Dr. John B. MacDonald
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What's God like?

I was listening to a woman tell me what she thought. It was her own mixture of 'this' and 'that'. 

It reminded me of a picture of bits and pieces of just about anything you can imagine. I suppose "imagine" is the operative word.

So many are content, even determined, to create ‘god’ according to their own imaginations. That ‘way’ is so empty and devoid of life. It’s just more of ‘self’ – nothing more or less. 

By contrast, the apostle John portrays Jesus for us. He declares Jesus to be the One True God who became a human and lived among us (John 1:1-18). 

Who is Jesus? 

Jesus shows and tells us who God is. 

Jesus tells us he is God. Even his entrenched enemies admitted Jesus claimed to be God (5:17-18; 10:25-33) – they just didn’t believe his claim. Thomas confirms the claim when he says to Jesus, “My Lord and my God!” (20:26-28). 

Jesus shows us he is God. Among other things, he changes water into wine instantly, and returns a dead man to life fully. Jesus governs the processes of nature and overrides death itself. 

John has so much more he could tell us. 

Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name (John 20:30-31 NIV). 

What's God like? The word ‘god’ has become a silly-putty concept shaped according to individual preferences. 

Jesus shows us who God is, and what God is like, because Jesus Christ is the One True God in the flesh! 

I invite you to revisit the posts speaking to the question “Who is Jesus?” 

We have one other question. 

What difference does it make? 

Whether you get the ‘right’ Jesus or not makes huge differences for you. Here are three differences Jesus makes

 

First, as Jesus is God, to accept Jesus is to accept God; to reject Jesus is to reject God

Jesus puts it this way:

  • “When a [person] believes in me, he does not believe in me only but in the one who sent me. When he looks at me, he sees the one who sent me” (12:44-45). 
  • “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father” (14:9). 

If you want to know who God is, and what He is like, watch and listen to Jesus Christ. It is Jesus who “gathers all the diffused vagueness [about God] into a tight, clear, light-filled focus.”[1] 

So, what difference will it make for you? 

Will you cling to a deadly fiction about ‘god’, or will you embrace the living God revealed as Jesus Christ? 

 

Second, as Jesus is God, he opens the whole vista of reality

N. T. Wright puts it this way [2]: 

The point ... is not whether Jesus is God, but what God is doing in and through Jesus. What is this embodied God up to? ... This Jesus, in other words, not someone else, is the Messiah; in this man, and in him alone, we see the way the living God is establishing the kingdom spoken of in Psalm 2.

Jesus Christ shows us what God is doing in this world. In and through Jesus Christ we get the divine perspective on reality – a perspective that is radically different from the view pressed on us by Culture. 

 

Third, as Jesus is God, he calls us to live life his way

If you accept that Jesus is God, what difference does that make for how you live your life? 

In our culture, there is often a strange disconnection between what we say, and how we live; between saying “Jesus is my Lord” and living as if that were true. 

N. T. Wright says, “... the gospels are consciously telling the story of how God’s one-time action in Jesus the Messiah ushered in a new world order within which a new way of life was not only possible, but mandatory for Jesus’s followers.”[3] 

 

I conclude with this question for you: 

Jesus is God, what are you going to do about it?

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[1] Eugene H. Peterson, Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places (Grand Rapids, MI/Cambridge, UK: Eerdmans, 2005), 31.

[2] N. T. Wright, How God Became King (New York, NY: HarperOne, 2012), 55.

[3] Wright, How God Became King, 118. Italics in original; bold font added.

 

Photo Credit: tadeusz deręgowski via Compfight cc

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