Show Us the Father


Lord, show us the Father; that is all we need. – John 14:8

Things were heating up. They were beginning to move faster than the Apostles could handle it and they were beginning to be afraid. Thomas had said to Jesus that they didn’t even know where he was going with this whole thing and expressed his usual consternation as to how they could get ‘there’ if they did not even know where they were going.

Still not understanding, Philip asks Jesus to explain what he means when he calls himself “the way, the truth and the life.” “Show us the way to the Father then.” Jesus patiently challenges them then with, “I have been with all of you for a long time, and yet you do not know me, Philip? When you see me you see the Father. Don’t you believe this yet, Philip, that I am in the Father and the Father is in me?”

This is heady stuff for the Apostles and for us. Jesus is explaining a theological reality to them here, the ultimate truth about creation and all being. He is defining the mystery, the reality of the Holy Trinity. It will be a few verses later that he will explain the Holy Spirit in much the same way. “I have told you this while I am still with you. The Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything and make you remember all that I have told you.” (John 14:26)

Jesus is explaining the centerpiece of our Christian Faith to the Apostles and to us here. The mystery of the Trinity can only be understood in the light of faith. We believe that in Jesus we see the face of God. We see, in his words and his deeds, the living force and tenor of God’s creative, forgiving and loving powers. We have come to know the Father and the Holy Spirit through Jesus’ eyes, his touch, his words and his deeds in the flesh. Because of Jesus, we know that when we call ourselves Christians we do so in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen! It is when we gather in that Name, when we move and act in the world in that Name, that that Trinitarian One is present in and through us for the sake and the good of all. It is in that Name, and only that Name, that we find the way to that place Jesus prapared for us in Heaven. In Jesus’ Name is the Father and the Holy Spirit. In that holy Name is the Alpha and the Omega—everything!

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Dan Doyle is a husband, father, grandfather, Vietnam veteran, and retired professor of Humanities at Seattle University. He taught 13 years at the high school level and 22 years at the university level. He spends his time now babysitting his granddaughter. He is a poet and a blogger as well. Dan holds an AA degree in English Literature, a BA in Comparative Literature, and an MA in Theology, and writes regularly for The Veterans Site blog.
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