Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Jesus is the Visible Image of the Invincible God

No one has ever seen God. But the unique One, who is himself God, is near to the Father’s heart. He has revealed God to us” (John 1:18, NLT)

Gazing at the skies on a clear night, away from the city lights, we can feel overwhelmed by the vastness of space – and very small in comparison. God can seem distant. We can also feel far removed from the Father when we struggle with conflicts or grief. At those times we must remember to look to Jesus Christ, who perfectly represents the Father. Only the Son communicates God’s glory to us. The phrase “is near to the Father’s heart” pictures Jesus as a child, enjoying a close and warm relationship with his Father. It also suggests the image of two companions enjoying a meal together. According to an ancient custom, the one who reclined next to the master at a meal was the one dearest to him. This is the Son who “has revealed God to us.” The Son lived among people to explain God with his words and by his person. No one can know God apart from Jesus. Later the apostle John (the writer) writes about the time Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied.” Jesus answered, “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father!” (read John 14:8-9).

Jesus is the visible, tangible image of the invincible God. He is the complete revelation of what God is like. This was startling news for Jews, who knew that no human could see God and live. Yet Jesus could say, “If you want to know what God is like, look at me!” What is God’s love like? Look at Jesus. How does God feel about hypocrisy? Look at Jesus. What about God’s goodness, grace and mercy? Look at Jesus.

Think about this: God has revealed himself generally in nature and specifically in Scripture and perfectly in Jesus Christ. When you feel distant from the Father, remember that his Son is near you and his Spirit is in you. As you share the faith with others, keep the focus on Jesus. People may believe in God as an idea, a concept, or even a Supreme Being – distant and unknowable. But they need to deal with Jesus. What they do with him makes all the difference.

Ask yourself, what can you do to focus more on Jesus?
Pray, that Jesus would make his character
 and presence real to you and the people around you today.

Reference: Life Application Study Bible Devotional: Daily Wisdom from the Life of Jesus (Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., 2011)

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