Today's Reading: John 14:1-14
Jesus said to him, "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'? (John 14:9)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Christ is risen! As if there's a way to figure God out apart from Jesus! Philip thought there was something hiding behind Jesus. Something they had not seen yet. They wanted to see the Father, the God behind Jesus. But Jesus says plainly that if they have seen Him, they have seen the Father.
This doesn't mean that Jesus is the Father. The Scriptures do teach that there are three Persons and one God. What Jesus means, however, is that to know Him is to know God the Father. There's no heavenly Father somewhere who is different or about something other than what Jesus is about — saving sinners.
When you want to behold the unseeable God, look at Jesus. That's how God approaches us. The Father sends the Son and the Son becomes flesh for you. Then the Son reveals the heart of the Father who loves sinners by taking trading His life for yours. If you want to know what God the Father is about, look no further than His Son Jesus who hung on the cross for you.
But so that the world could know what Jesus was teaching Philip and the other apostles, He sent them into the world do preach Him crucified and risen. To baptize and teach and make disciples. To forgive sins. To celebrate the Lord's Supper.
St. Philip and St. James were apostles — eyewitnesses of Jesus whom He sent to declare His death and resurrection to the world. They were martyred along the way, dying for the Lord they knew had risen from the dead. And their preaching continues today through the preaching and teaching and faithful pastors. And the Lord promises that He will always provide pastors to preach the Gospel in the world until He comes again. So that the world will know about the Father through the Son who reveals His saving heart. Thank God for St. Philip and St. James! Christ is risen! In the Name of Jesus. Amen.
We praise You, Lord, for Philip, Blest guide to Greek and Jew, And for young James the faithful, Who heard and followed You. O grant us grace to know You, The way, the truth, the life, To wrestle with temptation, To triumph in the strife. (LSB 518:16)
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