Tom: We’re continuing with the gospel. We’re in the Gospel of John. Is it okay for me to say the Gospel of John, Dave?
Dave: I think so; I’ll go along with that.
Tom: Okay. We’re in John 14, and we’re going to pick up with verse 8: “Philip saith unto him, Lord, show us the Father, and it suffices us. Jesus saith unto him, 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, Show us the Father?” That must have been tough for them to grasp.
Dave: Well, it’s rather mysterious. I mean, they haven’t really heard of God as Father.
Tom: What about Isaiah—was it 9:6?
Dave: Well, it doesn’t say that He’s…well, the everlasting Father, yeah—the Father of eternity, but that’s one verse. Of course you have Psalm 2: “Kiss the Son, lest He be angry,” or you have Proverbs 30: “What is his name? [the Creator of the universe] and what is His Son’s name?” So that would imply that He was the Father.
Tom: But all these are by implication. There was never a direct teaching or something that they understood—either culturally or biblically.
Dave: Jesus introduced them to the Father: “Well, show us the Father.” I mean, “Where are you going? You say we know where you are going, we know the way. How do we know that? We don’t even know what you’re talking about.”
Well, “I am the way, the truth and the life, and if you’ve seen me, you have seen the Father. If you’ve known me, you should have known the Father.”
Well, “show us the Father.” Tom, it’s one of the most amazing revelations, most amazing promises, or gifts of God, that John—and I don’t think it was Lazarus—in his first epistle says, “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the children of God.” And so we are, and that’s so amazing—to be adopted into the family of the Creator of the universe and know Him as our heavenly Father. And Jesus, of course, taught His disciples to pray, “Our Father, who art in heaven.” Not by rote, but He said, “After this manner pray ye.” And to think that—well, you know, they use all kinds of illustrations—people out there have probably heard them all, but one of them is: Here’s a big bank and the president of the bank—he’s got his own private office, and he’s very hard to get to. You’ve got to go through his secretary or who knows what else and have an appointment. And this little boy walks in, and he walks right past everybody. He doesn’t even knock on the door! He just goes right in and sits on his daddy’s lap, because the president of the bank happens to be his father.
It gives you some idea of the heart of a father for his children and the access that that gives you. And to think that we are the children of God! And Paul tells us in Galatians: “We are the children of God through faith in Christ Jesus.” Getting back to this, was it through works? No, we don’t become His children through works but through faith in Christ Jesus. So, the first time we were born into this world, Jesus said, “You have to be born again.” Obviously, for God to be your Father, you would have to be born again into His family. The first time we were born into this world, we became the children of our earthly parents. To be children of God we have to be born again through faith in Christ, by the Spirit of God into the family of God, and that is just beyond—beyond!—our capacity to, not only to comprehend but to enjoy. We have to stop and think, “Wait a minute! I’m a child of God! God is my Father—my heavenly Father! Wow, that is so wonderful!” And yet, I don’t think we appreciate it enough.
Tom: No, but as we grow in our relationship with Him, and we will have all eternity, Dave, to bask in His love and to grow in our understanding of that.
Dave: You know, Tom, I don’t want to keep harping on Calvinism, but, you know, it’s very much on my heart. The Calvinist does not believe that God loves everyone. The Bible says God is love, but God doesn’t love everyone. He even wants some people to go to hell and has predestined them.
Tom: Dave, I just have to interject this. Some out there would say, “Well, I’m a Calvinist and I don’t believe that.”
Dave: Well, I don’t know what you mean by a Calvinist.
Tom: But, Dave, we’ve seen—there are all shades of them.
Dave: Yeah, but this is what Calvinists—let’s say the official Calvinists or the Calvinist leaders, John Calvin himself, said, denying “For God so loved the world” means that God loves everyone, because how could you say He loves everyone if He doesn’t want everyone in heaven? And the fact that He doesn’t want everyone in heaven is very clear if He predestined only certain ones to go to heaven and predestined the rest to go to hell. And the Calvinist says He could have sent everyone to heaven, but…
By the way, Tom, not to get back on another sore point, but that is exactly what Islam teaches. There are verses in the Qur’an that say, “If Allah had wanted everyone in paradise he could have brought everyone there.” Predestination of that nature is very much a part of Islamic fundamental teaching.
But anyway, to just think—God loves me, and to rest in that fact, and to be able to say to any person that we come in contact with, “God loves you. God wants you in heaven. He sent his Son to die to pay the full penalty for the sins of the whole world.” And again, the Calvinist would say—John Owen, and others, Spurgeon: “Are you meaning to say that Christ died for people who are already in hell? You mean to say that He allowed His blood to be shed….” [I don’t like that. You know, we have songs that say “He shed His blood.” He didn’t shed His blood. That means when you kill someone you’ve shed their blood, but He allowed His blood to be shed, and “He gave His life a ransom.” You mean He did that for people who would reject Him? So, He wasted some of His blood? No, you can’t divide it up and say this drop of blood was for this person and that drop of blood was for that person. It sounds like I’m getting off the subject here, Tom, but we’re talking about the Father and the Father’s love. All of the blood of Christ would have had to be shed for one person to be saved, okay?
So, Jesus says, “Look, I have come from the Father. When you see me—you want to know who God is? You want to know what He is like? Look at Me. You believe in God? Believe in Me.” Tom, it is such tremendous truth that—there are many people who don’t believe this. Of course, they deny the deity of Christ, and He is declaring His deity here very clearly.
Tom: Verse 10: “Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you, I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.” Verse 11, “Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works’ sake.”
Dave: Well, we’re back to what we were talking about: Show me your faith by your works. And Jesus says, “I’m showing you who I am by my works.” No one could do that. And now, Tom, we had better leave that next, verse 12, for next time because that’s a tough one: “The works that I do, he will do also if he believes in me.”
But here again, you have in verse 10, you have a tough one, and we’ve dealt with that before: “The words that I speak unto you, I speak not of myself, but the Father that dwelleth in me, He doeth the works.”
And, Jesus, earlier—we’ve had this in some of the previous chapters: “I can do nothing of myself.” That doesn’t mean that He is helpless, and it doesn’t mean that He is not God. But what it does mean is that He does not act independently of the Father. And when we get to chapter 16, it says of the Holy Spirit, “He will not speak of himself.” And I can remember when I used to say, Tom, “Oh, those Pentecostals—they’re talking about the Holy Spirit all the time and it says the Holy Spirit won’t talk about Himself.” No, it means He will not speak on His own initiative; He will not speak independently. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—three persons, one God—and they act in concert, not independently of one another. And that’s what Jesus is saying here.
Tom: Dave, I will read verse 12, and give us something to ponder as we head into next week’s program: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do: because I go unto my Father.”
Dave: That’s a lot to think about, Tom.