"If you really knew me, you will know my Father as well. ..." (John 14:7)

"If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him."" (John 14:7)

Is Jesus saying that he is the Father?

There are clearly two persons involved in this statement. Jesus defines "me" (Greek = ἐγώ (egō)) and "my Father" (πατήρ (patēr)). These are different entities.

They are related, however, through the expression, "know" - from the Greek word γινώσκω (ginōskō).

Notice, however, that Jesus connects knowing him in the past with the potential of knowing God at present or in the future. Saying "you will know" could mean both coming to know God in the future, or having already known Him. Either way, Jesus is connecting himself with God in the context of someone knowing both of them - each of them.

What does Jesus mean by 'knowing'?

Jesus is referring to his relationship with God. He indicates that he has an intimate relationship with God that is so important that by knowing who he is they would also know who God is.

In the first part of this statement, the Greek word εἰ (ei) is used. This, according to the lexicon, means "if" or "whether." This means that Jesus felt that some did not know him for who he really was.

The next phrase, "you really knew me," is being derived from the Greek word mentioned above, γινώσκω (ginōskō). According to the lexicon, this word can mean "to learn to know, come to know, get a knowledge of perceive, feel;" and "to know, understand, perceive, have knowledge of."

In other words, Jesus is not talking about "knowing" in the sense of having a cursory knowledge of someone. For example, if an acquaintance introduces us to someone, we might shake their hand and say that we now "know" them.

Jesus is clearly describing understanding who he is or perceiving who he is.

Knowing Jesus means to understand or perceive Jesus' purpose. It means understanding what motivates him. It means perceiving what drives him and what makes him happy.

The statement, "If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well" indicates that knowing Jesus is connected to knowing God. Many have interpreted this to mean that Jesus is God. Yet this contradicts so many other statements that Jesus has made (including his previous statement) that clearly indicate Jesus was sent by God and is representing God.

Jesus also indicates that he is working on behalf of God, to please God:
"As long as it is day, we must do the work of Him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work." (John 9:4)
"The One who sent me is with me; He has not left me alone, for I always do what pleases Him." (John 8:29)
These indicate that Jesus is focused on pleasing the Supreme Being: because Jesus loves the Supreme Being.

A person who truly loves another person will work to please that person. Love is inseparable from loving service.

Thus, knowing Jesus means understanding his intimate relationship with the Supreme Being. Jesus is the perfect loving servant of God. As such, to know Jesus is to know God because seeing the intimacy of the relationship between Jesus and God means understanding how beautiful and lovable the Supreme Being is.

Even today, people will use statements like this: For example, a person might say they can know a person they haven't met by knowing their son or daughter. Because the father raised the children and assuming the children act in ways that would please their father, a person can say that they know (understand, perceive) the father by knowing the children.

While this is not a perfect comparison, it indicates the kind of practical statement Jesus is making. We can see the Supreme Being in the perfect loving servant because the perfect loving servant is following the wishes of the Supreme Being. They are reflecting the Supreme Being's mission, objectives and personality.

What happens from now on?

Jesus then says, "From now on, you do know Him and have seen Him." What happened?

Because they have seen Jesus' love for God and his work to please God they now "know" - understand, perceive - God, and have thus "seen" God.

Because we are wearing these temporary physical bodies we are trapped within the concept of seeing with our eyes. "Seeing" a person's body with the physical eyes does not mean we are really "seeing" - knowing, understanding, perceiving - them.

Rather, understanding what motivates someone, what makes them happy, and who they love is really seeing that person.

For example, say we meet someone and they share with us an innermost feeling they have about their life. Once we hear that and understand it, we have come to understand something intimate about that person. This understanding means we are "seeing" a part of that person.

This doesn't mean that one little understanding about a person means we are "seeing" all of them. An analogy would be seeing someone peek around a corner. We may only see the top of their head and their hair and eyes, but indeed we do see them as they peeked around the corner.

In the same way, even a small understanding of the Supreme Being is the same as seeing God. This doesn't mean we see all of the Supreme Being. In fact, we will never see (or understand) all of the Supreme Being. This is the nature of God. He is always unfolding to His caregivers. God's intimate lovers are always learning more and more about Him. He is the most beautiful Person and He is always more and more attractive to those who love Him.

Jesus illustrated his love for the Supreme Being by his efforts to introduce others to the beautiful nature of the Supreme Being. We can know that God is lovable not only because Jesus asked us to love Him. But also because Jesus himself loved Him and dedicated his life to Him. 

Jesus committed his entire life to teaching about God. While others were having families and earning money and building households, Jesus walked the countryside with no possessions, teaching about God. His whole life was committed to pleasing God and introducing others to God.

What does this indicate about Jesus?

It illustrates his complete and unconditional love for the Supreme Being and God's children.

This love reflects the love that the Supreme Being has for us. The Supreme Being wants us to come back to Him.

This is not because the Supreme Being needs us. God has countless caregivers. He does not need us.

He wants us to return to His loving Arms because He cares about us. Just as Jesus cares about us, God loves us unconditionally and wants us to be happy. He knows that the only way we will become happy is if we return to our position as His loving caregivers.

By understanding how much the Supreme Being loves us, we are "seeing" a part of Him.

So when Jesus says, "From now on, you do know Him and have seen Him" he isn't saying that his disciples now know all there is about God because they have seen Jesus' physical body. He is saying that they have gotten a glimpse of God through the activities and teachings of God's loving servant.

God will always be unfolding for them, and any of us who continue our journey towards Him. We will always be learning more and more - and will thus be seeing God more and more - throughout our eternal spiritual lives.

Because his disciples could see some of the love and dedication Jesus has towards God, they could understand something about God. They could know some of God's personality.

The books of the New Testament do not contain everything Jesus taught his students. Rather, they contain snippets of a few talks and conversations. And most of these are duplicated in each of the four Gospels.

Jesus also clearly stated that he taught his disciples things that were not taught to the general public because the public was not prepared to hear those things:
"The secret of the kingdom of God has been given to you. But to those on the outside everything is said in parables" (Mark 4:11)

What is 'the secret of the kingdom'?

Do we think that those who were given the "secret of the kingdom" disclosed all those confidential discussions in their entirety? Of course not. That would contradict Jesus' rationale for speaking in parables in the first place.

Therefore, we must realize that Jesus revealed intimate things to his disciples about the Supreme Being not contained within the four Gospels (though many others are contained in the other Gospels of Jesus). He is indicating clearly that through knowing him - hearing those intimate teachings and seeing his life - they can know the Supreme Being, and thus "know" and "see" some of the Supreme Being.

Jesus is revealing an intimate process to understand an intimate relationship. Because Jesus is their spiritual teacher, he is representing God. God has empowered him to represent Him, and reveal God to them.

We can come to know the intimate relationship between God and God's loving caregiver by having a relationship with God's loving caregiver. We can see within that relationship just how God also loves each of us unconditionally.

Does this explain John 3:16?

This also explains the meaning of an oft-misinterpreted statement early in John:
For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16 KJV)
or in the New International Version translation:
For God so loved the world that He gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16 NIV)
We find here several critical points to understand:

1) "God so loved the world" includes ἀγαπάω (agapaō), translated to "loved". This means "to love dearly" according to the lexicon. In other words, God loves us dearly.

2) "He gave His only begotten Son" or "He gave his one and only Son" are both mistranslations. The phrase "only begotten" or "one and only" are frankly, blasphemous. They indicate that the Supreme Being, who has created countless offspring, is somehow impotent. That God could only beget one son. That is insulting to the Supreme Being. Each of us is "begotten" by God.

As explained with more detail with John 3:16-21, the phrases, "only begotten" or "one and only" both come from the Greek word μονογενής (monogenēs), which can mean an only son or daughter only in the context of a physical family. But in the context of a relationship with God, we cannot apply this. We can only apply the alternative translation, according to the Liddell Scott Greek lexicon, as "unique" or "special."

What is being referred to here is "intimate." A "unique" or "special" relationship between two persons, where that relationship involves love, is considered an "intimate" relationship.

We have discussed the mistranslation of "son" from the Greek word υἱός (huios). This word, as we have shown and from the lexicon, means, 'follower' or 'servant' of God. (see the translation). This also confirms an intimate relationship, as the word υἱός (huios) indicates a relationship of devotion.

In other words, God loved us so much that He sent His devoted and loving servant Jesus to the physical world to enlighten us, and help us re-establish our own loving relationship with God - allowing us eternal life as we return to the spiritual realm.

Many teachers have interpreted "gave" (δίδωμι (didōmi) – which means to “give something to someone” or “give forth” or in this case, “send forth”) - as Jesus' suffering on the cross for our sins.

As if once Jesus' physical body was murdered we no longer have to suffer the consequences for our actions. That is a ridiculous notion. We each suffer the consequences of our self-centered actions (sins). This is why people who commit crimes are put in jail or otherwise suffer the consequences of our self-centered actions.

This is also a grotesque interpretation of Jesus' life and purpose. Jesus was sent by God to bring us home to God. God loves us so much that He sent someone so dear to Him in order to bring us back to Him. 

Jesus' physical body suffering on the cross certainly has the potential to remove our selfish, sinful activities if we understand the love and dedication Jesus has for the Supreme Being. Seeing that love gives us a glimpse of the spiritual realm and our true nature: Where God's loving caregivers will do anything for Him out of love.

This interpretation is confirmed by the next verse:
For God did not send his Son [devoted servant] into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. (John 3:17)
We can only understand this as we see Jesus' relationship with the Supreme Being. Seeing the outward result of Jesus' intimate love for God, and God's intimate (μονογενής (monogenēs)) love for Jesus allows us to get a glimpse of the intimate nature of Jesus' perfect love for God, reflecting Jesus' most important teaching:
“ ‘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)

*Here is the translation of Jesus' statement from the Lost Gospels of Jesus:
"If you knew me, you would know my LORD also; henceforth you will know Him and will perceive Him.” (John 14:7)