‘Whoever believes in me believes not in me but in the one who sent me,
and he who sees me see the one who sent me.’
John 12: 44
Transparency. It seems to me that Jesus is talking about complete transparency here. And not only that, but he’s talking about unity. The one who sees Jesus sees the Father. Jesus shows us God, so truly, that to see Jesus is to see God.
It still blows me away, in those moments when I stop to think about it. Today it was at the forefront of my mind because I had been talking about the way that Jesus conceals God even as he reveals God, that God is hidden in the flesh of Christ. (This, by the way, is an idea of Karl Barth’s, and I hope I have got it more or less right.) But this verse in John’s gospel emphasizes the revealing rather than the concealing, reminding us that Jesus is truly God. If he is, and if he is so completely transparent, then what is he hiding?
I don’t think he is hiding anything. It’s just that what he reveals is mystery: the mystery of the God who created the world from nothing, for the sake of love; the mystery of the God who chose Israel, for the sake of love; the mystery of God who became incarnate for the sake of love.
And the task of Christ’s disciples, as far as I can see, is to be united to that Love, so that through us also that Love may be seen truly.