Putting God on Display

Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.” Jesus answered, “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work.” –John 14:8-10

I think there are times in all our lives when we hear the words of Jesus and have the same collective thought, “What on earth is He talking about?” I don’t think we’re alone. I wonder what the disciples were thinking when they heard Jesus teach. Did they have that same thought, “Now exactly where is He going with this one?”

In John 14, Jesus makes this astounding claim, “He who has seen me has seen the Father.” In reality, Jesus is saying something quite profound. “This God that you worship, who is far off, has come near. In fact, nearer than you would have ever imagined. If you want to know what He is like, then watch me.” In essence, Jesus was putting God on display.

If you want to know what God is like, watch Jesus. Do you want to see how God would love or show compassion? Then watch how Jesus does it. To see Jesus is to see God in action. In Jesus, the invisible God is made visible.

Now this has insightful ramifications for us. If Jesus was putting God on display and we are called to live as Jesus did, then in a truly mysterious way, we are also putting God on display for this world. This is what Jesus is inviting us to do as his followers — to put God on display for this world to see. At home. At work. At school. Wherever we go… in all that we do… the question remains: are we putting God on display for this world to see? If people were to watch us, would they gain a better sense of who God is?

What if in watching us and describing how we lived, people actually would be describing God without ever even knowing it? That would be truly amazing, would it not? Perhaps it could even change the world.

1. Why do you think God chose to display Himself through the person of Jesus?

2. Why do you think He has chosen to put Himself on display through us?

3. What are some practical ways in which we can put God on display for this world to see? What difference do you think it would make?

2 Corinthians 5:17-20; Ephesians 2:14-17; Colossians 1:19-20, 3:15-17

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Mike DeVries

Mike DeVries is a husband, father and a veteran pastor and youth pastor. He is an adjunct professor at Azusa Pacific University in the School of Theology.

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