Saturday, January 30, 2010

Show us the Father....

"The biblical story, is a story with direction...whose central story is the story of Jesus."

"In the Old Testament God twice reigned down fire from heaven in judgment on various individuals and groups. Yet, when John and James wanted to do this same thing in the New Testament, Jesus rebuked them (Lk 9:52-55). It violated the spirit of the Kingdom Jesus came to establish to want God to act the way he did in the Old Testament! In some ancient manuscripts of Luke, Jesus rebuked John and James by saying, “you don’t know what sort of spirit you are of” (vs. 55).

The reason is that the New Testament presents Jesus as the final, definitive, perfect revelation of God. This is what is meant when John calls Jesus the “Word” (logos) of God. When God speaks or thinks, John is saying, it looks like Jesus (Jn 1:1). So too, Paul calls Jesus the “form” of God and the “image” of God, which means that the infinite God has made himself finite and visible in Jesus (Phil. 2:6; Col.1:15). While no one has seen God as he is in himself, the Gospel of John says, the “one and only Son, who is himself God…has made him known” (Jn 1:18). This is why Jesus responded to Philip's request to see the Father by saying, “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father” (Jn 14:9, emphasis added). We behold the glory of God himself in the face of Jesus Christ (2 Cor 3:18-4:6; I Jn 1:1-3) which is why we are always to fix our spiritual eyes on him, and on him alone (Heb 12:2; Col.3:5).

The author of Hebrews sums up the matter nicely when he writes:
"In the past God spoke to our ancestors 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 also 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 (Heb 1:1-3).

The author is saying that while God revealed himself in a variety of ways in the past, in these “last days” (meaning simply, in this last epoch of history), God has superseded all these by revealing himself through his own Son. Unlike all previous written and spoken revelations, the Son radiates God’s glory and is “the exact representation of his being.” He is, in fact, the one through whom and for whom everything exists (Col 1:15-17).

In other words, Jesus is the point of everything – including the point of all the previous revelations (see Jn 5:39-40, 46). While others spoke and wrote about God, Jesus is God (I Jn 1:1; Rom. 9:5; Tit. 2:13). Indeed, "in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form" (Col. 2:9). Think about this! All (not some) the fullness (not an aspect) of the Deity (God himself-- not a lesser being) lives in bodily form (in the incarnate Son of God).
-Greg Boyd
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