We run our website the way we wished the whole internet worked: we provide high quality original content with no ads. We are funded by your direct support for ReKnew and our vision. Please consider supporting this project.

light

God Made Visible

During Advent, we celebrate and bring to the forefront of our imagination the God who was made visible. The Gospel of John sums up the advent of God with one sentence: “And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth” (Jn 1:14).

“The Word” refers to God’s thinking and his self-expression. When God thinks, it is Jesus. When God expresses himself, it is Jesus. Notice the singularity of the claim. Jesus is not one Word among others, as though God had more than one mind and more than one mouth. Rather, wherever and whenever God thinks and expresses himself, it is Jesus Christ.

Moreover, it has been this way throughout eternity. The Word is not created. He was “in the beginning with God” and is himself God (Jn 1:2). He has been fellowshipping with the Father from all eternity (Jn 17:5, 24). This means that in knowing Jesus, we are not knowing someone “one step removed” from God. In knowing Jesus we are knowing God himself, God in his eternal essence. In seeing Jesus, we are seeing the very heart of God.

In fact, far from being created, the Word is actually the Creator. John tells us that everything was made by the Word, through the Word, and for the Word (Jn 1:1-3). Creation exists, in other words, as an expression of God and for the purpose of people knowing God. Creation’s purpose is found in Jesus Christ.

The Word is the life and the light of all people (Jn 1:4). God wants people to know him and share in his life (Jn 17:3). Whenever and wherever people experience true life and true light, it is Jesus Christ, whether they know it or not (Jn 1:4, 9). Whereas the enemy covered up the true God in a veil of deceptive darkness that brought death, Jesus turns the light on so we can see who God really is. In doing this, Jesus gives life.

In Christ, we see the glory, the beauty, the fullness, the truth of God. Even though no one previously had ever seen God’s eternal, transcendent nature, now in the Word of Jesus Christ God is made known (Jn 1:18). The invisible God is made visible. In Christ, the previously concealed God has been unambiguously revealed.

—Adapted from Is God to Blame? pages 26-28

Image by Clarisse Meyer via Unsplash

Category:
Tags: , , ,

Related Reading

Quotes to Chew on: How First Century Jews Came to Worship a Man

“Legends do not generally arise in contradiction to fundamental convictions held by the culture of those who create and embrace them. Yet if the Jesus story is largely a fictitious legend, this is exactly what we must suppose happened. We submit that the initial historical implausibility of this supposition should be enough for us seriously…

Responding to Driscoll’s “Is God a Pacifist?” Part I

I’m sure many of you have read Mark Driscoll’s recent blog titled “Is God a Pacifist?” in which he argues against Christian pacifism. I’ve decided to address this in a series of three posts, not because I think Driscoll’s arguments are particularly noteworthy, but because it provides me with an opportunity to make a case against what I’ve…

On Attending to the Light in Darkness

Joe Spurr via Compfight Donald Miller has posted a reflection on his Storyline blog about highlighting goodness and thereby pointing to Jesus in the aftermath of events such as the bombing in Boston this week. We want to emphatically declare together that “an enemy has done this” (Matt 13:28). But we also want to be a people…

A Book That Won’t Leave You Unchanged

St. Ignatius of Loyola, the 16th century founder of the Jesuits, taught that to experience the transforming power of Scripture, we need to read it “with all five senses,” using our imagination to get on the inside of the characters and story we’re reading about. A just-released book by Frank Viola and MaryDeMuth entitled “The…

Did Jesus Believe in Satan?

Jesus’ teaching, his exorcisms, his healings and other miracles, as well as his work on the cross, all remain somewhat incoherent and unrelated to one another until we interpret them as acts of war. As in apocalyptic thought of the time of Jesus, the assumption that undergirds Jesus’ entire ministry is that Satan has illegitimately…

What Kind of God Did Jesus Reveal?

The ReKnew Manifesto exists to encourage believers and skeptics alike to re-think things they thought they already knew – hence our name, Re-Knew. I am currently working through the theology of the Manifesto in a series of posts that began a couple of months ago. Over the last few posts, we have been looking at the…