John 14:9
Jesus said to him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet have you not known me, Philip? he that has seen me has seen the Father; and how say you then, Show us the Father?
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(9) Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip?—More exactly, . . . hast thou not recognised Me, as in John 14:7. Comp. the reference in John 14:8, from which it will be seen that Philip was one of the first-called disciples, and had occupied a prominent position in the band of Apostles. There is in our Lord’s words a tone of sadness and of warning. They utter the loneliness of a holiness and greatness which is not understood. The close of life is at hand, and Philip, who had followed Him from the first, shows by this question that he did not even know what the work and purposes of that life had been. They speak to all Christian teachers, thinkers, workers. There is a possibility that men should be in the closest apparent nearness to Christ, and yet have never learnt the meaning of the words they constantly hear and utter; and have never truly known the purpose of Christ’s life.

He that hath seen me hath seen the Father.—Comp. Note on John 14:7, and Philip’s own answer to Nathanael, “Come and see” (John 1:46). The demand of Philip is one which is constantly being read, and the answer is one that constantly holds good. Men are ever thinking and saying, “Shew us the Father and it sufficeth us.” “Give us something in religion upon which the soul can rest. We are weary of the doubts, and strifes, and dogmas which are too often called religion. We want something which can be real food for the soul. We cannot feed upon the husks which the swine do eat; and we believe that in the Father’s house there is, even for the hired servants, bread enough and to spare. We are not irreligious, but we are impatient of what is put before us as religion. Give us truth! Give us life! Let it be free and open as the air of heaven, and we will gladly accept it, embrace it, live it.” All this is the heart of the child seeking the presence of the Father. That Father has been manifested in the person of the Son. In the Life and Truth revealed in Him is the full revelation of God. In Him is the Bread of Life to satisfy every want of every man. He that hath seen Him hath seen the Father. How then can men say, Shew us the Father? (Comp. Note on John 12:44-45.)

14:1-11 Here are three words, upon any of which stress may be laid. Upon the word troubled. Be not cast down and disquieted. The word heart. Let your heart be kept with full trust in God. The word your. However others are overwhelmed with the sorrows of this present time, be not you so. Christ's disciples, more than others, should keep their minds quiet, when everything else is unquiet. Here is the remedy against this trouble of mind, Believe. By believing in Christ as the Mediator between God and man, we gain comfort. The happiness of heaven is spoken of as in a father's house. There are many mansions, for there are many sons to be brought to glory. Mansions are lasting dwellings. Christ will be the Finisher of that of which he is the Author or Beginner; if he have prepared the place for us, he will prepare us for it. Christ is the sinner's Way to the Father and to heaven, in his person as God manifest in the flesh, in his atoning sacrifice, and as our Advocate. He is the Truth, as fulfilling all the prophecies of a Saviour; believing which, sinners come by him the Way. He is the Life, by whose life-giving Spirit the dead in sin are quickened. Nor can any man draw nigh God as a Father, who is not quickened by Him as the Life, and taught by Him as the Truth, to come by Him as the Way. By Christ, as the Way, our prayers go to God, and his blessings come to us; this is the Way that leads to rest, the good old Way. He is the Resurrection and the Life. All that saw Christ by faith, saw the Father in Him. In the light of Christ's doctrine, they saw God as the Father of lights; and in Christ's miracles, they saw God as the God of power. The holiness of God shone in the spotless purity of Christ's life. We are to believe the revelation of God to man in Christ; for the works of the Redeemer show forth his own glory, and God in him.So long time - For more than three years Jesus had been with them. He had raised the dead, cast out devils, healed the sick, done those things which no one could have done who had not come from God. In that time they had had full opportunity to learn his character and his mission from God. Nor was it needful, after so many proofs of his divine mission, that God should "visibly manifest" himself to them in order that they might be convinced that he came from him.

He that hath seen me - He that has seen my works, heard my doctrines, and understood my character. He that has given "proper attention" to the proofs that I have afforded that I came from God.

Hath seen the Father - The word "Father" in these passages seems to be used with reference to the divine nature, or to God represented "as a Father," and not particularly to the distinction in the Trinity of Father and Son. The idea is that God, as God, or as a Father, had been manifested in the incarnation, the works, and the teachings of Christ, so that they who had seen and heard him might be said to have had a real view of God. When Jesus says, "hath seen the Father," this cannot refer to the essence or substance of God, for He is invisible, and in that respect no man has seen God at any time. All that is meant when it is said that God is seen, is that some manifestation of him has been made, or some such exhibition as that we may learn his character, his will, and his plans. In this case it cannot mean that he that had seen Jesus with the bodily eyes had in the same sense seen God; but he that had been a witness of his miracles and of his transfiguration - that had heard his doctrines and studied his character - had had full evidence of his divine mission, and of the will and purpose of the Father in sending him. The knowledge of the Son was itself, of course, the knowledge of the Father. There was such an intimate union in their nature and design that he who understood the one understood also the other. See the notes at Matthew 11:27; also Luke 10:22; John 1:18.

8-12. The substance of this passage is that the Son is the ordained and perfect manifestation of the Father, that His own word for this ought to His disciples to be enough; that if any doubts remained His works ought to remove them (see on [1851]Joh 10:37); but yet that these works of His were designed merely to aid weak faith, and would be repeated, nay exceeded, by His disciples, in virtue of the power He would confer on them after His departure. His miracles the apostles wrought, though wholly in His name and by His power, and the "greater" works—not in degree but in kind—were the conversion of thousands in a day, by His Spirit accompanying them. Our Saviour still insists upon the oneness of himself with his Father, and the personal union of the Divine and human nature in him; for otherwise the apostles might have been with Christ a long time, and known him, and yet not have seen nor known the Father. But that supposed, none that had seen Christ, but must have seen the Father also, there being but one God. Jesus saith unto him, have I been so long time with you,.... Conversing familiarly with you, instructing you by my ministry, and performing so many miraculous works among you, for so long a time; see Hebrews 5:11;

and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? Surely you cannot be so ignorant as this comes to; as you have seen me with your bodily eyes, as a man, you must, know that I am God by the doctrines I have taught you, and the miracles I have wrought among you: and

he that hath seen me; not with the eyes of his body, but with the eyes of his understanding; he that has beheld the perfections of the Godhead in me:

hath seen the Father; the perfections which are in him also; for the same that are in me are in him, and the same that are in him are in me: I am the very image of him, and am possessed of the same nature, attributes, and glory, that he is; so that he that sees the one, sees the other:

and how sayest thou then show us the Father? such a request is a needless one, and betrays great weakness and ignorance.

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, Shew us the Father?
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
John 14:9. Jesus corrects the error, and guides the craving to its true satisfaction. Τοσοῦτον χρόνονπατέρα [τοσοῦτον χρόνον may be a gloss for the dative which is found in [85] [86] [87]. The manifestation which Philip craves had been made, and made continuously for some considerable time; for so long that it was matter of surprise and regret to Jesus that Philip needed still to be taught that he who saw Jesus saw the Father. It is implied that not to see the Father in Jesus was not to know Him.

[85] Codex Sinaiticus (sæc. iv.), now at St. Petersburg, published in facsimile type by its discoverer, Tischendorf, in 1862.

[86] Codex Bezae

[87] Codex Regius--eighth century, represents an ancient text, and is often in agreement with א and B.9. so long time] Philip had been called among the first (John 1:43).

hast thou not known me] Or, hast not recognised Me, as in John 14:7. The Gospels are full of evidence of how little the Apostles understood of the life which they were allowed to share: and the candour with which this is confessed, confirms our trust in the narratives. Not until Pentecost were their minds fully enlightened. Comp. John 10:6, John 12:16; Matthew 15:16; Matthew 16:8; Mark 9:32; Luke 9:45; Luke 18:34; Luke 24:25; Acts 1:6; Hebrews 5:12. Christ’s question is asked in sorrowful but affectionate surprise; hence the tender repetition of the name. Had S. Philip recognised Christ, he would have seen the revelation of God in Him, and would never have asked for a vision of God such as was granted to Moses. See notes on John 12:44-45. There is no reference to the Transfiguration, of which S. Philip had not yet been told; Matthew 17:9.

and how sayest thou then] The ‘and’ is of doubtful authority; ‘then’ is an insertion of our translators.John 14:9. Λέγει, saith) The reply to, Show us, is contained in John 14:9-11; the answer to, it sufficeth us, is contained in John 14:12, etc., “The works that I do, shall ye do also—If ye ask anything in My name, I will do it.”—οὐκ ἔγνωκάς με, hast thou not known Me?) This is expressed by the consequent. Since thou dost deny that the Father is known to thee, thou virtually [by consequence] deniest that I am known to thee. But thou dost know Me, therefore by that very fact thou knowest the Father; by reason of the consummate unity which subsists between us.—ὁ ἑωρακὼς ἐμέ, ἑώρακε τὸν Πατέρα, he who hath seen Me, hath seen the Father) Just as the soul, which by itself is not perceived, is perceived by means of what it does through the instrumentality of the body: so he sees the Father, who sees Christ. In every thought concerning God, we ought to set Christ before us. See Colossians 1:15, note, “The image of the invisible God.” That expression, מַלְאַךְ פָּנָיו, Angel of His face, Bechai interprets מלאך שהוא פניו The Angel who is His face. Comp. Psalm 139:7, “Whither shall I flee from Thy presence?” Chrysostom remarks, He who seeth the creature, doth not also see the essence of God (τὴν οὐσίαν). If any man seeth Me, saith He, he seeth My Father: but if He were of another and distinct essence, He would not have said this,—No one, who is ignorant of gold, can see the essence of gold in silver.—καὶ πῶς) καί appears to be repeated from John 14:5. N. I., almost all the Latin MSS., Iren. and Augustine, omit the καί in John 14:9.[346]

[346] BQabc Vulg. Iren. 200, Hil. 939, 941, omit the καί in ver. 9: AD and Rec. Text retain it. Also at ver. 5, Bab omit καί: D, with Vulg. and Rec. Text, retains it. AQc and Rec. Text and Vulg. read in ver. 5 (καὶ πῶς) δυνάμεθα τὴν ὁδὸν εἰδέναι; but BDab τἠν ὁδὸν οἴδαμεν.—E. and T.Verse 9. - Christ's reply is, Have I been so long a period (χρόνον) with you, and hast thou not come to know (ἔγνωκάς) me, Philip? (Compare the aorist δεῖξον, suggesting one great complete sufficing act, with the perfect forms, ἔγνωκάς με ἐωρακὼς ἐόρακε, implying a process continuing from the past into the present,) The revelation of the Father, rather than an unveiling of the absolute God whom no man hath ever yet seen (see John 1:18), had been constantly going on before their eyes. Our Lord first of all appeals to that fact; and yet fact, reality as it was, the disciples had failed even to know him, inasmuch as they had not seen in him the Father. He thus confirms the statement of Ver. 7. "There is an evident pathos in this personal appeal the only partial parallels in St. John are cf. John 20:16 (Mary); John 21:15 (Simon, etc.)" (Westcott). There is no right understanding of Jesus Christ until the Father is actually seen in him. He is not known in his humanity until the Divine Personality flashes through him on the eyes of faith. We do not know any man until we know the best of him. How far more true is it of God and of the Father-God revealed in the Christ? He that hath seen me hath seen the Father. The "seeing" here must be adequate, comprehensive vision. How sayest thou - emphatic - Show us the Father? Philip, by the hints already given of him, might have discarded the Jewish and crude idea of a physical theophany. "How sayest thou?" reveals that sense of failure which Christ experienced when he sought to realize in the poor material of our human nature his own ideal. Have I been (εἰμι)

Literally, am I.

Known (ἐγνωκάς)

Come to know.

Sayest thou (σὺ)

Emphatic. Thou who didst say, "We have found him of whom Moses in the law and the prophets did write" (John 1:46). Omit and before how sayest thou.

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