It wasn’t enough that Philip had been chosen by Jesus to walk with him during his ministry, witness his miracles, watch him heal and care and serve. Philip wanted to see God the Father for himself.
Jesus had just told his disciples that he would soon have to leave them to go back to his Father. He was going ahead to prepare rooms for them in his Father’s house. He told them there was only one way to that house — Jesus himself.
“No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”
Then Philip makes a request: “Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us.”
You can almost hear the frustration in Jesus’ voice in his reply,
“Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?” (John 14:8, 9)
Philip was like so many of us at times — we would really like to see God for ourselves — up close. We want him to show himself. But God has shown himself — in the person of His only Son. If we want to see the Father in the flesh, all we have to do is open our Bibles to the first four books of the New Testament.
There you see God’s compassion as he heals the sick, gathers the children to him and mourns for the city that will soon crucify him. You see his power as he calms a raging storm, opens the eyes of the blind and raises a young girl from her deathbed. You see his wisdom as he instructs the simple and confounds the scholar. You see him face temptation without sin, cruelty without revenge and rejection without depression.
You see him wrongfully accused, humiliated, tortured, and crucified. You see him rise from the dead and ascend back to heaven.
You realize you have seen God in the flesh.
And that is sufficient.