Knowing the Father (19-10-22)
Psalm of Praise: Psalms 65:8-9
The whole earth is filled with awe at your wonders;
where morning dawns, where evening fades, you call forth songs of joy.
You care for the land and water it; you enrich it abundantly.
The streams of God are filled with water to provide the people with grain,
for so you have ordained it.
Bible Reading: John 14:7-10
If you really know me, you will know my Father as well.
From now on, you do know him and have seen him."
Philip said, "Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us."
Jesus answered: "Don't you know me, Philip,
even after I have been among you such a long time?
Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father.
How can you say, 'Show us the Father'?
Don't you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me?
I wonder in what ways you are like your father or your mother. I am taller than my father was and of a different build, but once, many years ago, I looked in a mirror and for a moment thought it was my father looking back at me. Quite bizarre!
Our son Tom, on the other hand, is quite like me, he is the same height and the same build. When we hired suits for both of our daughters’ weddings we were exactly the same size. Personality-wise, though we are quite different. If you know me and see Tom you may recognise him as my son, but you wouldn’t really know him. Likewise if you knew Tom you may recognise me as his father, but you wouldn’t really know me.
Many people want to know what God is like and look around themselves for evidence in what they can see or experience. But this can be confusing; our world contains both love and hate, beauty and ugliness, suffering and peace, wealth and poverty, the wonder of creation and its devastation. How do you understand what God is like from this?
To know God it is better to start from the inside and work outwards, rather than starting from the outside and trying to work inwards. At the heart of the Christian faith is the person of Jesus, full of compassion and love, standing for truth and justice, demonstrating faith and obedience and living a life of suffering and sacrifice.
Jesus said to his disciples, ‘If you really know me, you will know my Father as well.’
And this is not about head knowledge, it is about relationship. Jesus doesn’t want us just to know about him and about the Father, he wants us to know him and, through him, to know the Father.
If you want to know God, the best place to start is in getting to know Jesus: his life, his death, his resurrection and his teachings. Then, maybe, we can begin to make sense of the world around us.
Lord Jesus, help me to know you more each day and in knowing you, to know the Father.
Lord, I come to you.