Daily Word

Mutual possession | John 14:8-11

8 Philip said to him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” 9 Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority, but the Father who dwells in me does his works. 11 Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else believe on account of the works themselves.

John 14:8-11 (ESV)

In yesterday’s passage, Jesus started this section shining a spotlight on a key pillar of Christian theology. “The emphasis of verses 7–11 is crystal clear. Six times Jesus says virtually the same thing, that he and the Father are so profoundly one, that his presence is the presence of God the Father.” (desiringgod.org)

Jesus and the Father are one

In verse 7, Jesus told Thomas (the disciples, and us) if they knew Him, they’d know the Father. Then He told them that if they know Him, they know (and have seen) the Father. Now He continues with more explanation in response to Philip’s request to see the Father. 

  • In verse 9 Jesus chastens the disciples (directed at Philip) that he (they, we) has not come to know Him. Then he says something quite amazing. It is kind of subtle but be sure to catch it: Philip asked to see the Father. Jesus answers, “you still don’t know me.” John Piper interprets that as Jesus telling Philip, I am the Father, which is quite staggering to think about!
  • In the second part of v9 Jesus says, “whoever has seen me has seen the Father”. No further explanation needed. 
  • “I am in the Father and the Father is in me” of verse 10 lays the groundwork for other theology such as, Jesus and the Holy Spirit are one. Another is that we are to abide in Christ as He abides in us (John 15:4-9).
  • The second half of verse 10 repeats this mutual possession theme of the Son in the Father and Father in the Son. The Father abides in Jesus, the Son, working through Him to accomplish His will. Jesus calls us to abide in Him and He abides in us…so that  He can do His works through us.
  • Verse 11 is first stated by Jesus in John 10:38. Verse 11 is another repeat of the mutual possession theme. Do you think the disciples are getting it? Do we? Because of what Jesus just said in verse 10, He can make this statement. The Father is in Jesus, working through Him. So if they see the miracles He does, they should know they are the works of the Father.

As you can expect, Jesus will repeat this truth again (John 14:20).

RЯeflection

  • I cannot encourage you enough to read and re-read this passage, even this chapter. As you do, ask the Father to reveal Himself to you. You will be blessed. 
  • Are we abiding in Jesus and allowing Him to work through us as the Father works through Him?
Mutual posession of basketball. Image from https://www.dispatch.com/ *

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