by Pauline Simonsen
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‘Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me?’ (John 14:10a).
Jesus’ friends were troubled and anxious, struggling to understand. Jesus had said he was going away, but where was he going? They protested: ‘We don’t know the way to where ever it is you’re going!’
Jesus tried to make it clear: ‘I’m going home to my Father’, he said. And of course, the disciples replied, ‘Lord, show us the Father!’
They couldn’t see yet, so they pleaded to be shown. The disciples’ epiphany came later, at Pentecost. Old John sees now though, recording it decades later. He understands that Jesus is in the Father, and the Father is in Jesus; that Messiah and Father are one God. Jesus the Son is the image of his Abba: doing his Father’s work and will, speaking his Father’s words, bringing glory and honour to his Father.
When Jesus stood before a desperately puzzled Philip, saying, ‘Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time?’, John understands that this was God the Father speaking through the Son to benighted Philip.
When I first understood these astounding, beautiful, moving verses in John 14, I had my own epiphany. I realised that my Jesus shows me God the Father’s heart, in his own being. When I look at Jesus, I see God, our Father. They are one.
Many people separate God the Father and God the Son, imagining an angry, demanding Old Testament God who is too holy and scary to approach. They fasten instead on the human Jesus, the good shepherd, the gracious healer of the New Testament. But Jesus’ great revelation is this: ‘I am in the Father and the Father is in me’. One God, the same God from beginning to end, a God of love and grace and justice. God who is with us, for us. For you.
How do we come to know this Heavenly Father? Through his Son. Our Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through him. Look to Jesus, revealed on the cross, and know God the Father’s heart for you.
Holy Spirit, reveal to us our Heavenly Father in the face of his Son. Loving God, draw us into the mystery and wonder of your triune self. We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.