(Vs. 8) Philip took upon himself to speak for all of the disciples and addressed the Lord (as Thomas had in Verse 5) in a very humble and reverent manner. "Lord, show us a visible manifestation of the Father, as Moses and Israel had; and we will be satisfied and less disturbed about your departure, the Father's house, the way, and our eternal hope" (Exod. 33:18-20).
(Vs. 9) Was there any one fact that our Lord emphasized so repeatedly to the disciples and others as the truth of His oneness with the Father? (John 5:17-21; John 6:41-42; John 8:58; John 10:30-33; John 12:44-45). Surely Philip and the others had heard these words. This is why our Lord tenderly rebuked him by saying, "Have I been with you so long, have you seen the miracles, have you heard My words, and still you do not know that I am God in human flesh? He that hath seen Me (not with natural eyes, but with eyes of spiritual understanding) hath seen the Father" (Matt. 1:21-23; Heb. 1:1-3). It is also true that he who has NOT seen the Son has NOT seen the Father. Why do you ask to see what you have already seen? In the Son we have God's final revelation. Redemptive revelation apart from Jesus Christ is impossible.
(Vs. 10) The Lord our God is ONE GOD, yet three persons (I John 5:7; John 14:I6-17). The Father and the Son are one in essence, in Divine attributes, in purpose, and in perfection. The Father is in the Son and the Son is in the Father. "Do you not believe this, Philip?" It must be the very foundation of your faith! "You BELIEVE in God, believe in Me" (Vs. 1). "If you know Me, you KNOW the Father" (Vs. 7). "If you SEE Me, you see the Father" (Vs. 9). And now "If you HEAR Me, you hear the Father" (Vs. 10); "for the words I speak are the words, works, and doctrines of the Father Who sent Me and Who dwells in Me." The words Christ spoke and the works Christ did were not of Himself AS MAN, but of the Father Who dwelt in Him.
(Vs. 11) The faith of the disciples (which had seldom been strong) was wavering, and the Lord Jesus tenderly and patiently encouraged them. "Believe My WORDS, which never any mere man spoke, and with an authority no man ever had, revealing the Old Testament scriptures as they have never been revealed or else believe Me for the WORKS you have seen Me do, such works as none but God can do." "The WORDS I speak and the WORKS I do reveal that I am come from the Father."
(Vs. 12) The Lord refers mainly to these disciples who, believing on Him, would be filled with the Holy Spirit and perform miracles in the physical realm (Mark 16:17-20; Heb. 2:3-4) for the confirmation of the truth of their gospel. These disciples did indeed duplicate the great miracles of their Lord. When He says, "Greater work than these shall he do," the greater works are SPIRITUAL WORKS! This is the preaching of the gospel (even to the Gentile world) and the conversion of sinners. Miracles in the physical realm served only to confirm the claims of the apostles, as proof of the presence of God with them and as proof of their doctrine being from God until the New Testament was completed. These miracles gradually disappeared when they were no longer necessary. We have the Word of God, full and complete, and do not need any other credentials. The regeneration, conversion, and salvation of a sinner is a greater work than any physical healing.
(Vs. 13-14) There is a connection between these two verses and Verse 12. The Master is still talking to and about these apostles. No miracle nor feat was beyond their power as long as it was desired and done in the name of Christ, for the accomplishment of His purpose and glory, and that the Father may be glorified in the Son. Tongues, gifts, and miracles were never signs for believers but for unbelievers (I Cor. 14:22). As long as what they prayed for in His name served His greater glory, it would be done (Acts 3:6; Acts 3:16-18; Acts 4:10). Every miracle served to preach and glorify Christ.
(Vs. 15) "If you love Me you will keep My commandments, My instructions, My words; and you will go forth as My witnesses and feed My sheep" (John 21:15-17). Since they had sat down at the table, the Lord Jesus had taught them humility, love, inner attitudes, and outward conduct. He had exhorted them to believe and to continue in faith, to pray in His name, and to continue His work. Now He says, "If your love for Me is genuine, you will do what I say" (I John 5:1-3).