Who are you? If someone really wanted to get to know you and find out what kind of person you truly are, how should they go about doing that? They could talk to people who know you well: your spouse, friends, coworkers, children, or people at church. But, would that reveal the true you? They could find out how you spend your time, what you invest your money in, and what hobbies you have. All of these things would tell them something about you, but even then, would they really know you? What if they took a peek at your computer and checked out your browsing history? I’m sure that would be enlightening.
But, would it tell them everything?
What reveals who you truly are?
I don’t know what it is for me. You could look at my books, read my blog posts, even ask my wife and daughters, but I don’t think any of these things really tells the whole story about who I am.
I don’t know what could.
You’d think it would be even harder for God. After all, he’s God. How could we possibly know even a small fraction of what it means to be God – his glory, majesty, power, grace, goodness, wisdom, love, justice, and more. If I can’t think of a way to show people who I am, surely it must be that much harder for an infinite God.
But, God doesn’t have that problem. He knows exactly how to reveal himself to us. And, he has done just that.
Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. (Jn. 14:9)
What an amazing statement. No hesitation, no uncertainty, no doubt. Philip asks Jesus to show them the Father and without missing a beat, Jesus points to himself—I reveal the Father so perfectly that if you have seen me, you have seen the Father.
Take a moment and think about that.
Some guy—a regular person, a construction worker—tells you that he and God are so tight that if you just look at him, you will see the Father. How would you respond?
And, Paul agrees.
According to him, Jesus is “the image of the invisible God” (Col. 1:15; cf. 2 Cor. 4:4). Although we were all created to be God’s image bearers in the world, revealing God in creation, Paul sees Jesus as the only one who really gets it right. The only hope for the rest of us is to be re-shaped in the image of Jesus so that we can again image God the way we were supposed to (Rom 8:29; 1 Cor. 15:49).
Indeed, Jesus reveals God so perfectly, that the author of Hebrews says that “He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature” (Heb. 1:3).
How can a human being reveal the infinite God? I don’t know. But, he did.
Immanuel…God with us.
From the very beginning of the story, God has been revealing himself to us, reaching out to us and calling us to know him. Although always failed to understand, God never gave up. Instead, he promised that one day he would send a true prophet who would come and tell us about God.
Once again, God has done more than we expected. He didn’t send just another prophet with words we could ignore.
He sent the Son himself.
God promised, Jesus came, true revelation.
[You can read the rest of the posts in this series on the Gospel book page.]