Revealing the Father

Read Together: John 1:1–18

On Sunday morning, Pastor Jerry helped us think through several reasons why Jesus came to earth as a man. As we celebrate Christmas this year, these kinds of questions provide fruitful reflection on what we call the Incarnation—the coming of God the Son to earth as a human being. One passage that helps us reflect on the identity of Jesus and the results of his coming is John 1:1–18.

In this well-known text, John declares that Jesus is the Word, the ultimate revelation of and from God and the one who is God the Son. This Word, God the Son, has come as a man to dwell as God-with-us. Verse 18 is an especially rich statement about Jesus and his mission. God the Son shares an intimate relationship with the Father (he is “at the Father’s side”) and he makes known to us who God is.

As John notes, no one has ever seen God, but Jesus is God with us. He is God the Son who reveals the Father to us. We know the Father through the Son. Christmas is about revelation, about exegesis—the revelation of who the Father is and the exegesis that explains what the Father is like. And this revelation and exegesis comes, not in the form of some esoteric tome of special knowledge for a religious elite. It comes through a person, through Jesus, the Word-made-flesh who dwelt among men.

Discussion Questions

  1. What does John 1:1–18 teach us about Jesus?
  2. What does it mean that Jesus “is at the Father’s side” (v. 18)?
  3. What are some important things Jesus reveals to us about the Father?

Ideas for Younger Kids

  • Read “Heaven Breaks Through” in The Jesus Storybook Bible (pages 200–07). This is the story of John the Baptist and the baptism of Jesus. Focus on the idea of Jesus’ identity as God the Son who reveals the Father to us. In Jesus, heaven has broken through.
  • Learn or discuss with your children the following catechism question (Q.11 from A Catechism for Boys and Girls):

Q. Can you see God?

A. No, I cannot see God, but he always sees me.

Follow up this question by asking your children, “If we can’t see God, how do we learn about who he is?” Discuss how the most important way we learn about who God is is through knowing Jesus (as he is revealed in Scripture).

Memorization: “No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known.” (John 1:18)

Song: Listen to “Sing We the Song of Emmanuel” (Matt Boswell, Keith & Kristyn Getty).

Pray Together

  • Praise God for sending his Son to earth as a man to dwell among us, reveal the Father to us, and rescue us from the darkness.  
  • Confess before God our ignorance and misconceptions of who he is.
  • Give thanks to God for the way Jesus reveals the Father to us.
  • Pray that God would help us this Christmas to fix our eyes upon Jesus so that we might see and learn more about who God is.  

Go Together

  • Write down a list of at least five things Jesus reveals to us about who God is. Then, choose one of these to focus on and discuss what it means for how we live in our day-to-day lives. For example, you could discuss how Jesus reveals to us the love of God, and this means (1) we are loved and (2) we ought to love one another. Then, consider one or two practical things you can do this week to grow in living out these lessons together.    

If you have any questions, comments, or ideas related to this Family Faith Talk guide or future guides, please let us know by leaving a comment!

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