“Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father” John 14:9 (NIV)
I recall the incident as though it was yesterday. I was attending a Communion Service in a local church. The way things went in this particular meeting was that any person was free to get up and read a Scripture, comment on it, ask for a certain hymn to be sung, or pray out loud. I was familiar with the congregation and thus knew most people who regularly attended the services there. At one point this particular Sunday a fine looking, immaculately dressed young man stood up and read some words of Jesus from one of the Gospels. Then he announced that he was Jesus, the One who had said those words so long ago!
Talk about hearing a pin drop. The silence was deafening. The young man sat down right after telling us he was Jesus. You can imagine that no one present believed he was Jesus. I am confident that all of us thought him to be deluded. After a silence of just a moment which seemed an eternity he rose and went out. A couple of men followed him to try and help him find the needed medical attention. We later learned he was a regular patient at the psychiatric unit of the local hospital.
Never before or after have I been brought so close to someone who thought themselves God. But, you see, the statement of Jesus in John 14:9 is a claim exactly like that of the young man I heard so many years ago. What would you think of a person who said to you, “Look at me and see God the Father.”? Of course you would view them as I viewed that sad young man that Sunday morning. But Jesus said many such things about being God when He walked this earth. The main response was to say He blasphemed which, according to Jewish law, was correct unless He really was God when He said it.
Jesus is seeking to comfort His frightened disciples by teaching them who He was. If Jesus was merely a good moral teacher, a nice man, or whatever, He is of no use to anyone in trouble today. Only the living can assist us in our problems and crises of life. You cannot go to the cemetery and talk to a tombstone and ask for help. There will be no answer only the silence of our folly to mock us.
When we are truly honest with ourselves in our times of distress we all know we need superhuman assistance if we are going to get through the issue in front of us. We actually need the wisdom and strength that God alone can give us. Otherwise we simply become bitter and resentful of those who do not have to walk our lonely and painful road.
When we read the words of Jesus we hear far more than a claim to being God. We hear many, many gentle invitations to come to Him for comfort and strength for the problems we face in life. Jesus is not portrayed in the Gospels as someone with a magic wand Who will wave it and make all our problems disappear. No, that is a false picture of the Master. Jesus is not like a pill you can pop to make the pain go away.
There are various scenes in the Gospels that show a variety of ways Jesus helps the suffering. For example, when we read about the repentant thief who sought the grace of our Lord, Jesus not only assured the poor man that he would be part of His coming kingdom but that he would be with Him that very day. Jesus did not get the man down from the cross and solve his problem that way. The man had to continue in the difficulty for a few more hours, but Jesus shortened the time of suffering. Luke 23:39-43
In another situation recorded in John 9, Jesus came across a man who had been burdened with blindness all his life. The man had to grow up depending on others for help and after some years as a blind adult he was finally healed of his problem when Jesus walked by him one day. So God allowed him to suffer for some years before relieving him of the difficulty.
It is the same with ourselves when we have issues in life. There are times when we have to live with the problem for years like the man born blind. There are some people who have a resolution to their problem within hours of seeking the Lord as with the repentant thief. It may be that you have to integrate the problem into the lifestyle you live. In other words, you may have to live with the difficulty for years. In such a case you may have grace from the Lord to cope if you submit to His will and seek His help.
This One who claimed to be God will come alongside you and give you help beyond anything you can imagine. He is God and you need to believe that truth. If you believe you will come to see that Jesus is everything He claims to be. And if Jesus is the One He says He is, then He is all you need in this life.
But you must have faith for without it you cannot please God. Hebrews 11:6. Will you believe Jesus is who He said He was? Will you then come to this Person with all the resources you need to guide you through life? Jesus calls. Answer Him and answer today.