He that hath seen me hath seen the Father - Could any creature say these words? Do they not evidently imply that Christ declared himself to his disciples to be the everlasting God?
So long time - For more than three years Jesus had been with them. He had raised the dead, cast out devils, healed the sick, done those things which no one could have done who had not come from God. In that time they had had full opportunity to learn his character and his mission from God. Nor was it needful, after so many proofs of his divine mission, that God should “visibly manifest” himself to them in order that they might be convinced that he came from him.
He that hath seen me - He that has seen my works, heard my doctrines, and understood my character. He that has given “proper attention” to the proofs that I have afforded that I came from God.
Hath seen the Father - The word “Father” in these passages seems to be used with reference to the divine nature, or to God represented “as a Father,” and not particularly to the distinction in the Trinity of Father and Son. The idea is that God, as God, or as a Father, had been manifested in the incarnation, the works, and the teachings of Christ, so that they who had seen and heard him might be said to have had a real view of God. When Jesus says, “hath seen the Father,” this cannot refer to the essence or substance of God, for He is invisible, and in that respect no man has seen God at any time. All that is meant when it is said that God is seen, is that some manifestation of him has been made, or some such exhibition as that we may learn his character, his will, and his plans. In this case it cannot mean that he that had seen Jesus with the bodily eyes had in the same sense seen God; but he that had been a witness of his miracles and of his transfiguration - that had heard his doctrines and studied his character - had had full evidence of his divine mission, and of the will and purpose of the Father in sending him. The knowledge of the Son was itself, of course, the knowledge of the Father. There was such an intimate union in their nature and design that he who understood the one understood also the other. See the notes at Matthew 11:27; also Luke 10:22; John 1:18.
Looking upon His disciples with divine love and with the tenderest sympathy, Christ said, “Now is the Son of man glorified, and God is glorified in Him.” Judas had left the upper chamber, and Christ was alone with the eleven. He was about to speak of His approaching separation from them; but before doing this He pointed to the great object of His mission. It was this that He kept ever before Him. It was His joy that all His humiliation and suffering would glorify the Father's name. To this He first directs the thoughts of His disciples. DA 662.1Read in context »
In every precept that Christ taught, He was expounding His own life. God's holy law was magnified in this living representative. He was the revealer of the infinite mind. He uttered no uncertain sentiments or opinions, but pure and holy truth.... He invites men to take a close view of God in Himself, in the infinite love therein expressed.2 TMK 98.4Read in context »
Jesus has helped the whole world to an intelligent knowledge of His divine mission and work. He came to represent the character of the Father to our world, and as we study the life, the words, and works of Jesus Christ, we are helped in every way in the education of obedience to God; and as we copy the example He has given us, we are living epistles known and read of all men. We are the living human agencies to represent in character Jesus Christ to the world. RC 340.4Read in context »
To human eyes Christ was only a man, yet He was a perfect man. In His humanity He was the impersonation of the divine character. God embodied His own attributes in His Son—His power, His wisdom, His goodness, His purity, His truthfulness, His spirituality, and His benevolence. In Him, though human, all perfection of character, all divine excellence, dwelt. And to the request of His disciple, “Shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us,” He could reply, “Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?” “I and my Father are one” (John 14:8, 9; 10:30).... TMK 111.2Read in context »