It’s always interesting to me to hear Christians talk about God as though He has faults and failures and limitations — like us humans. They believe their situation will never change, or if it does they won’t like it even more, so they say things such as, “well, that’ll never work or that’ll never happen.” We give up, thinking that since we can’t fix it then apparently God can’t either. Or if it’s a personal change that’s needed we want to fix it in our own way because we don’t trust in the outcome God has for us.
But God is flawless. His work in us is perfect. His timing and methods rarely match up with what we would’ve done. I’m mean, let’s be honest, what we do fails quite frequently. I’ve been having conversations with friends lately about “knowing God.” I was challenged in a study to answer two questions: Do I believe God CAN help me and do I believe God WILL help me. It’s so easy for us to quickly answer those questions with a firm “yes.” But a discerning Christian will look deeper and say to themselves, “If I believe that, then why do I keep putting my actions at the center of solutions and not God?”
I’ve been reading a lot about the concept of “knowing God” and its various levels. The Wiersbe Bible Commentary on John 14 describes it perfectly:
“We do not have to wait until we enter heaven to get to know the Father. We can know Him today and receive from Him the spiritual resources we need to keep going when the days are difficult.
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). Jesus will describe this deeper relationship in John 14:19-23, so we will save any further comment until we deal with that section.
When Jesus said that knowing Him and seeing Him was the same as knowing and seeing the Father, He was claiming to be God. From now on, they would understand more and more about the Father, even though Jesus was leaving them.
I appreciate Philip’s desire to know the Father. He had come a long way since that day Jesus found him and called him (John 1:43-45). The burning desire of every believer ought to be to know God better. We read and study the Word of God so that we might better know the God of the Word.
The Greek construction of the question in John 14:10 indicates that the Lord expected a yes answer from Philip: he did believe that Jesus was in the Father and the Father in Him. That being the case, Philip should have realized that the words of Jesus, as well as His works, came from the Father and revealed the Father. Believers today have not seen the Lord Jesus in the flesh (1 Peter 1:8), but we do see Him and His works in the Word. The emphasis throughout John’s gospel is that you cannot separate Christ’s words and works, for both come from the Father and reveal the Father.
The “believe” in John 14:10 is singular, for Jesus was addressing Philip, but in John 14:11, it is plural and He addresses all of the disciples. The tense of both is “go on believing.” Let your faith grow!
Four hundred years before Christ was born, the Greek philosopher Plato wrote, “To find out the Father and Maker of all this universe is a hard task, and when we have found Him, to speak of Him to all men is impossible.” But Plato was wrong! We can know the Father and Maker of the universe, for Jesus Christ revealed Him to us. Why should our hearts be troubled when the Creator and Governor of the universe is our own Father?
The very Lord of heaven and earth is our Father (Luke 10:21). There is no need for us to have troubled hearts, for He is in control.”
Where are you at in “knowing God.” Because the place you find yourself determines the true answers to the questions: Do you know God CAN and WILL help you. Thank God that He is flawless and works in us without fail. He is my shield at all times.
What’s your praise for God today and where do you find yourself in “knowing God?”