The answer relates to the "He" being mentioned here - not even capitalized by ecclesiastical translators. Who is Jesus referring to? Who is Jesus going to "show" his students - his audience - "what He is like?" (The capitalization is added to this New International Version verse.)
Most certainly, the "He" being referred to in this statement is none other than the Supreme Being: God. Why didn't the NIV writers capitalize an obvious reference to God?
Words from God
And Jesus is clearly saying that whoever comes to Jesus, hears his teachings (a better translation of the Greek word λόγος (logos) than "words") and then "puts them into practice" will come to know the Supreme Being.
In other words, Jesus is clearly saying that he will be introducing his serious students to the Supreme Being.
But wait, isn't Jesus God? This is, unfortunately, the thesis of most sectarian institutions, derived from the politically-driven Nicene Creed. If Jesus is God, why did he say things like:
"I have not come on my own; but He sent me." (John 8:42)
"For I did not speak of my own accord, but the Father who sent me commanded me what to say and how to say it." (John 12:49)
"These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me." (John 14:24)Are these the statements of someone who is God? Certainly not. He is clearly not God. Rather, Jesus is God's representative. A person who passes on words coming from someone else, and admits being sent by someone else is most certainly that person's messenger. They are representing that person.
Now just what is the message that Jesus has brought from God? What was his 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)This means that the teachings that Jesus wanted his students to hear were founded upon them coming to love the Supreme Being with all their heart, soul and mind.
And this also means, by Jesus' own admission, that this is what God wants us to understand. Why does God want us to come to love Him?
Because God knows this and only this will make us happy.
Just look around: Besides physical survival, what do people spend their lives doing? Chasing love. We seek others to love us and we seek someone to love and please. Just listen to practically every popular song or watch any movie or listen to most conversations. They are about love. They are about getting the attention (love) of others. They are about getting the appreciation (love) of others. They are about doing things (love) that please someone, whether it be kids, spouse, parents, friends or otherwise.
We are all seeking love, but we are perpetually frustrated with the love that we find within the physical world. Why? Why are there so many divorces and breakups? Why are there so many lonely people, even when people are surrounded by others? Why do people keep searching for that special "soul mate?"
Because we need our loving relationship with the Supreme Being. He is our Soul Mate. He is that special person we seek to have a personal loving relationship with. He is that perfect person we want to work for and please.
Because loving God is the only thing that will truly satisfy us.
This is the foundation of Jesus' teachings. Furthermore, Jesus' statement here says something else that is very important: That Jesus will be introducing his students to the Supreme Being.
This is critical, because how can we love someone we do not know? We must know who God is before we can love Him.
This is important, as so many people will say stuff like, "oh, I love God" so nonchalantly. But do they really? Do they actually know who God is? Some of these same people will also say that Jesus is God.
Jesus has a clear message in this regard:
"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?' Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'" (Matt. 7:21-23)The key to this statement is "only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven." To do God's will means to know what God's will is. This means coming to know God and being introduced to God.
Yes, this statement, and Jesus' entire ministry is founded upon God's desire for us to come to know Him and return to our loving relationship with Him. As such, Jesus also wants us to come to love God and learn to please God by serving Him. This is the sum and substance of what Jesus really taught.