The Gospel of John: Knowing the Father!

They said to him therefore, “Where is your Father?” Jesus answered, “You know neither me nor my Father. If you knew me, you would know my Father also. These words he spoke in the treasury, as he taught in the temple; but no one arrested him, because his hour had not yet come.” (John 8:19-20).

Jesus instructed the religious leaders that His personal testimony regarding His identity was true. It was supported by three facts: Fist, Jesus knew his origin and destiny while the Jews were ignorant even of basic spiritual truths, making their judgment limited and superficial (vv. 14–15). Second, Jesus’ intimate union with the Father guaranteed the truth of the Son’s witness (v. 16). Third, the Father and Son testified together regarding the identity of the Son (vv. 17–18).

How ironic that the religious leader’s testimony of their own status with God the Father is glaringly apparent. Rather than being those who occupy the highest level of righteousness with God, they reveal their ignorance of Him and their lack of salvation from Him. When they asked Jesus, “Where is your Father?”, apparently in response to Jesus’ previous statement in John 8:16-18, they were once again thinking only on human terms (e.g., 3:4; 4:11; 6:52).

Jesus said, “You know neither me nor my Father. If you knew me, you would know my Father also.” To know (οἶδα; oida) means more than just to possess information about someone. It also means to understand the one you claim to know. In other words, you don’t really know someone until you understand how they think and act. The religious leaders, in spite of their claims and religious position, did not know God and did not know Christ.

John Calvin writes that Jesus, “does not deign to give them a direct reply, but in a few words reproaches them with the ignorance in which they flatter themselves. They inquired about the Father, and yet when they had the Son before their eyes, seeing, they did not see (Matthew 13:13).”

Calvin continues by saying, “Let us know that the same thing is spoken to us all; whoever aspires to know God, and does not begin with Christ, must wander – as it were – in a labyrinth.”

John inserts a commentary that this dialogue occurred in the temple, at a part known as the treasury. This was where the sacred offerings were taken. Many people came to part of the temple. Therefore, we may infer that there was a large crowd of people in attendance. Yet no one arrested Him because it was not God the Father’s timing for this to occur.

How do we truly know that we know God? I John 2:3-6 says, “And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments. Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.”

Are you revealing your intimate knowledge of God today by how you live? Remember, people are watching.

Soli deo Gloria!


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