"Though I have been speaking figuratively, a time is coming when I will no longer use this kind of language but will tell you plainly about my Father." (John 16:25)

This statement indicates a number of important issues regarding the context of Jesus' teachings as they have been quoted and passed on in these four Gospels.

This statement ends with "about my Father" so we know that what precedes is specifically concerning the Supreme Being. Jesus clearly refers to God as "my Father" translated the Greek word πατήρ (patēr). This Greek word πατήρ (patēr) can mean "father of a corporeal nature" but also "remote ancestor," "founder of a family or tribe," "founder of a nation," "progenitor of a people" or "the originator and transmitter of anything" according to the lexicon.

Those who like to imagine Jesus as a physical son of a physical Father - God - are seeing God and their relationship in a superficial manner. Jesus is God's representative and God's loving servant, but this relationship - and the spiritual realm - is outside of our physical vision.

Still, as indicated by the word πατήρ (patēr), Jesus sees God as his superior and he feels dependent upon God, as indicated in this statement:
"For I did not speak on my own, but the Father who sent me commanded me to say all that I have spoken." (John 12:49)
We also know that Jesus and the Supreme Being have a relationship outside the perception of the physical world:
"And the Father who sent me has himself testified concerning me. You have never heard His voice nor seen His form..." (John 5:37)
This confirms Jesus' above comment that they do not see God and are not ready to see Him as he is.

"Though I have been speaking figuratively" from Jesus' statement above confirms that Jesus has up til this moment been referring to God in a figurative or metaphorical sense. What does this mean? It means that they have not been ready to hear more about God. It also means that God is more than what has been referred to by Jesus to them so far. It indicates what John 5:37 indicates: That God has form. And God can be seen. And He can be heard.

This means that God is a person. God has a personality and has a form. He has a will and we can exchange love with God.

Then Jesus says, "a time is coming when I will no longer use this kind of language but will tell you plainly about my Father."

This indicates that Jesus will in the future speak of God without using figurative - or metaphorical - language. He will speak more clearly about God. It indicates that they will become ready to hear more about God in the future.

Why would Jesus not speak more clearly about God to his students before?

Because they weren't ready.

This is the situation for most of us. We are not ready to see God. We are not ready to hear the details about God's form and His pastimes.

Why not? Because knowing about God's true nature would wreck our plans for enjoyment in the physical world. It would ruin our illusion that we are the center of the universe and everything revolves around me. It would wreck our ability to ignore God's existence as we try to make ourselves happy.

You see, the Supreme Being is our eternal Best Friend, but He is also our Master. Each of us has an innate intimate service relationship with the Supreme Being - but one that we have forsaken. We forsook God at some point in the past because we became envious. We saw His enjoyment and His perfection and became envious of Him. This is the symbolism of the Garden of Eden: We ate the fruit of enviousness of God. Consider this statement by the serpent to Eve:
"For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil." (Genesis 3:5)
Since they ate they fruit they wanted to "be like God." This is called envy - wanting to be like someone else.

Just consider what envy does to a relationship. Just think of two school best friends who end up competing for a sports team, and one gets on the team and the other doesn't. Say the one who didn't get on the team becomes envious of the one who does. What will happen to their relationship? It will change. They can no longer be best friends, because there is now a problem. One is jealous of the other.

Now the Supreme Being handles this problem far differently than two school friends might. In His wisdom and love, He knows we will be miserable watching God be the center of the universe while we want what He has.

So the Supreme Being set up the physical world for us and gave us these temporary physical bodies so that we would not have to see Him anymore. Within these physical bodies in the physical world we forget our real identity and come under the illusion that these physical bodies are our identity. This is by God's design.

And these physical bodies were designed to see only within the physical world. Therefore we lose the ability to see Him, since these physical bodies are effectively covering our true identities as spiritual beings - God's loving caregivers and playmates.

God also set up the physical world and these physical bodies to allow us to pretend that we are the center of the universe, and even forget His very existence. Here we can pretend that He does not exist and we are all there is.

This is precisely what modern science accomplishes. It assumes there is nothing beyond the physical dimension and there is no God, nor a Creator. They theorize that life is the result of a big accidental explosion and the right accidental mixture of chemicals - yielding all the various forms of life, as well as love, personality and the quest for wisdom. They claim this is all an accident.

This is all enabled by the Supreme Being in order to accommodate our desires. We have to be able to forget God in order to seek out our self-centered happiness. We have to forget Him in order to pretend to be the center of attention. We have to ignore Him in order to pretend to be the boss. Or the star. Or the big business mogul. Or Olympic champion. Or "Miss Universe" or "Mr. Universe" - or the most beautiful model. Or any other position we seek in an attempt to be superior to others in one respect or another.

This is because God is naturally superior. He is naturally the Lord of all, the Master of all. The center of attention. The star. The most beautiful. The "Mr. Universe."

This is of course why Jesus refers to God as πατήρ (patēr) as mentioned above.

So Jesus will not reveal God's true nature until his students are ready. What makes them ready? They have to lose their enviousness of God. They have to lose their desire to be king, boss, star, guru, master or otherwise be in God's position. This means having a change of heart.

This indicates that those Jesus has been teaching have not seen or heard God within the physical world because they had not yet re-established their loving relationship with Him. How does one come to know and love God? Jesus indicates that this takes place as a result of service:
"Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me." (John 12:26)
In other words, we do not see God because we are not ready to see God, and the only way we can become ready is if we are ready to resume our natural position as one of God's servants.

The process shown by Jesus - and illustrated throughout the Biblical texts, is to serve God's representative. Consider how the great prophet Samuel served his teacher Eli:
"Then Elkanah went home to Ramah, but the boy [Samuel] ministered before the LORD under Eli the priest." (1 Samuel 02:11)
This is the traditional method of mentorship under one of God's loving servants, demonstrated throughout the scriptures.

The process awakes one's natural position as servant, but also, the person can actually serve God by serving God's representative: Samuel "ministered before the LORD under Eli the priest." To "minister before the LORD" means to serve God. It means to please God. To do this "under" ones spiritual teacher is to render service to God by serving God's representative.

This was precisely what Jesus' students were doing. They served Jesus by setting up his sermons, arranging for his meals, getting him water when needed, washing his feet and even rubbing oil onto his feet as Mary did. Then Jesus commanded they go out and teach, and that is precisely what they did. This is what a loving servant does: Follow the instructions of their master.

This means that when Jesus' disciples such as James and Peter went out and preached, they were serving Jesus as they preached. This was their service to not only Jesus, but to God. This is the process that Jesus talked about when he said: "My Father will honor the one who serves me."

The spiritual realm is all about relationships. Loving relationships. Just consider how these work. A person who treats our child well and does things for our child will certainly please us. This is because we love our child. In the same way, God is pleased when we work to help one of His loving servants.

The Supreme Being is not a void, or a burning bush or a vague cloud in the sky. He is a person - a loving, beautiful Person. He is our Best Friend and our Constant Companion. We have forgotten this because we wanted to forget Him so we could chase our dreams. Until we have finished chasing our self-centered dreams and are ready to return to our relationship with Him, and accept our position as inferior and His position as superior, we will not see God.

At the end of the day it is love for God that opens up our spiritual eyes and our ability to see God. This is why Jesus' most important instruction was:
“‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment." (Matt. 22:37-38)


(For a translation of Jesus' statements from the Gospel of John without sectarian influence, see the Gospels of Jesus  - translated from the original Greek texts.)