Summary: Let's honor our Father in heaven by being like Him
That’s a common saying isn’t it? A lot of the time it’s true to some extent, many of us have traits of our parents whether we want them or not, but we’re rarely exactly them. In the case of Jesus, it’s true that the Son is exactly like the Father. Colossians 1:15, “He is the image of the invisible God”.
We’re in John 14 today so right away look at that first verse in our passage, John 14:1. “Let your hearts not be troubled”. Why? Jesus is trying to tell them that he and the Father are one. Believe in God, believe in me. I’m going to prepare a place for you in my Father’s house and then I will come back for you and take you to where I am”. Do you see that Jesus is saying “I’m Him” I am God. You can’t get to the Father except through me because he and I are one. Look at his statement there in verse 7, “If you know me you know the Father, and if you’ve seen me you’ve seen Him” again because he is the image of the invisible God.
So we need not be troubled, this was not just some man, some prophet walking the earth, this was God incarnate, with all the power, truth and life of God. In other words he’s saying you can trust me completely. God bless you if you could say that about your earthly father. So many people grew up with fathers who were absent or non-existent, maybe they were abusive, and as I saw so often as a counsellor, many grew up not knowing if their father really loved them or approved of them. That is such a great need in every human being and it’s why a relationship with our loving, forgiving Father in heaven is so important for so many.
You know dads, fatherhood is a role that I believe is God ordained, and every human is born with a need to find love and approval in their father’s eyes. Maybe that’s a reflection of the hole that’s in our souls that only God the Father can fill, yet he gives us an opportunity to be in essence, surrogate fathers while we have our children. Dad’s if you have never told your children you love them, or that you’re proud of them, you need to, and I have found out that it’s never too late. It doesn’t matter how old your kids are.
What does our heavenly Father say to us through Jesus? I love you and even though you have rebelled, and avoided me, I will always take you back. I am proud of you if you are in my son, because I am so proud and pleased with my son. Remember he said that this is my Son with whom I am well-pleased. Nothing makes a father happier than to see their son, or daughter, be obedient and successful in life, and this includes God as a Father. Not just a Father to Jesus, but to us as well. Scripture says that we are now children of God, heirs with Christ if we have put our lives in Christ. Think about that one, we are going to share everything that Jesus has.
But a good father doesn’t necessarily make it easy for their children. God literally put Jesus through hell, and most good fathers will discipline their children and give them rules and guidance, and let them experience some consequences of their disobedient behaviour. The bible says that God disciplines those he loves.
So in God we have this example of a good Father, and a good son. We can be both as well because of the instruction and example that God has given us. But the world sure wants to throw us off course, and it can be very difficult to be a biblical father or biblical child in our day.
The question becomes in the realm of parenting and being obedient children, do we stand up and be what God the Father tells us to be, or do we cave into the world’s pressures. More and more Christians are being asked to stand up for marriage, parenting, sexual purity, and so on, and we are only being somewhat successful. Is that because our trust in God might be a little shaky as the world turns up the heat on us?
So right after Jesus says if you have seen me you have seen the Father, in verse 8 Phillip asks Jesus to show them the Father. Was he not standing there when Jesus said if you’ve seen him you’ve seen the Father? But I think this question is one that we ourselves ask in different ways. We want to see the Father in all his power and glory, not as a humble man walking around the earth homeless. Jesus responds with some exasperation in verses 9 and 10, have I been with you so long and you still don’t know me. Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father in me?