Teach Us to Pray (John 1:14-17)

The Son reveals the Father. Jesus repeats this message about himself throughout John’s gospel: "If you know me, you will know my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him” (John 14:7). God is neither absent nor abstract; he clearly communicates himself in the tangible presence of a particular person—Jesus. The Light that shines in the darkness is not a vague idea but the actual life of Jesus who “moved into the neighborhood."

Nevertheless, we still find ourselves in times of confusion and struggle praying for God reveal himself. We sound like Phillip immediately responding to Jesus’ words: “Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied” (John 14:8). But Jesus simply repeats what John says from the beginning of the book: “Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me?” (John 14:10). We plead to know God’s way and will for our life as if it is an obscure secret. Jesus responds: “I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life” (John 14:6).

Seeing, knowing, loving, and following God—“this endless knowing and understanding”—begins with meditation on the life of Jesus, "the image of the invisible God” (Colossians 1:15). The flesh-and-bones reality of his life must sink into our imagination. Whether we simply want to know God more or we are seeking a specific answer in prayer, we start with the Gospels. In the Gospels, we return to the concrete reality of “what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the word of life” (1 John 1:1).  In Jesus, the mysteries of God are translated into our language. In his life, we learn how to live. Let the flesh-and-bones reality of God’s arrival sink into your imagination by reflecting on John 1:14.

"The Word became flesh and blood,
    and moved into the neighborhood.
We saw the glory with our own eyes,
    the one-of-a-kind glory,
    like Father, like Son,
Generous inside and out,
    true from start to finish."

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Tomorrow on the Daily Connection: Deeper Dive Podcast (John 1:14-17)

About the Author

Nick Chambers is the Director of Spiritual Formation at Calvary UMC