Ellicott’s Commentary for English Readers(9) Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip?–More exactly, . . . hast thou not recognised Me, as in John 14:7. Comp. the reference in John 14:8, from which it will be seen that Philip was one of the first-called disciples, and had occupied a prominent position in the band of Apostles. There is in our Lord’s words a tone of sadness and of warning. They utter the loneliness of a holiness and greatness which is not understood. The close of life is at hand, and Philip, who had followed Him from the first, shows by this question that he did not even know what the work and purposes of that life had been. They speak to all Christian teachers, thinkers, workers. There is a possibility that men should be in the closest apparent nearness to Christ, and yet have never learnt the meaning of the words they constantly hear and utter; and have never truly known the purpose of Christ’s life.

He that hath seen me hath seen the Father.–Comp. Note on John 14:7, and Philip’s own answer to Nathanael, “Come and see” (John 1:46). The demand of Philip is one which is constantly being read, and the answer is one that constantly holds good. Men are ever thinking and saying, “Shew us the Father and it sufficeth us.” “Give us something in religion upon which the soul can rest. We are weary of the doubts, and strifes, and dogmas which are too often called religion. We want something which can be real food for the soul. We cannot feed upon the husks which the swine do eat; and we believe that in the Father’s house there is, even for the hired servants, bread enough and to spare. We are not irreligious, but we are impatient of what is put before us as religion. Give us truth! Give us life! Let it be free and open as the air of heaven, and we will gladly accept it, embrace it, live it.” All this is the heart of the child seeking the presence of the Father. That Father has been manifested in the person of the Son. In the Life and Truth revealed in Him is the full revelation of God. In Him is the Bread of Life to satisfy every want of every man. He that hath seen Him hath seen the Father. How then can men say, Shew us the Father? (Comp. Note on John 12:44-45.)Pulpit CommentaryVerse 9. – Christ’s reply is, Have I been so long a period (χρόνον) with you, and hast thou not come to know (ἔγνωκάς) me, Philip? (Compare the aorist δεῖξον, suggesting one great complete sufficing act, with the perfect forms, ἔγνωκάς με ἐωρακὼς ἐόρακε, implying a process continuing from the past into the present,) The revelation of the Father, rather than an unveiling of the absolute God whom no man hath ever yet seen (see John 1:18), had been constantly going on before their eyes. Our Lord first of all appeals to that fact; and yet fact, reality as it was, the disciples had failed even to know him, inasmuch as they had not seen in him the Father. He thus confirms the statement of Ver. 7. “There is an evident pathos in this personal appeal the only partial parallels in St. John are cf. John 20:16 (Mary); John 21:15 (Simon, etc.)” (Westcott). There is no right understanding of Jesus Christ until the Father is actually seen in him. He is not known in his humanity until the Divine Personality flashes through him on the eyes of faith. We do not know any man until we know the best of him. How far more true is it of God and of the Father-God revealed in the Christ? He that hath seen me hath seen the Father. The “seeing” here must be adequate, comprehensive vision. How sayest thou – emphatic – Show us the Father? Philip, by the hints already given of him, might have discarded the Jewish and crude idea of a physical theophany. “How sayest thou?” reveals that sense of failure which Christ experienced when he sought to realize in the poor material of our human nature his own ideal.

Matthew Henry Commentary14:1-11 Here are three words, upon any of which stress may be laid. Upon the word troubled. Be not cast down and disquieted. The word heart. Let your heart be kept with full trust in God. The word your. However others are overwhelmed with the sorrows of this present time, be not you so. Christ’s disciples, more than others, should keep their minds quiet, when everything else is unquiet. Here is the remedy against this trouble of mind, Believe. By believing in Christ as the Mediator between God and man, we gain comfort. The happiness of heaven is spoken of as in a father’s house. There are many mansions, for there are many sons to be brought to glory. Mansions are lasting dwellings. Christ will be the Finisher of that of which he is the Author or Beginner; if he have prepared the place for us, he will prepare us for it. Christ is the sinner’s Way to the Father and to heaven, in his person as God manifest in the flesh, in his atoning sacrifice, and as our Advocate. He is the Truth, as fulfilling all the prophecies of a Saviour; believing which, sinners come by him the Way. He is the Life, by whose life-giving Spirit the dead in sin are quickened. Nor can any man draw nigh God as a Father, who is not quickened by Him as the Life, and taught by Him as the Truth, to come by Him as the Way. By Christ, as the Way, our prayers go to God, and his blessings come to us; this is the Way that leads to rest, the good old Way. He is the Resurrection and the Life. All that saw Christ by faith, saw the Father in Him. In the light of Christ’s doctrine, they saw God as the Father of lights; and in Christ’s miracles, they saw God as the God of power. The holiness of God shone in the spotless purity of Christ’s life. We are to believe the revelation of God to man in Christ; for the works of the Redeemer show forth his own glory, and God in him.John 14:9


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