“Lord, show us the Father and we will be satisfied.*” This is the statement Philip the disciple proposed to Jesus at the last super. Something inside me wants to stand up and applaud Philip for asking Jesus for such a bold request. After all, isn’t this truly the deep desire of our hearts; to see God in a way that is unmistakable, that leaves no room for doubt what-so-ever? Surly the reality of God must not be something that can be missed. A God who created the vastness of the universe and everything remarkable about it would not go un-noticed in our lives unless He did so on purpose.
I feel like Philip because I have questioned for so many years why God seems so distant, and so quiet. I have always blamed Him for it, perplexed as to why He would not show Himself to me. If I had been in Philip’s shoes, I would have asked to see the Father as well.
Yet, something about the sadness of Jesus’ response catches me off guard. “Philip don’t you even yet know who I am, even after all the time I have been with you? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father*.” The truth is that Philip has been with God the whole time and had not recognized it. The question isn’t whether or not God showed up; it was whether or not Philip recognized Him. Philip’s grand ideas of God, which could only extend to the corners of his imagination, did not leave room for a God in the form of the human Jesus. The Father, in fact, was very near.
I look at my own life and wonder if it is not the same with me. The question of whether or not God can be missed is answered in this dialogue with the disciples. If they missed Who God was, sitting there at the last super, then how much more could I miss Him in my life today? Is God really near me now speaking the words “Don’t you even yet know who I am”? Could it be that all this time I was looking for what I thought God should be like, only to find that these ideas blind me from seeing the reality of Jesus here beside me?
Neat piece. What you say is right there in scripture but so few of us think about it. Well needed piece. I don't think any of the disciples had a glimmer of what was going on until after the Spirit at Pentecost