John 1:1 | World Challenge

John 1:1

May 30, 2019

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

Devotional Thoughts

If you're serious about your walk with God, then you want to get to know your heavenly father. You may study his majesty, his power, his glory; but do you know your Lord's human face?

You may wonder what I mean by this. After all, we know God is spirit and that he's invisible to us. Scripture states plainly, "No one has seen God at any time..." (John 1:18 NKJV). So, how can God have a human face?

I believe part of Jesus' mission on earth was to reveal the heavenly Father's human face to us. We see this in the passage when Christ told his disciples he was about to return to the father. He said, "Where I go you know, and the way you know" (14:4).

When the disciples heard this, they were dumbfounded. Thomas replied, "Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way?" (14:5). In other words: "How can we know where you're going? If you leave us, how will we ever get to the Father? You told us yourself that you're the only way to him."

Jesus answered him, "If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and from now on you know Him and have seen Him" (14:7). Philip was befuddled by this. He must have thought, "What does Jesus mean, ‘we've seen the Father’? How can we see a spirit? And how can Jesus be God, if we can see him? This is all some kind of incomprehensible riddle." Finally, he blurted out, "...Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us" (14:8).

Jesus knew Philip's request was sincere, so he answered it patiently: "...Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’" (14:9).

Jesus then turned and addressed all the disciples: "Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me?" (14:10). After saying this, he gave them a glorious promise: "At that day [after my resurrection] you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you" (14:20).

What an amazing conversation! Christ was telling these men, "Look at me! Don't you see I'm God, clothed in human flesh? I'm the very essence of the Father. All that he is in nature, substance and character is in me. Everything I say and do reveals what he's like. So, when I act and speak, you're seeing him at work. I've come to earth to show you the human face of God! I realize you can't comprehend all this now, but when I'm raised from the dead, I'll show you conclusively who the father is. I'll manifest him to you, for he and I are one."

Today, we know Christ's entire ministry was a manifestation of who the Father is. Jesus did only what he saw the Father doing, or what the Father told him to do, and nothing else. In fact, Jesus stated outright, "I can of Myself do nothing..." (5:30). He repeats this assertion throughout the gospel of John: "For I have not spoken on My own authority; but the Father who sent Me gave Me a command, what I should say and what I should speak. And I know that His command is everlasting life. Therefore, whatever I speak, just as the Father has told Me, so I speak" (12:49-50). "He who sees Me sees Him who sent Me" (12:45). "I and my Father are one" (10:30). "...I proceeded forth and came from God; nor have I come of Myself, but He sent Me" (8:42).

The apostle Paul confirms this when he says of Christ, "...God was manifested in the flesh..." (1 Timothy 3:16). Elsewhere, Paul calls Jesus "...the image of the invisible God..." (Colossians 1:15).

A clear picture emerges: God sent his son to show us exactly what he, the father, is like. To know and see God, we first must know and see Christ!