JESUS – SEEING HIM, SEEING THE FATHER
Scriptures are cited from the King James (Authorized) Version, unless stated otherwise.
Question: What did Jesus mean when He said, “He that hath seen me hath seen the Father” (John 14: 9)?
Answer: The testimony of God’s Word and in harmony with reason and facts, Jesus could not have meant that He and the Father are one and the same person. Such a thought would have been untruthful and absurd. Rather, the thought is that the Son, the character image of the Father (Hebrews 1: 3) (Colossians 1: 15), was a picture of the Father, and therefore Jesus could truly say that whoever had seen Him had seen the Father – in His character likeness, but of course not in His body. God’s mind, heart and will were fully represented in His only-begotten Son to those from among mankind who carefully observed Him when He was in the flesh and dwelt among men. He was “God . . . manifest [Greek, rendered apparent] in the flesh” (1 Timothy 3: 16).
In seeing and knowing Jesus intimately, Philip and the other Apostles were the ones who then could know the Father in the best, closest and most absolute sense. This was evidently Jesus’ thought when He spoke those words, to disabuse Philip of the thought of Jesus’ showing to him and the other disciples God’s body, which Philip had requested Him to do (John 14: 8). Likewise, we cannot see God’s body or shape (John 5: 37); but we also can see, though in a somewhat different sense than the Apostles, how He appears in character, by contemplating Jesus’ character and its manifestations as set forth in the Scriptures – what He taught, how He acted and reacted in various situations, etc