In the post “Show Us God Before You Go,” I presented an overview of the 14th chapter of the gospel of John. Jesus was asked three questions by his disciples about his announced departure. An oversimplified summary of Jesus’ answer was that he was going to the Father. While there, he would prepare for them a place to live, and one day he would return to take them to his Father’s house to live as well.
The disciples’ questions amazed Jesus. He was amazed at how clueless his disciples really were. Therefore, he makes this bold statement: “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through me. If you guys really knew me you would have known my Father also. So look here guys. You now know Him, and have seen Him.” (vv. 6-7)
I am not certain but I expect many disciples may still be clueless. After two millennium, it is possible many Christians still do not know what he meant. Is this possible?
Just in case I’m correct, I will attempt to explain Jesus’ bold claim, and I’ll start by analyzing the last verse (7) first.
Jesus said “If you really knew me you would have known the Father also…. You now know him, and have seen Him.”
Some seem to believe that Jesus is here further revealing his divinity. This is not the case for several reasons:
One of Jesus’ post-resurrection disciples, Paul, very succinctly captured the meaning of Jesus statement. Paul described Jesus as the new Adam (1 Cor. 15:45-49). The story of Adam’s creation is the story of the original human being without sin or crime in God’s world. This account is recorded in Genesis 1:26-3:14. In it, the writer explains how God made Adam in His image and likeness. The physical appearance of Adam resembles God’s. This is depicted in Genesis 18-19; Number 24:9-11; Isaiah 6:1-3; Ezekiel 1:1,26-28; 8:1-3; 10:1-20; Revelation 4:2-4. The purity of Adam’s way of life was like God’s as well. The fall changed that. Once Adam had violated the law of God, his life began to resemble the evil one–the one who had tempted him to do evil. Through behavior resembling the devil’s, Adam’s God-likeness became corrupted. The moral purity characteristic of God likeness continued to decline with each new generation of Adam’s descendent. So much so that God observed that evil continually filled all of their imaginations, from their youth and thereafter. (Gen. 6:5-6; 8:21)
Thus, Adam’s lifestyle in many ways ceased to resemble his Creator.
Jesus as the new Adam means one who is fully like God, and this is what is referred to in John 14:7. Because Jesus was created by God in the Virgin’s womb, because the presence of God resided in him, because he always did what God’s law commanded or prohibited, and because he did and spoke those things that God directed, Jesus demonstrated what God is truly like.
As all humans, Jesus physically resembled God. Unlike all people, his life and work perfectly displayed the unseen God. As He did through Moses, God fulfilled his word and promises through the life and proclamations of his only begotten son, Jesus.
Jesus assured his disciples that they would show the world what God was like because they truly loved Him and practiced His commandments. Just as a loving child reflects the behavior, values, and words of his or her parent, so would Jesus’ disciples reflect His. The same is true of all God’s children that follow God with Jesus Christ.
1 Co represents cohorts or followers
By Daniel Downs