What is the meaning of the phrase: “He who has seen me has seen the Father” (John 14:9)?  

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He who has seen me has seen the Father Meaning

Jesus earnestly explained to His disciples, “If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and from now on you know Him and have seen Him.” Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us.” Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?” (John 14:7-9).  

The goal of Christ’s mission on this earth was to reveal the character of the Father to the human race. John affirmed, “No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him” (John 1:18). No man can see the Father and live (Exodus 33:20). So, Christ came to show the character of the Father to humans (John 14:7–11).

One with the Father 

The unity of Christ to the Father was no secret to the disciples. Jesus Himself had declared it before to them, “I and My Father are one” (John 10:30). He affirmed His unity with the Father in will, purpose, and objectives. The Father was supporting the words and deeds of Jesus. And the Jews clearly understood Christ’s declaration to be a claim to divinity (John 10:32-33; and John 5:18-19) and for that, they picked up stones to stone Him (John 10:31).  

The words and works of Jesus both bore testimony to His divinity and union to God. The disciples should have believed the words of Jesus. If this was hard for them, they should have believed His words simply because of the great miracles He did before the whole nation of Israel (John 10:38).

Greater works than these

And Jesus promised His disciples, “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 My Father” (John 14:12). The greater works are, greater in quantity rather than quality. Christ’s ministry had spread over a small country in the world. But after His ascension to heaven, the gospel would spread to all the world through the work of the Holy Spirit (John 14:16 and John 16:7) who will empower the disciples to carry on the Great Commission to the world in a greater scale (Luke 24:49). Consequently, the gospel was shared with great power, so that about 40 years later Paul could say that the gospel was “preached to every creature which is under heaven” (Colossian 1:23).  

The great “I am”

Christ is the “I am” (John 6:35; John 8:12; John 10:7, 11 and John 11:25). The “I am” phrase is a title for God. Christ declared that He is the way from earth to heaven. There is no other means of salvation (Acts 4:12; 1 Timothy 2:5). By His humanity He touches this earth, and by His divinity He touches heaven. He is the ladder that Jacob saw in the dream connecting earth and heaven where the angels of God were ascending and descending on it with blessings to humanity (John 1:51; Genesis 28:12).

Because of Christ’s incarnation and death “a new and living way” has been made for the believers (Hebrews 10:20). The death of Christ was especially an important step in the revelation of the infinite love of the Father (John 3:16). The later revelations of the power of the Holy Spirit would further reveal the divine character (John 14:26; John 15:26; John 16:13, 14).

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

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