♦ ♦ ♦ JOHN 14 : 8 – 17 and 25 – 27 ♦ ♦ ♦ JESUS THE WAY TO THE FATHER AND PROMISE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT –
Philip last appeared in the Gospel in 12.20-26, when he acted as a spokesperson for some Greek-speaking Jews who ‘want to see Jesus’. Now it is Philip who wants to see: ‘Show us the Father’ is his response to Jesus’ enigmatic words, ‘No one comes to the Father except through me’ (14.6).
Jesus speaks of seeing the Father in him, echoing earlier statements in the Gospel (5.18; 10.30). This seeing is less about eyesight than insight, the very stuff of relationship. Philip is called to trust that what he hears and sees in Jesus is nothing less than the expression of the Father who dwells in him. As ‘another Advocate’, ‘with you and…in you’ (v.17), the Spirit speaks and acts with God’s authority through the community whose faith is expressed in prayer and love, and in works even greater than those of Jesus, in number if not by nature. This suggests that to see the common life of Jesus’ friends, animated as it is by the breath of resurrection (20.22), is to see the Father–Son relationship extended into ordinary human life. Their vocation is not simply to follow, but (however imperfectly) to reveal.
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