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He Pitched his Tent with us!

31 Jan

John 1:14 and following simply doesn’t make sense if Jesus is a mere man. Why would it be of any importance to say: the Word (Jesus) became flesh, unless the Word is other than human to begin with? For him to be an angel doesn’t fit for several reasons. First, the angels are created beings and John 1:3 reminds us that absolutely nothing came to exist that does exist without being created through the Word. Secondly, the writer of Hebrews insists that God never told an angel: “You are my Son—Today, I have begotten you!” God simply does not refer to angels in this manner (Hebrews 1:5). So what does John 1:14 mean? If we are speaking about God, and if God is not a complex unity, what do the terms God and the Word, or Father and Son mean when the text doesn’t seem to differentiate when it comes to who God is?

You know these are not complex ideas. The questions are very simple. The answers may be profound, but the questions are really simple. Don’t we try to make God in our image? Don’t we try to simplify God? We live our lives and know we have one consciousness, and we presume God is exactly like us, but where does the Scriptures conclude this is so? I think it should be expected that God, who is understood to have created such a vast universe and so complex in detail—filled with beauty and (at least as it pertains to the earth) overflowing with almost an infinite variety of life-forms—that this Being we call God would not only be completely unknowable, unless he revealed himself, but would also be far more complex in his Being than we could imagine him to be. Knowing him comes completely by revelation, not by our own devices. Doesn’t that seem logical? If so, and if we truly believe the Hebrew and Greek Scriptures are his word to us, shouldn’t we permit them to tell us everything that can be known about our God? In other words, we have no authority, of and by ourselves, to draw any conclusions about God that are not first revealed about him in the Scriptures. Shouldn’t that be so, or is subjective human assumption about God valid?

I am one who believes, unless it is there in the Scriptures, we cannot possibly know it, if “it” pertains to God—his character, essence and person etc. This vast universe is able to tell us God exists, but even this information is but a whisper about him (Job 26:13-14). His creation doesn’t contain enough about information concerning him that would enable us to draw any conclusions about him, as far as his nature and person are concerned. Unless the Scriptures are records of his revelation to mankind, and unless they tell us something other than can be understood in his creation, we cannot know more about God other than that he is large, powerful, orderly, creative, having unfathomable knowledge etc. We know nothing of his holiness, kindness, mercy, love for us, or his person, unless he reveals such to us in his word. All creation is able to do is tell us God exists, but whether or not this God has any interest in us, is personal or is good etc., we cannot find this out by ourselves. Such things about him must be revealed to us.

Earlier, John spoke of the Word as the Light of men, but without the Word, men’s understanding was considered to be darkness. Can darkness comprehend light? I believe we are able to have either one or the other, but not both. To the degree one is in the light, darkness has vanished. Isn’t that so? If one enters a dark room and turns on the flashlight, wherever the light exists, darkness is nowhere to be found. Isn’t that true? So whoever the Word is, and whatever the Light of men is, He became flesh and lived among us, according to John 1:14. The text uses tabernacle language. I get the idea of him pitching his tent or tabernacle in the wilderness of this earth to be among us. For the very first time we could observe with our eyes, hear with our ears, touch, taste (enjoy), and smell (know the odor of the presence of) this One who created all that exists or we can say all that exists was created through him. For the very first time our five senses that teach us knowledge about our environment was able to detect him, know and understand him and consider his value to mankind.

What did we find? John tells us that he observed him and said that, though no man had ever ascended into heaven to see and know God (John 1:18), this One who was in heaven came to earth and exposed for our consideration everything that can be known about God, and that of this fullness (i.e. his glorious Light) we have all received. That is to say, not every man has received this fullness, but only all those who have received him—only all those who believed him—i.e. the Word. All of us who have not come into the Light could not have our darkness removed. And, what have we (who have entered the Light) found? We have found the Word—Jesus—the Son of God, was full of mercy and truth. We have nothing to fear in him. God is for us, not against us. He is our Father and we are his sons by adoption (John 1:12, 13). He has chosen us for himself!

 
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Posted by on January 31, 2011 in Christianity, Godhead, Religion

 

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