When Philip requests from Jesus that he show them the Father, Jesus replies, “Whoever has seen me has seen the Father.” Let us all agree: that is quite a claim. If I were to say to you, “Friend, if you have seen me, then you have seen God,” at the very least you would be doubtful. Most likely, you would be worried. And yet, that is our Lord’s claim. If we have seen him, we have seen the Father.
The 2nd century Christian, Irenaeus, put it this way, “For the glory of God is a living man; and the life of man consist in beholding God. For if the manifestation of God which is made by means of the creation, affords life to all living in the earth, much more does that revelation of the Father which comes through the Word, give life to those who see God” (Adversus Haereses 4.20.7).
In other words: If God’s glory is revealed in creation, which gives life to all on earth, how much more so is God’s glory revealed in Christ, who gives life forever? In Christ, we see God. As we see God in Christ, we become more like him, for God is what we desire most. We imitate him, and by grace grow more like him, loving as he loves us.
“Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children, and live in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God” (Ephesians 5:1-2).