy Spirit.

Let’s see if we can dig a little deeper to get a glimpse into this mystery of all mysteries. Most people think of eyeballs when they speak of seeing God, but Jesus equated seeing with knowing. We see God with our hearts, not our eyes. God is Spirit (John 4:24).

When Philip asked Jesus to show the Father to his disciples, Jesus said: “Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known me, Philip? He who has seen me has seen the Father; so how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?” (John 14:9).

Well, what about the people who saw Jesus do miracles? Didn’t they see God with their eyes?

As fully God and fully man in one person, Jesus is the unique person of the universe. When he healed the sick, people saw these miracles with their eyes, but some failed to make a heart or knowing connection. They said Jesus healed by the power of Satan (Matthew 12:24).

Seeing something with your eyes doesn’t mean you comprehend it. There’s seeing and then there is seeing or understanding with the heart. We’ve all had moments when it seemed like a light bulb came on in our heads. It’s that wondrous moment of understanding where all the pieces come together. As finite creatures trying to understand an infinite God, we’re dependent upon him for many instances of seeing or illumination.

Emma, 12, writes: “In John 14:11, it says, ‘Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father in me, or else believe me for the sake of the works themselves.’ The Word of God is telling us that even Philip didn’t know that Jesus and the Father are one.”

Yes, even Jesus’ disciples didn’t fully grasp his oneness with his Father and his mission to sacrifice himself for our sins. On numerous occasions Jesus told them he had to die, but they didn’t get it until after Jesus rose from the dead.

The most startling contrast occurs in Matthew 16. After the Apostle Peter told Jesus, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God,” Jesus told him that his Father has revealed this to him and that his church will be built on this revelation (Matthew 16:15-18).

After Peter received this amazing revelation affirmed by Jesus himself, he tries to dissuade Jesus from going to Jerusalem to die. Jesus said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan!” (Matthew 16:23).

Think about this: God wants you to know him.

Memorize this truth: “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God,” (Matthew 16:16b).

Ask this question: Have you allowed God to reveal to you that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God?

Kids Talk About God is designed for families to study the Bible together. Research shows that parents who study the Bible with their children give their character, faith and spiritual life a powerful boost. To receive Kids Talk About God three times a week in a free, email subscription, visit www.KidsTalkAboutGod.org/email.

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