Throughout the ages, man has been obsessed with the supernatural. Ancient Greeks desired to have their pagan gods come down to them, and still even today people long for signs from UFO’s, looking for them in “crop circles” and “unexplained sightings.” These so-called “visitations” have, for the most part, been explained by modern science, but the desire is still existent. Believers in such paranormal activity will use these alleged occurrences to explain the possible existence of other beings in the universe, rather than our own.
This thought was no different in Jewish times, with people longing for signs to prove the power of a certain individual. Certainly Jesus’ miracles were given, in part, for this very reason, that we might believe in Him (John 20:30-31). Despite the hundreds of miracles and signs that were performed in the sight of numerous individuals, still there were doubters. In Matthew 12:38-45, the Pharisees came to Jesus requesting a sign be demonstrated of Him, for which Jesus rebuked them. “An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign,” (Matt. 12:39). However, the time would come when even one of the disciples would come to Jesus requesting a miracle to cement their faith.
Philip, in John 14:8, said, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” Jesus answer showed His disappointment in the disciples by still not understanding the scope of who He was. Jesus told Philip “if you have seen Me, you have seen the Father,” (14:9) explaining that He and the Father are indeed one. It may be easy for us to cast judgment on Philip, arguing that his disbelief was despicable, considering all that he had seen and heard. “All I’ve had is the Bible!” someone will say, as if God’s Word was just any other book. On top of that, do we not have history itself that testifies of a Jesus of Nazareth? What also are we to make of the thousands or even millions that have died for the cause of Christ over the last 2,000 years?
It can be tempting for us to look at the Bible and say, “One miracle. Only one miracle is all I need, and I’ll be the greatest Christian this world has ever seen.” While we may not be walking with Jesus, examining his handiwork and beholding his power, do we not see the power of God in the world? Psalm 8:1 says, “Oh Lord, our Lord, how majestic is Your name in all the earth, who have displayed Your splendor above the heavens!” Again, in Acts 14:17, “…He has not left Himself without testimony.” If we stop looking towards the Heavens for signs that are extraordinary, we will see that the grass we step on and the wind we feel is equally magnificent.
However, what Jesus is ultimately telling Philip is that he has already seen the Father, living in Jesus. Jesus’ words are not His own, but the Father’s. God’s will is the one being carried out in Jesus, not His own. The words that He spoke, resting on the pages of your Bible, are evidence of the Father, and they reveal Him. It is impossible for us to see God the Father on this earth (Exodus 33:20), but we see Him everyday. Knowing Jesus is knowing God.Last modified: January 22, 2019