If Jesus sat down with us for some one-on-one time, what would we ask Him? More importantly, how would we respond to His questions?
Knowing He is omniscient God, the Living Word of God [John 1:1-3] who knows the “thoughts and intents of the heart” [Hebrews 4:12], compels us to answer honestly and fully. No hiding, deflecting, or excusing. Just honest answers.
John’s Gospel records several questions Jesus asked in His earthly ministry. By personally considering each of His questions, we face His same probing truth. By responding truthfully, may we be drawn into a more intimate walk with Him.
16th Question – Have I Been with You so Long and Yet You do not Know Me?
Philip should have known better.
Jesus called him personally to be one of the twelve disciples [John 1:43]. He was from the same town as Peter and Andrew [John 1:44]. After Jesus chose him, he brought Nathanael to Jesus [John 1:45-46]. Jesus personally challenged him as to how they should feed the five thousand—then engaged him in delivering that miracle [John 6:5-14]. Philip also brought the group of Grecian men to Jesus [John 12:21-22]. So, we see Philip actively involved with Jesus—his message, ministry, and miracles.
But when Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and from now on you know Him and have seen Him” [John 14:6-7], Philip wanted proof.
Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us” [John 14:8].
Jesus answered with a sobering question that echoes still today.
“Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?” [John 14:9, bold text added]
The Greek word used for “known” (ginosko) means to know relationally or experientially. It implies knowing someone personally and deeply. It counters another Greek word (eido) that means to know about someone.
Philip walked and talked with Jesus on a daily basis. He heard His teachings and His talk of the coming Kingdom. Observing Jesus daily and seeing His miracles should have moved Philip from head-knowledge to heart-knowledge.
And yet, Philip demonstrates the sad condition of many who merely profess to be believers. They know the language, Scripture verses, appropriate dress, worship choruses, and acceptable behavior. But, as Jesus said,
“Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me’” [Matthew 7:22-23].
The word “knew” (ginosko) clarifies the differentiation. Unless a person is “born from above” and indwelt by the Holy Spirit [John 3:3-7], they are not “in relationship” with Jesus. Knowing about Him is no substitute for a personal relationship with Him.
May we all know Him personally, relationally, and experientially, not just about Him.