Summary: The disciples asked questions of doubt, but they would 'get it' later
“If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; from now on you know Him, and have seen Him.” 8 Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” 9 Jesus said to him, “Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 “Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works. 11 “Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me; otherwise believe because of the works themselves. 12 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father. 13 “Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 “If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.
We have come to what is commonly referred to as Jesus’ farewell discourse to His disciples. In fact, it may even say that at the top of the page in your Bible, or as a subheading inserted between the chapters, for example at the beginning of chapter 14.
This discourse actually begins at chapter 13 verse 31, which refers to Judas when it says ‘When therefore he had gone out…’ It is then that Jesus begins saying things to the eleven who are left, which He can say only to true believers.
The discourse begins there at verse 31 and continues to the end of chapter 16, and for the believer they are possibly the most amazing chapters of the Bible, in that everything Jesus says to the disciples and through the Holy Spirit to us is for comfort and assurance and sure and certain promise for our immediate and present walk with Christ and for our eternal future.
Someone has called chapter 14 the ‘comfort chapter’, and not unrightly so, for it does offer great comfort for the person who finally comes to believe who Jesus really is, and how who He is relates to the assurances and promises He makes here.
The chapter even starts out with words of comfort. “Let not your heart be troubled”, and in the second half of that verse Jesus states why Peter’s heart and therefore our hearts should not be troubled, or distressed, “…believe in God, believe also in Me.”
A sermon could easily be written – and I’m sure many have over the years – staying on just that one verse. Because, my fellow Christ-followers, coming to know and believe in the heart who God is and who Jesus is will relieve the distress and anxiety in any heart. For to truly believe in God in the way Jesus calls for in this verse is to place absolute trust in Him for all things, including life itself.
KNOW ME, KNOW THE FATHER (7-9)
Commentator Warren Wiersbe explains this word translated, ‘know’.
“What does it mean to “know the Father”? The word know is used 141 times in John’s Gospel, but it does not always carry the same meaning. In fact, there are four different “levels” of knowing according to John. The lowest level is simply knowing a fact. The next level is to understand the truth behind that fact. However, you can know the fact and know the truth behind it and still be lost in your sins. The third level introduces relationship; “to know” means “to believe in a person and become related to him or her.” This is the way “know” is used in John 17:3. In fact, in Scripture, “to know” is used of the most intimate relationship between man and wife (Gen. 4:1).
The fourth use of “know” means “to have a deeper relationship with a person, a deeper communion.” It was this level Paul was referring to when he wrote, “That I may know Him” (Phil. 3:10). “
So according to what Wiersbe has said in this excerpt, when Jesus said to His disciples that if they had known Him they would have known the Father also the disciples would have taken Jesus to mean that if they had gotten to know Him on more than a surface level, if they had really paid attention and grown close to Him in relationship, they would have no need to ask questions about the Father for they would know Him also in Christ.
Keep in mind that Jesus has just told them in no uncertain terms that He is leaving. He is leaving and they cannot follow. Even His assurance that they will follow later does little if anything to ease their minds, for Peter says, “Lord, why can I not follow You right now?”