“If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.”-John 14:7
After telling the disciples that he was the only way to God, Jesus took it a step further, or perhaps several steps. In Hebrew culture, God was completely transcendent. The Jews knew many things about God having been well-trained in the scriptures. Many of them would memorize the Pentateuch—the first five books of the Bible—so that they knew the story. They knew that God had revealed himself to certain people, but that no one could behold the fullness of his glory and live. Like all Jews, Jesus’s followers were trying to uphold and follow the law so that they would see more of God. In verse 6, Jesus told them that he was the only way they would be able to see the Father, not by following the law, but by following him.
In verse 7, Jesus told them that not only was he was the way to the Father, but that he was one with the Father. “If you know me, you know my Father.” In less than a day, the high priests would kill him for saying that he was one with God. The word Jesus used for “know” was not implying that he knew facts about God, but that he knew him with relational intimacy. The same word was used elsewhere to indicate intercourse. Jesus told Thomas and the others, “If you know what intimate friendship with me is like, then you know what relationship is like with my Father. Like me, he is intimate, loving, and kind.”
Jesus’s statement about oneness with the Father likely fractured many of their stereotypes about God. Perhaps they also shatter yours. For some of us, we remember God’s transcendent holiness, but we forget his immanent and intimate love for us. He is holy and he is love. If you want to know what God looks like, get to know Jesus.
Jesus, in my finite understanding, it is hard for me to remember that you are transcendent and immanent at the same time. Thank you for helping me to see that the love you have shown me is the same love the Father offers. Amen.