Christine Johnson contemplates how Jesus came to live among us and show us the compassionate face of God.
In today’s Gospel, Phillip asks Jesus to “show us the Father!” Jesus answers, “Have I been with you so long a time and you still do not know me, Phillip?” And He tells the apostles that if they have seen Jesus, they have seen the Father.
In the Old Testament, God felt so unapproachable to the Israelites that they begged Moses not to let them see God’s face or hear His voice, but to be their intermediary. They were so frightened by God that they couldn’t stand the idea of being face-to-face with Him. God accepted this, allowing Moses to speak to the Israelites on His behalf. And later, 72 of the elders were chosen to also prophesy to the Chosen People.
But Jesus came to change that for us. When God lowered Himself to become Man, He became more approachable. He was another human being, though still fully divine, that we could see and touch and talk to and hug and laugh with and cry with.
Jesus came to show us that God isn’t frightening. Jesus came to show us that God’s face is one of kindness and compassion. To show us that God wants us all—even the biggest sinners—and that He is willing to go to all lengths to show us that and bring us home to Him. He is the Father of the prodigal child, scanning the horizon day after day for any sign of the boy coming home. He is the shepherd who realizes a sheep is lost, so He goes after it, leaving the 99 in the safety of each other’s company.
We don’t have to be afraid of the Father anymore, because Jesus came to show us the Father’s face. He came to show us the Father’s love.
Have you felt distant from God? Consider turning to Jesus and contemplating His face to see that God loves you and wants to be close to you.
Jesus, when we gaze at Your face, we see the face of God. Help us to grasp God's love and tenderness as we contemplate Your face.
Copyright 2022 Christine Johnson
About the Author
Christine Johnson has been married to Nathan since 1993 and is the mother of two homeschool graduates. She and Nathan live in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Southwest Virginia, where she tries to fit in as a transplanted Yank. She blogs at Domestic Vocation about her life as a wife, mother, and Lay Dominican.