Colossians 1:15-20 is often known as the Christ Hymn. It is a passage which exalts Jesus Christ for His preeminence over all things. And in this hymn, the Word tells us that Jesus is the visible image of the invisible God. It is a beautiful statement of the oneness that exists within the Godhead, but it is not the only place in Scripture where we find this beautiful truth. Jesus Himself tells us as much in John 14. Let’s go to that passage today for our midweek devotional.
Wednesday, November 4th
Larger Portion of Scripture - John 14
Focused Passage for Reflection - John 14:7-11
Reflecting on the Text:
I wonder if the disciples sat around in a circle, just looking at each other and wondering which one of them would ask the question. Maybe they played a first-century version of “rock-paper-scissors” and Philip lost. Or maybe he was just honest enough to ask the question that was on each of their minds.
Thomas (the honest) had just paved the way by asking where Jesus was going. Now it was Philip’s turn. Jesus had told the disciples that if they had known Him they had known the Father. Philip heard, but he either wasn’t convinced or he didn’t understand. So he piped up. “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.”
I don’t know if I would have said it, but I would have wanted to. Jesus, I want to see the Father. If I could just see Him, so many of my questions would be answered. We get it…Philip’s question, that is. But why don’t we and Philip get the point Jesus was making? Why do we still try and drive a wedge between Jesus and the Father?
Old thoughts linger long. And for many of us, our old thoughts relegate the Father to the Old Testament and Jesus to the New. We separate the old and the new, just as we separate those old grim-faced grampa's we see in black and white photographs. We think of the Father as the Old Testament God of wrath and Jesus as the New Testament God of grace. We do it because old thoughts linger and because new thoughts are spiritually discerned.
In John 14, Philip and Thomas weren’t quite there yet. In the fulness of time they would see, but not yet. And in not yet seeing, they missed something important of the heart of the Father, and His Son Jesus Christ. In the passage, Jesus makes clear “whoever has seen me has seen the Father.” He makes clear that He is in the Father and the Father is in Him. They exist in union, and a true union cannot be separated.
This union is to be spiritually discerned…hence Jesus’ promise of the Holy Spirit. But as we begin to spiritually discern this truth of the union between Father and Son, what blessing do we begin to find? Maybe most importantly, we begin to see the heart of God with greater clarity and beauty. Jesus came to redeem, but He also came to reveal. And in revealing the Father, we see something of the love, compassion, and grace of God the Father.
Questions for personal reflection:
Ponder the reality of Jesus’ union with the Father. How might this reality impact the intimacy of your prayer life?
How might this reality impact your understanding of the call to obey the commandments of God?
How might this reality impact your heart in corporate worship?