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.
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?
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? John 14:9. UL 148.1
There is a world to be warned, and every effort must now be made to exalt the truth.... The great Teacher held in His hand the entire map of truth. In simple language He made plain to His disciples the way to heaven, and the endless subjects of divine power. The question of the essence of God was a subject on which He maintained a wise reserve, for their entanglements and specifications would bring in science which could not be dwelt upon by unsanctified minds without confusion. In regard to God and in regard to His personality, the Lord Jesus said, “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” (John 14:9). Christ was the express image of His Father's person. UL 148.2Read in context »
God is revealed to us in Christ. Our Saviour is the image of the invisible God. Oh, how near to heaven we may be. “He that hath seen me hath seen the Father,” Christ declared. UL 142.4Read in context »
Had God the Father come to our world and dwelt among us, humbling Himself, veiling His glory, that humanity might look upon Him, the history that we have of the life of Christ would not have been changed.... In every act of Jesus, in every lesson of His instruction, we are to see and hear and recognize God. In sight, in hearing, in effect, it is the voice and movements of the Father. TMK 338.4Read in context »
As legislator, Jesus exercised the authority of God; His commands and decisions were supported by the sovereignty of the eternal throne. The glory of the Father was revealed in the Son; Christ made manifest the character of the Father. He was so perfectly connected with God, so completely embraced in His encircling light, that he who had seen the Son had seen the Father. His voice was as the voice of God.... He says, “I am in the Father, and the Father in me.” “No man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him.” “He that hath seen me hath seen the Father” (John 14:11; Matthew 11:27; 14:9).3 TMK 38.5Read in context »