I’ve recently moved home to stay with my parents. People often say I don’t know how you can do it. Actually, I’m loving it, particularly at this peculiar time. I’m very fortunate that I’d already moved in before lockdown. It’s been great cooking for each other, eating together, watching telly, laughing, joking: the usual sort of family stuff. But now that I’m a little older, I’ve started to notice the traits I have from my parents. Of course, in my younger days, I’d have denied any resemblance. We’ve noticed my mom and I are naturally generous, particularly when it comes to hospitality—we like to overfeed people. I’ve noticed how organised my dad likes to be and how much I’m similar to him in this respect—we can’t tolerate anything out of place. I’d like to think I’m just a mix of their best bits… but I know I’ve picked up a range of their traits, including my dad’s sense of humour. Blessing or curse, I’m yet to decide.
In a similar way, we are able to grasp who God is in Jesus. When we talk of God, no words are ever adequate, no imagery ever gets it spot on. We call God Father, and, while that conveys much about God, it only goes so far. Does that mean God is not mother? What kind of father is God like? Philip wants to see the Father; he wants to grasp who God is. What he’s missed is that the Father dwells in Jesus, that Jesus is inextricably linked to God the Father. In our human striving to understand and to know God, our limited words within space and time only go so far in understanding the Eternal God. Yet, God steps into space and time in Jesus, who then reveals the very God we seek. We can see God through knowing Jesus. The Jesus we read about, the Jesus we’re taught about and the Jesus we ultimately meet in our own relationship with him through the Holy Spirit reveals all we need to know about God.