Summary: The discourse between Jesus and His Disciples focusing on the answer, "If you have seen me, you’ve seen the Father."
Sermon by Pastor Robert Earl Houston, Sr., Assistant Pastor
Westwood Baptist Church, University Center
Nashville, Tennessee - www.westwoodbcuc.org
Sunday, June 16, 2002 (Father’s Day)
11:00 a.m. Morning Worship
Text: John 14:9
Subject: “Have You Seen My Daddy?”
One of the greatest mysteries of the ages is found in one personality – God. We know much about Him, but then again we know very little of Him. We have a general conceptualization that He exists. After all, only God could call together chaos and make something out of nothing without the permission of the nebulous. Only God could hold light and darkness in his hand as conjoined twins and then separate them as He gives them assignments of titles – day and night.
However, to many people He is a Mystery. They can’t see Him, so they are unable to characterize Him. To people of lighter hue, He is portrayed as having blonde hair and blue eyes. To people of darker hue, He is portrayed as having soft, curly hair and brown eyes. To people of Asian background, He is described as having features similar to theirs in the eyes. He has been described as long, tall, short, husky, great, thin, and so high that you can’t go over Him, so low that you can’t go under Him, so wide that you can’t go around Him – He remains a Mystery.
He has presented Himself to humankind only in quick flashes and shadowy imagery. He presents Himself as a theophany – a pre-appearance if you will, in various forms.
In the Garden of Eden, He is a voice in the Midst of the Garden.
In the Heart of Abram, He is a Director of Transportation.
In the Mind of Joseph, He is a Dream Narrator.
In the Eyes of Israel, He is a cloud by day and a fiery pillar by night.
In the Eyes of Baal’s Worshippers, He is a faucet of fire raining from the sky.
In the Spirit of Joseph, He is an Angel dispatcher to repair a home before it’s broken.
We are commanded in the Scriptures to worship the Lord in Spirit and in truth. Yet, if we be honest, there are parts of us that desire a touch, a feel, just to have some kind of tangible evidence of personal beliefs. The Bible says that “this generation seeks a sign.” We would love to be like Isaiah and view for ourselves the edges of His regal robe by simply looking up in the sanctuary. We would love to feast on leftovers of manna and quail prepared by the directions of God.
Our dilemma is similar to that of Phillip and Jesus’ other disciples. No other place in the holy writ is there the tension is like the 13th and 14th chapters of the Gospel of John. It is in these few verses alone that the tightrope of tension is displayed.
The Lord Jesus has already acknowledged that destiny is at work. The betrayer whom is manifested as Judas has been exposed at the table during the celebration of the Passover. Judas has left the table with unbeforeseen immediacy. The Apostle Peter, who’s destiny is being shaped as he will eventually serve as the Senior Pastor of the Early Church, has begun an impromptu question and answer period surrounding the events of the Lord’s eventual demise and His promise of resurrection. Philip, one who does not have very much dialogue assigned to him the scriptures in the past has decided that since hearing that the Lord is about to leave and return to His throne in glory, since Jesus has spoken of mansions that are being built for us and locations to be received at, he has heard even Thomas join the chorus of caution and ask how can we know the way?
Philip cannot contain himself. Since everyone else is asking questions of Jesus, this is the perfect venue and opportunity to chime in with a probative question. However, even the sound of the question sounds odd.
Peter speaks of forthcoming destiny.
Judas is spoken of in forthcoming betrayal.
Thomas speaks of forthcoming direction.
But Philip speaks of his own personal need for reassurance. He dares to open his mouth and ask a question not for the public’s sake, but for his own personal need for information. Someone here should be in touch with that emotion: its okay for the crowd to shout, but it means nothing if you’re not moved from within. Its okay for the Lord to be seen as a healer but it means nothing if you don’t know for yourself that He is a healer.
Philip’s words cut to the chase of the matter. Let me paraphrase it – “Jesus, I’ve been sitting here listening to you talk for the past few years. And tonight you talk about going away someplace and preparing a place for us and that if you didn’t mean it, you would have never said so. I’ve never interrupted your trains of thought. I’ve never tried to take over your conversation. But help me out here. You talk about your Father so much. We believe that He has houses and lands, fine clothes, surrounded by jewelry and rubies and diamonds. If you want me to feel you on this thing, Show us the Father. If you can just do that, it will be sufficient for me and the other fellahs.”