Philip said to him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” 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’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority, but the Father who dwells in me does his works. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else believe on account of the works themselves. John 14:8-11
I really can’t blame Philip, Jesus asks us to believe some really incredible things about Him. Still Philip and the rest of the twelve had been following Jesus for three years and in that time they were eyewitnesses to amazing events. They saw blind people receiving their sight, all sorts of healings and people brought back from the grave. By now you would think that the disciples would be totally in line with Jesus and ready to believe whatever Jesus said about himself.
It was the part about being God, one with the Father that was just too hard to believe. That Jesus was God’s chosen one ok, but God? And really can any of us really fault them? I mean think about it. What if you were traveling with a person for three years and they kept claiming to be God. An agent of God who was given powers by God, that is believable but God Himself?
It is easier for us looking back on events to say, how can those disciples not know Jesus was God. They had all the evidence right in front of them. Were they just too stubborn or maybe a little dense? If Jesus was God then how could God be spirit and everywhere at once? How could God have a physical body? So many questions.
Maybe it was the Jewish concept of one God. It is a concept that many still have a problem with today. Both Jews and Muslims think we Christians worship three gods and not the one God. The doctrine of the Trinity still causes people problems. It is a doctrine that is hard to put into words and even harder to explain to others. There is not a good example in the universe to compare to. God however is not confined to the universe; He is outside all the constraints that we experience.
It is really from hindsight that we can see that the triune nature of God was also in the Old Testament. From the lens of Christ we can see that there was God the Spirit, God the Father and God the Angel of the Lord who appeared to people. Just as many of the Messianic verses in the Old Testament became clear with Jesus so too did the trinity. God’s word never changes just our understanding of His word.
Philip did not really appreciate who Jesus was that Thursday night, but is a few days he and the rest would come to fully know who Jesus was. Once that happened they would spread the story of Jesus to all the know world and later others would spread the Good News to the rest of the world.
Have a blessed day,