Introduction: Have you ever said, “Those characters in the Old
Testament had a real advantage over me because God spoke directly to
them.” Do you sometimes feel that your faith could use a real boost
by having God speak to you directly? Would you like some tangible
proof of God’s presence? How about actually seeing God? The “faith
chapter” of Hebrews (Hebrews 11) starts out “Now faith is being sure
of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” True faith,
it turns out, is built on a lack of visible proof. Is there a way to
see the invisible? Let’s dive into our study to learn more about
“Seeing the Invisible!”

  1. How to See the Father

    1. Read John 14:1. Jesus is speaking to His disciples at the
      “Last Supper.” Why should they be troubled? (In the prior
      chapter, John 13, Jesus told them that He would be
      betrayed by one of them and that He was leaving for a
      place where they could not follow (at least not right
      now). John 13:21,33.)

    2. Read John 14:1-3. What is the cure for the disciples’
      fear? (Trusting Jesus. He will come and take them to the
      home of His Father so they will all be together.)

    3. Read John 14:4-5. Thomas is concerned about getting
      confused over the directions and getting left behind. Why
      should he be concerned? Didn’t Jesus say ( John 14:3)that
      He would “come back and take you to be with Me?” (Jesus
      also said that they “knew the way” and Thomas is not going
      to be quiet about his ignorance on this important point.)

    4. Read John 14:6-7. Is this an answer to Thomas’ question?

      1. Jesus said that He was going to His Father’s house.
        Thomas responds “We don’t have that address – we need
        it to be sure we get there.” Does Jesus give His
        Father’s address? (Yes. In John 14:6 Jesus says the
        only way to the Father is “through Me.” Jesus teaches
        them that if they know Jesus, they know the Father.
        The “way” to the Father’s house, the way to know the
        Father, is to know Jesus.)

        1. What do you think of Jesus’ answer? Thomas is
          asking for a physical address: “At the 29th palm
          tree, turn left and proceed to the watering
          hole. The house will be on the left.” Is Jesus
          giving Thomas that kind of answer? (We begin to
          understand “seeing the invisible.” Jesus is
          physical (they can see Him), and His Father has
          a physical location (heaven), but physically
          getting there is not like turning left at the
          29th palm.)

    5. Read John 14:8. Philip joins Thomas in this questioning.
      He wants to see the Father. But, he thinks he has a
      lesser request: “You don’t need to give me the Father’s
      actual address (unlike Thomas), just let me meet Him and
      that will be enough.” Is Philip asking for less?

    6. Read John 14:9-11. Has Philip seen the Father?

      1. Is Jesus annoyed with Philip’s question?

      2. Going back to “seeing the invisible,” is Jesus
        showing them “the invisible?” (Jesus says that if
        they “know” Jesus, seeing Jesus equals seeing the
        Father. Seeing Jesus is the same as seeing the
        invisible Father.)

        1. How does that work? Jesus refers to the Father
          as being separate, but says seeing one is the
          same as seeing all. How would you explain this?
          (Read John 14:10-11 again. Jesus is not talking
          about an image, He is talking about something
          greater than that. God had made Himself known in
          Jesus. God revealed Himself in Jesus.)

        2. How much does a mere image tell you about
          someone? Show me a picture of your girlfriend,
          your boyfriend, your husband, your wife, your
          children. How much does that reveal?

          1. What if you lived with someone who wore a
            mask for two months? What if they wore a
            bag over their head and gloves so their
            whole body was covered? How much would
            you know after living with that masked

          2. Do you see what Jesus means when He says,
            “If you have seen Me you have seen the

  2. Obtaining the Brushes and Paint for the Picture

    1. Read John 14:12-14. Jesus tells us that the two of them
      (Father and Jesus) are one. Thus, Philip has seen the
      Father and Thomas knows how to find the Father. Why does
      Jesus point (v. 11) to miracles as evidence of His
      connection? (Because only God could do them.)

      1. In this context Jesus says “I will do whatever you
        ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to
        the Father.” When Jesus says “whatever you ask” does
        He mean “just anything?” Want a new Mercedes? Just
        ask! (The whole theme of this series of conversations
        is the relationship between Jesus and the Father. The
        theme is “seeing God.” That makes me think “anything”
        means “anything” that promotes the human
        understanding of God. Anything that promotes trust
        in God. Indeed, that sentence continues “so the Son
        may bring glory to the Father.”)

    2. Read John 14:15. I thought Jesus just got through saying
      that we could “command” Him – just ask, and our wishes are
      His commands. Why is He now talking about us obeying His
      commands? (This is further proof of my theory: Jesus is
      not saying “I’ll give you anything.” He is saying that if
      we are working together with Him to promote the Kingdom of
      God, that He will give us whatever we ask to promote that

  3. Painting a Picture of God

    1. Read John 14:16-17. What kind of relationship are we to
      have with the Holy Spirit?

      1. Is it the same relationship that Jesus has with the
        Father? (Jesus puts it in much the same terms.
        Compare John 14:10-11.)

      2. Why does the “world” not accept the Holy Spirit?
        (Because it neither sees Him or knows Him.)

        1. Isn’t this the very problem we have been
          discussing – seeing God? Having faith in the

        2. What is the solution for the world’s inability
          to see the Holy Spirit? (Notice the parallel!
          Jesus tells His disciples that they have seen
          the Father and they know the Father by seeing
          and knowing Jesus. “I am in the Father and the
          Father is in me.” ( John 14:11) Jesus then says
          that we can have the same relationship with the
          Holy Spirit (“He lives in you and will be in
          you.” John 14:17.) The purpose for this is so
          the world can see God. They see the invisible
          through you!)

    2. Read John 14:18-21. What kind of relationship can we have
      with Jesus? (He says the same thing about our relationship
      with Him: “you are in me, and I am in you.”)

      1. Why is this discussion about our relationship with
        the Trinity and our role in making visible the
        invisible interwoven with these references to having
        and obeying God’s commands? (Christians who are saved
        by grace and who (therefore) believe they have no
        obligation to obey the law are really missing the
        message! The “world” sees God through you. How could
        the world possibly get a clear picture if you pay no
        attention to God’s rules for living? The world will
        see something alright, it just won’t be the invisible

    3. Read John 14:22. Good question! Why is it that God
      depends on us to give the world a picture of God? (Read
      John 14:23-24. We are obviously the “advance agent”
      working with the Holy Spirit to bring the world a picture
      of God. God will reveal Himself to all who come to Him.)

  4. Help With the Portrait

    1. Is the thought of your role in promoting the Kingdom of
      God overwhelming? Is it beyond your ability? Read Isaiah
      41:13. What offer does God make to us?

    2. Read 1 Peter 5:7. What cure does God offer for our

    3. Friend, just as Jesus revealed His Father, so we are to
      reveal the Trinity. This is not a work we have to do in
      our own strength. Jesus provides the Holy Spirit and He
      offers to hold our hand. The question is, will you
      undertake the task? Will you study God and His commands
      so that you can portray an honest picture of God?

  5. Next week: A Life of Praise