There are sayings of Jesus that make one tremble and stand back--unless he believes on him. One of these is: He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me (Matth. 10:37). Imagine a man who would dare to say anything like this in a public meeting. Every hearer would take him to be insane. If a man were to come into your home and in your presence address your child like this, would you not take sure measures to prevent him from doing so again? But Jesus spake like this. And you teach your child that this saying is true--because you worship Jesus.

Such is the case with Jesus' answer to Philip: He that hath seen me hath seen the Father (John 14:9). This rouses the same repellant feeling. We would make a man, who spoke like this, harmless by securing him a lodging in an institution for the insane--unless we honored and worshipped God in him. There is no choice in this matter. In any nation in whose public conscience there glows a spark of religion, public opinion would demand the arrest of a man of such blasphemous pretensions. But to this striking saying of Jesus on the contrary our own heart echoes consent--because we worship him.

It all depends on this. The Sanhedrin and the excited Jews in the courts of Justice at Jerusalem acted consistently from their viewpoint, when they took Jesus for a blasphemer and cast him out. 132 They did not worship him. As long as their eyes were closed against the Divine majesty of Jesus they could not do otherwise. Their sin was not that they cast out Jesus, but that they did not see God in Him. They talked a good deal about God. But when God appeared to them in Jesus they knew him not and denied that it was He. And this is the case now. In times of refreshings, when religious perceptions are clear, thousands see God in Jesus who never did so before. In times of religious decline multitudes abandon the faith and take pleasure in heaping other honorary titles upon Jesus than those that are his own. They call him the ideal man, the model of true piety the hero of faith, the martyr for a sacred cause. These are altogether words, and only words, by which to soothe the conscience and to evade the issue at stake, which is, that with Thomas they should kneel adoringly at his feet with the cry: "My Lord and My God." In daring frenzy Voltaire permitted the l'infame to flow from his reckless pen. But he was braver than these irresolute spirits. At heart they are one with him. They do not believe that they who saw Jesus saw God. But they have not the heart to say how this Jesus, who dared to say this, should be estimated.

The highest act within reach of the spirit of man is to see God in Jesus. The Deity of Christ is generally accepted in childhood years. But as time goes on it is given little or no thought. For the rest this conviction is left as a foreign something in the conscience, without being worked over and applied to the same in its later stages of development. This should not be censured too 133 severely. Many can not advance beyond this. Their mental grasp has no further reach. And even from such a defective conviction childlike faith can borrow moral strength. But the thrice blessed, who have been initiated into a more sympathetic and more ardent piety, can not rest content with this. They think and contemplate; they go through spiritual experiences; and by these inner activities of the soul they enter into this mystery more deeply than mere analytic study of doctrine can effect. Seeing with the eye of sense is not full, clear and perfect sight to them. Without the eye of sense God saw purely, spiritually and immediately, long before we ever saw. And when in the creation after his Image God endowed man with the power to see, of necessity human sight was originally spiritual, internal and immediate. Only because God also clothed man with a body and placed him in a world of sense, did He form the human eye through which man can see this world. For this alone, and for no other purpose, was the eye of sense created. Consequently it can only see this visible world. When the other far more comprehensive, invisible world is concerned, it has no use. And, therefore, man was endowed with another eye, even the eye of the soul, to which as a subordinate instrument, the eye of sense only renders auxiliary aid. There are two worlds: one spiritual and one material. In connection with these there are two eyes: one in the soul and one in the body. And there is a two-fold vision: immediate sight in the spirit and mediate sight through mortal eye. An inward look and an outward look. An imaginary seeing of which we 134 are so clearly conscious that nothing is more common than the saying: "You see that I am right," where seeing refers to what has been said or explained, and not to anything shown to the eye of sense.

From the nature of the case, therefore, to see the Father in Jesus was no primitive act of the eye of sense. God is a Spirit, and he who would see the Father in Jesus, must see in him the Spirit which is God. Spiritual seeing with the eye of the soul alone is possible here. At first something deeply spiritual is discerned in Jesus, even as in other men of holy lives. Further looking into his holy being brings to light that in Jesus this spiritual excellence is of an higher type than in anyone else. In him it is clearer, fuller, richer. And this does not yet explain Jesus in full. That spirituality in him is nobler, richer and fuller than in others, even in the best of men, does not say enough. In Jesus an unfathomable depth discloses itself, so that at length it must be acknowledged that in him the spiritual lives and shines more richly than was ever thought possible. It exceeds human thought. It surpasses the thinkable. Of itself spiritual observation of Jesus passes on into the infinite. Latest distinctions are lost. From the background of his being shines eternal perfection. Everything shifts before the vision of the soul. Unconsciously the transition is made from the finite into the infinite, until God is discerned in Jesus and in wonder and adoration we kneel at his feet and worship.

But this experience is not something apart from what the eye of sense sees in the Incarnate Word. In this examination the spirit of Jesus is not 135 detached from his personal appearance. The body is not ignored that the soul may be discerned, but Jesus is taken as he was, appeared, spoke and acted. One appearance is faced, one perfect whole, one mystery. Even as among us there are times when a person becomes radiant and allows his soul to shine through his face, in his eye, about his lips, in his word and in his act, so that through the outward appearance the person within is seen--so it was with Jesus, only far stronger, and all the time. His appearance must have been overwhelming. The impression which he made must have been full of wonder. When we think of the soulfulness in his holy eye, the changes of expression in his face, and his modulated, sympathetic voice, it is felt at once that his bodily appearance was no hindrance to reach the Divine in him, but was rather the vehicle by which to approach it. It was as though, through Jesus, God himself came out into the visible world, inviting and alluring all who saw him to admire and to worship God in him. If at the time of Jesus' sojourn on the earth, man had been what he was before the fall in paradise, the perfect God would at once have been recognized in Jesus. But with the blinded eye of the soul sinful man could not do this; it was impossible. God was there in Jesus, but the world could not see him. The eye of the soul had been bandaged. And only when God himself had removed this bandage could man see God in Jesus.

The eye of the soul is not something apart from the soul. It is rather the sum total of all its powers by which it perceives, becomes conscious, 136 discovers and enjoys. Spiritual seeing is feeling, perceiving, becoming aware of environments with all the latent powers of the soul. It is the internal awakening of human nature, which, created after the image of God, goes back to its original image, has clear vision of the relation between image and original, between image and impression, imprints it upon its own sense of self (self-consciousness) and thus learns to know God with an inner knowledge. Only in this way has human nature in Jesus apprehended God in full and known him. Human nature in its totality is not in every one of us, but only a variation of it in one particular, definite form. In Jesus alone human nature as a whole was embodied. He, therefore, was called the Son of Man. Jesus was not only God, but He alone of all men fully apprehended and understood the Father. "No man knoweth the Father but the Son, and he to whom the Son will reveal him." By ourselves, therefore, and if left to ourselves, no one of us can apprehend God with the sense of the soul, nor see him with the eye of the soul. Jesus alone was able to do this, and is able to do so still, but not we. Only when we go to Jesus and enter into fellowship with him is the way to this open to us, whereby we become living members of this mystical body of which he is the head. And then not only do we see God in Jesus, but God also comes to tabernacle in us by the Holy Ghost. Philip, have I been so long time with you, and do you still say: Show me the Father? He that hath seen me hath seen the Father in me and through me, your Savior.

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