September 12th 2010

The God Revealed In Jesus Christ

“Philip said, ‘Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.’ Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father….”
John 14:8-9 (NIV)

When you hear the word ‘God’, what image comes to mind? If you’re like most people, you probably think of a solitary figure somewhere in the sky. To some, he’s a harsh Judge, meeting out divine rewards and punishments on everyone based on how well they measure up to his high standards of living. To others, he’s more like an elderly gentleman with his flowing white beard, dressed in a shining white robe. Or, like an aged executive in a dark business suit, as portrayed by Morgan Freeman in the films Bruce and Evan Almighty. Or maybe something like George Burns portrayal of God as an elderly man in Hawaiian shirts and tennis shoes.

Some people think of God as actively involved in their lives, while others think of God as detached and remote, out there watching us “from a distance”, as suggested in the Bette Midler song. Or maybe right here among us, but somewhat clueless and weak, like Joan Osborne’s “stranger on the bus, trying to make his way home.”

But the Bible presents God through only one lens: the lens of Jesus Christ. According to the Bible, Jesus Christ alone is the perfect revelation of the Father. “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father,” Jesus said in John 14:9.

In Hebrews 1, verses 1 to 3, we read: “In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.”

If you want to know what God is like, you look at Jesus Christ. The Gospel of John tells us, Jesus and the Father are one. In other words, God is not a detached and uninvolved Watchmaker, watching us from afar. Nor is he some eagle-eyed Detective, Judge, Jailer and Executioner waiting for us to make a false move.

God, who is Father, Son and Spirit, is just like Jesus Christ. He loves every human being into existence and loves them every moment of their lives. He draws all of us toward Jesus, and wants all of us to turn to him, trust him and receive his unconditional love.

What is God like? God shows us exactly what he is like in Jesus Christ, who, as John 3:17 tells us, came into the world not to condemn the world, but to save it.

Holy Father, thank you for revealing yourself to us through Jesus Christ. As a human being, as he was for 33 1/2 years, we can identify readily with him as both like us and like you. Truly Jesus is the bridge between man and God. As Christians we seek to be more like him day by day, and for that we seek your support, your encouragement and your unending love. In Jesus’ name we pray.

Study by Joseph Tkach

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