Summary: God the Father is a mystery to many. But in the Bible we can find an “exact representation of His being.” His traits, His character, His holiness, His activities, and much more are revealed to us in precise detail. Come see how.
It’s possible to walk with Jesus, as His disciples did for “such a long time,” and still miss this great truth. What truth? That when you see Jesus, you’ve seen the Father. Jesus is never recorded in the Bible saying that He was the Father. Rather, He said that we “see” God the Father by seeing Jesus the Son of God.
Our world has perhaps 5 billion people who have no concept of who God the Father is. The only way to “show [them] the Father” is to show them Jesus: “No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).
Now this is interesting…and helpful. Point someone to Jesus and you have helped them to believe in God the Father. How then can we lead people to faith in God? Simply tell them of Jesus the Son, let them “look at [Him],” and through the Son they will see the Father! This is a key to effective evangelism—preach Jesus and people will come through Him to God the Father.
God the Father is invisible. Jesus told us that “God is spirit” (John 4:24). How then can we, mere mortals, see God? By seeing Jesus, who is:
Do you want to understand the love of God? Look at Jesus in the four Gospels. Do you want to see the power of God illustrated? Think of Jesus walking on water, multiplying the loaves and fish, calming the furious storm, healing the sick, and many more manifestations like these of God’s limitless power. The Son exactly, perfectly represents God the Father. Jesus Himself said, “The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do” (John 5:19, KJV). Jesus’ words and acts on earth precisely revealed what God the Father in heaven intended to be said and done.
God the Father didn’t just leave us to guess about Him. He sent Jesus to:
Notice the phrase “the one and only Son, who is himself God…” This speaks of the full Deity of Jesus, along with the Father. If Jesus were less than full Deity, He could not adequately represent God the Father. He would not be the Father’s “exact representation.” As a side note, let me point out here that every single false religion fails on this point. They deny the full Deity of Jesus Christ. Only Christianity—the faith that Jesus Himself established on this earth—properly honors Him in His full, coequal Deity along with the Father and the Holy Spirit. As many reputable theologians have summarized it, there is one God, eternally existing in three divine Persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
Jesus and the Father are one; they are in complete and total harmony and unity. But it’s not numerical unity. He said “I and the Father...” The “and” speaks of two distinct persons, who are yet “one.” Jesus completely and exactly represents, manifests, and makes known the Father, to the point where the Son can say He and the Father are “one.”
This is brought out further in John 1:1—“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” Jesus the Word (Revelation 19:13,16) was with God, clearly speaking of Father and Son/Word as two distinct persons. But Jesus also was God from the beginning. This speaks of the co-deity of Father and Son from eternity past.
In his commentary on “The Gospel of John” (p. 233), F.F. Bruce writes of this verse: “So responsive is the Son to the Father that he is one in mind, one in purpose, one in action with him.” This is yet another way of expressing the biblical truth that Jesus the Son is the “exact representation” of the Father’s being.
This is a great insight. Lost people do not hear God’s voice, they do not “see” God, they don’t have His word in them because they “do not believe the one he sent”! This exposes the sad state of those who try to find God without coming to Him through Jesus, who stated clearly (John 14:6): “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” Just believing in God does not get a person saved. Even the demons believe in God, yet they tremble in fear at their pending judgment and doom (James 2:19). It is not mere intellectual consent to God's existence that brings salvation. It is “repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts 20:21, NASB) that brings us the new birth and entrance into the born-again family of God.
Introduce people directly to Jesus. He will enable them to hear, to see, to believe the things of God. Jesus must be the central theme of our preaching, our teaching, our witnessing. Through the baptism with the Holy Spirit He empowers His disciples to accomplish this: “…you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit … [8, KJV] ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth” (Acts 1:5,8). We today, in that same Holy Spirit power, can continue taking the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the ends of the earth. And through Him multitudes can be saved, become children of God the Father (John 1:12), and face the blessed future of spending eternity with Him in resurrected, glorified, immortal bodies.
A final reminder: You and I and everyone who will ever experience New Testament salvation will come to God through Jesus. He is the Way, the only Way (John 14:6).
In our opening verse we saw Philip saying, “Show us the Father.” The biblical response and pathway to that are: take a good look at Jesus! He is the visible and exact representation of God the Father.
Let that dominate our approach to God — “looking unto Jesus.” He is the way, the truth, and the life. He is the image of the invisible Father God. He is the exact representation of the Father’s being. He is the One who perfectly reveals to us the mind, the thoughts, the loving heart of God towards us.
And let “looking unto Jesus” dominate our efforts at winning the lost —
In closing I look back to this message’s title: “How to See God Exactly As He Is.” The answer? Fix your eyes on Jesus. He is the clear revelation and the exact representation of the invisible God.
©2006, 2016, James H. Feeney
Pentecostal Sermons and Bible Studies
by Pastor Jim Feeney, Ph.D.