For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father's side, he has made him known. John 1:16-18
One of my favorite places to serve is in Grow Zone, our children's ministry environment here at PC3. On most Sundays, I'm volunteering on the host team checking families in or manning the hallways with security. When we are extra busy and short on able bodies, I get called into the classroom.
I can handle the coloring, block building, bubbles, and unlimited Goldfish, but trying to wrangle them together for story time is an exercise in patience. But, when we get down to it, I'm amazed at what comes out of their mouths. One time I asked, "What's God like?" Their answers were colorful, interesting, off-the-wall and surprisingly insightful for toddlers.
Some said he was an old man with a long grey beard who sat behind a desk in the sky. Others described God having giant ears so he could hear everyone's prayers, which didn't go well with the boy who believed God was invisible. A little girl said she thought God was an artist because He created all the animals and people of the world. Then there was one young boy who was adamant that God was a superhero like Batman.
As adults, we all ponder, at one time or another, the same question. What is God like? How would He be described? What traits would make up His personality? The picture we construct in our mind gets influenced by a host of different factors: our upbringing, cultural interpretations, the circumstances we face, etc. Currently, 7.53 billion people are roaming this earth, which means 7.53 billion different responses exist to that question.
The answer to that question has implications. It influences our view of this world and our place in it. How we perceive God shapes the way we see our self and the things we encounter on a daily basis.
Today's passage makes a bold claim. Until Jesus came, no one had seen God. Let that sink in for a moment. People had caught glimpses, shadows, and aspects of who God is, but never the complete picture. All the other images were partial and incomplete. They didn't tell the whole story.
God revealed Himself to humanity through the life of Christ. Everything about Jesus shows us who God is. Other parts of Scripture speak of Jesus being the "visible image of an invisible God" (Colossians 1:15). By looking at Jesus, we see God and His nature on display.
If God is really like Jesus, that means we worship a God that...
loves the outcast, marginalized, and not-good-enough.
makes everyone feel valued, noticed and worthy of His time.
speaks up for injustice.
extends grace, love, and compassion to the undeserving.
calms the storms.
calls us His friends.
displays patience, humility, and steadiness.
cares more about a relationship and railed against religion.
What makes Jesus reflecting God’s image the best news ever? It means God became one of us. He understands our struggles and our weakness. Jesus entered into our broken world to bring us hope. When God became one of us and put skin on, He shattered every notion of who He was.
God said, "Do you want to know me fully? Do you desire to understand everything about me? Well, here's the answer: look towards Christ. Spend your days focusing on my Son.”
What aspect of Christ's life brings you the most hope regarding God's character?
God, thank You for not remaining a mystery but sharing who You are and how You are with humanity through the life of Christ. May I keep my eyes centered on Him and Him alone, so I can better know You. In Your name, Jesus. Amen.