The Definitive Word

Portada 9b

“In the beginning was the Word,” says John 1:1 “and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” Before all other things, before anything else existed, there was God, and there was his Word, who was God. And with that little sentence, a revolution has just happened. Want to see how?…

Here, then, is the revolution: for all our dreams, our dark and frightened imaginings of God, there is no God in heaven who is unlike Jesus. For he is God. “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father,” he says, for “I and the Father are one” (Jn. 14:9; 10:30). God cannot be otherwise…

Let us then be rid of that horrid, sly idea that behind Jesus, the friend of sinners, there is some more sinister being, one thinner on compassion and grace. There cannot be! Jesus is the Word. He is one with his Father. He is the radiance, the glow, the glory of who his Father is…

In him we see the true meaning of the love, the power, the wisdom, the justice and the majesty of God… And in fact, if we do not go to this Word to know God, then all our thoughts about God, however respectful, worshipful or philosophically satisfying, will be nothing but idolatry.

— Michael Reeves,
Rejoicing in Christ

Advertisements

B.C. / A.D.

Bethlehem changes 4

No longer is God simply God,
he is also man.
No longer should we ask what God is like,
he is present in our midst.
No longer must we inquire what love looks like,
he has come to dwell among us.
No longer does darkness rule unchecked;
the Light of the world has come.
No longer should we retreat in fear;
Bethlehem invites us to draw near.

The Self-Disclosure of God

61d583033c9db6598f3749911a1602ce
Jesus puts God on display:
He is what God looks like (Heb. 1:3).
He is what God lives like (Jn. 5:19).
He is what God loves like (Rom. 5:8).
He is what God has to say (Jn. 14:10).

Love Must Be Embodied

adoration-of-the-infant-jesus-stomer-matthias

The whole concept of God taking human shape had never made much sense to me. That was because I realized one wonderful day, it was so simple. For people with bodies, important things like love have to be embodied. That’s all. God had to be embodied, or else people with bodies would never in a trillion years understand about love.

–Jane Vonnegut Yarmolinsky,
Angels Without Wings

Artwork:
Matthias Stomer,
Adoration of the Infant Jesus

God’s Utterance

christ-27d-copy

Jesus of Nazareth is God’s utterance. He is the Word of God because no more thorough, personal, and beautiful revelation of God is possible.

He who is the perfect statement and rhetoric of the Father, the revealer of divinity, shows up in the form of a servant and sufferer and overturns our notions of deity. The One who is to be worshiped, exalted, and obeyed comes to serve and to give and to lay down His life for others. He unveils the essential truth and unsurpassing glory of the divine nature—a God who pulsates with goodness and power and love and beauty. Jesus reveals a God whose blessedness lies in giving rather than receiving, whose essence is an overflowing, unstoppable tsunami of grace. “Jesus Christ is the mercy of God,” wrote Karl Barth, “he is the love of God, he is the open heart of God.”

The Lord of glory has made Himself know in His Son—and He turns out to more wonderful than we ever imagined.

-J.O. Schulz

When God Became Visible

christ-1e-copyNo one has ever seen God until they see Jesus. Every other portrait of God — from whatever source — is subordinate to the revelation of God given to us in Jesus Christ. Jesus is the Word of God, the Logos of God, the Logic of God in the form of human flesh. Christians are to believe in the perfect, infallible, inerrant Word of God — and his name is Jesus. Jesus is the icon of the invisible God.

–Brian Zahnd,
The Faceless White Giant,
http://brianzahnd.com/2016/06/the-faceless-white-giant/

God explained

blank squareChrist 25 copy Jesus is the exegesis,
the exposition,
the explanation of God.
We cannot know God
outside of Christ.
There IS no God
outside of Jesus.
He’s God enfleshed.
      –Frank Viola

Infinitely Greater

Tolkien copy 2

Not a code or an idea

Jesus in color 15F
If the Word had become printer’s ink, it would have become a code. If the Word had become an idea, it would have been a philosophy. But the Word became flesh and therefore became a gospel—good news.

–E. Stanley Jones
The Way to Power and Poise

He is what God is like

Christ 38BLet us be rid of that horrid, sly idea that behind Jesus, the friend of sinners, there is some more sinister being, one thinner on compassion and grace. There cannot be! Jesus is the Word. He is one with is Father. He is the radiance, the glow, the glory of who his Father is.

–Michael Reeves
Rejoicing in Christ

The Great Divide

The most important verse in Scripture is “And the word became
flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth; we have beheld his glory, glory of the only Son from the Father . . .”

christ_rembrandt_1This verse—“The Word became flesh”—is the Great Divide. In all other religions it is Word became word—a philosophy, a moralism, a system, a technique, but for all time and all men everywhere, “the Word became flesh”—the Idea became Fact.

Then I got hold of this difference (between all world religions and Christianity) in all other religions it is the Word become word, but only in Jesus Christ, did the Word become flesh. Then (and only then) Everything fell into its place. I had the Key, and this Key fitted everything in East and West . . . Religions are man’s search for God. The gospel is God’s search for man. Therefore, there are many religions, but only one gospel.

–E. Stanley Jones

Painting: “Head of Christ”
Rembrandt van Rijn

Debunking the myths

adoration-of-the-shepherds-Rembrandt

Men forsook God, and made carved images of men. Since therefore an image of man was falsely worshipped as God, God became truly Man, that the falsehood might be done away.

–Cyril of Jerusalem
(313—386)

Art: Rembrandt

Redefining God

Baby Jesus & Mary 5

Christmas calls 
for a total revolution 
in our view of God.

–Glen Scrivener

On the ground spirituality

nature_is_beautiful_640_18

By accepting Jesus as the final and definitive revelation of God, the Christian church makes it impossible for us to make up our own customized variations of the spiritual life and get away with it. Not that we don’t try. But we can’t get around him or away from him: Jesus is the incarnation of God, God among and with us. Jesus gathered God’s words spoken to and through God’s people and given to us in our scriptures and spoke them personally to us. Jesus performed God’s works of healing and compassion, forgiveness and salvation, love and sacrifice among us, men and women with personal names, with personal histories.

jesus37b

Because Jesus was born in Bethlehem, grew up in Nazareth, gathered disciples in Galilee, ate meals in Bethany, went to a wedding in Cana, told stories in Jericho, prayed in Gethsemane, led a parade down the Mount of Olives, taught in the Jerusalem temple, was killed on the hill Golgotha, and three days later had supper with Cleopas and his friend in Emmaus, none of us are free to make up our private spiritualities; we know too much about his life, his spirituality. The story of Jesus gives us access to scores of these incidents and words, specific with places and times and names, all of them hanging together and inter-penetrating, forming a coherent revelation of who God is and how he acts and what he says.

Jesus-Child 9a

Jesus prevents us from thinking that life is a matter of ideas to ponder or concepts to discuss. Jesus saves us from wasting our lives in the pursuit of cheap thrills and trivializing diversions. Jesus enables us to take seriously who we are and where we are without being seduced by the intimidating lies and illusions that fill the air and trying to be someone else or somewhere else.

Jesus keeps our feet on the ground, attentive to children, in conversation with ordinary people, sharing meals with friends and strangers, listening to the wind, observing the wildflowers, touching the sick and wounded, praying simply and unself-consciously. Jesus insists that we deal with God right here and now, in the place we find ourselves and with the people we are with. Jesus is God here and now.

–Eugene H. Peterson
Why Spirituality Needs Jesus

 

Incomparable goodness

7f324d7e7ff201cdc5d82edb06b2e21e010033

“The Word became flesh” . . . His words and his deeds blended like the words and music of a song. He was so truthful that He was truth, so loving that He was love, so good that He was goodness, so morally beautiful that He was beauty, so living that He was life, so godlike that he was God.

–E. Stanley Jones

Getting a look at God

Jesus calling fishermen 2

One great advantage of the incarnation
(God in human form) is that
now we can see God.
Just look at Jesus.

–Larry Crabb

Why He came

081110sunset

The Word of God, Jesus Christ,
out of his boundless love,
became what we are,
that he might make us what he is.

–Irenaeus  (ca. 125-202)

Published in: on 12/18/2012 at 7:37  Leave a Comment  
Tags: ,

The miraculous entry

Sunrise_from_Pike's_Peak,_Colorado

The Incarnation would be
equally a miracle however
Jesus entered the world.

–P. T. Forsyth (1848-1921)

God’s message to man

Sun over mountains2

Jesus is the Word of God.
He is not the best Word.
He is not the ultimate Word.
He is not the seal of series
of improving words.
He is the Word.

–Glen Scrivener

The Word is a Person

Christ A23

The Word became flesh
not paper and leather.

–Don Keathley

When God got immersed in our mess

road spring-wallpaper-1024x768-1012123

“And the Word became flesh
and dwelt among us…”
(John 1:14)

The Incarnation means a card-carrying member of the Holy Trinity is now part of the human race. He bridged the uncrossable divide between Creator and creation, between Divinity and humanity. He became our blood relative, our next of kin.

A member of the Godhead has a body
of flesh and blood—He is one of us.

Literally.

Not for a few years, but forever.

Christ-Entry-2-481

God and man are now inseparably connected. The Lord of the universe has become a part of our story.

And a part of our predicament. He has thrown in his lot with us.

He has joined our ranks
to such a degree that our dilemma
has become His dilemma.
Our misfortune has become His.

He got embroiled in our brokenness—more than any self-respecting God ever should have.

Immersed in our mess.

He was not about to abandon his fellow humans to their plight. He got involved. He shouldered our cause. We are no longer alone in our distress.

We have a Redeemer.

–Jurgen O. Schulz

The starting point

37932-1920x1200

Our starting point is Jesus. But someone objects and says, “The Gospel begins with God.” No, for until Jesus came, there were views about God and there was news about God, but no Good News. Apart from Jesus we know little about God, and what little we know is not Good News. The conception of the character of God apart from Jesus is questionable. In Jesus our question marks about God turn into exclamation points.

In the face of Jesus we know what God is like
and what we must be like if we are to be good.

If God is other than Jesus, He is not good; if He is like Jesus, He is good. This is an astounding thing to say, yet when I say it, I hear the Ages give an resounding Amen. And it reverberates through all things.

–E. Stanley Jones

Rethinking God

christmas-backgrounds-manger-l

Christmas calls for
a total revolution
in our view of God.

–Glen Scrivener

Jesus shows us God

Prelude to change Wallpaper__yvt2

As Christians—as followers of the Lord Jesus—when we talk about God, we are talking about one who has entered into the very fabric of our world, who has come as close to us as we are to ourselves, a God who has become incarnate. When we talk about God, ultimately, we are always talking about Jesus. For the God of the gospel is the God who has come among us in Jesus of Nazareth. We believe in God because of Jesus.

Jesus is the one who showed us the face of God—
Jesus shows us the truth of God,
Jesus shows us the love of God.

sunset Wallpaper__yvt3

Jesus is God’s smile beaming at us out of the depths of eternity. Jesus is God’s love wrapping around us, seizing us and not letting us go. Jesus is God’s grace, reaching into the darkest and most shameful dimensions of our experience. Jesus is God’s healing, binding up the wounded.

Jesus is God’s goodness, in a world
full of chaos and disaster and catastrophe.

Jesus is God’s great strength for the weak. Jesus is water for the thirsty, and when you drink that water you will never thirst again. Jesus is bread for all those who are starved and hungry, famished for something good and something true. Jesus shows us God. He is not God’s explanation, he is not God’s argument, he is not God’s debate. He is God’s simple, great, loving act, showing us, Here I am, here you are.

In Jesus, God shows us God.
That I believe, is the whole secret
of the Christian faith.

–Ben Myers
(emphasis added)

We needed a revelation

Sunset reflection 1

Job asks: “Who by searching can find out God?” The answer is plain in history: No one! For what we find in our upward search for God is not God, but the projection of our thoughts into the heavens and calling it God. It is the Word become word—and earthbound. We create God in the image of our imagination. And this is “no true image.” Apart from Jesus we know little or nothing about God, and what we know is wrong.

The Word must become flesh
or the Word is a vast question mark.

. . . God the Father could only be revealed by Revelation. No one could imagine or think that the God of the Universe would take a body and become man to redeem man. A love like that just doesn’t exist—not in the categories of philosophy. Here only seeing is believing. We would never have believed it unless we had seen it. The Word had to become flesh to become credible. Unless the eye had seen and the ear heard it would never have entered into the heart of man what God has prepared for him

–E. Stanley Jones

The starting point

Christ 45B

“In the beginning was the Word . . .
and the Word became flesh…”
(John 1:1,14)

The Gospel begins with Jesus, the Incarnate. If you don’t begin with Jesus, you don’t begin—you don’t begin with anything except roads with dead ends. We know little or nothing about God, and what we know is wrong, unless we begin with Jesus.

If you do not see God
in the face of Jesus,
you see something other
than God—and different.

–E. Stanley Jones
(emphasis added)

God made visible

Jesus was God letting people 
see the beauty of His face
and listen to the music of His voice,
and feel the irresistibly gentle
drawing power of His presence.

–S. D. Gordon
(1859-1936)

He came to show us God

Because of Jesus…I must adjust my instinctive notions about God. Perhaps that lay at the heart of his mission? Jesus reveals a God who comes in search of us, a God who makes room for our freedom even when it costs the Sons life, a God who is vulnerable. Above all, Jesus reveals a God who is love.

–Philip Yancey

The wild wonder of God’s love

What I believe is so magnificent, so glorious, that it is beyond finite comprehension. To believe that the universe was created by a purposeful, benign Creator is one thing.

To believe that this Creator
took on human vesture,
accepted death and mortality,
was tempted, betrayed, broken,
and all for love of us,
defies reason.

It is so wild that it terrifies some Christians who try to dogmatize their fear by lashing out at other Christians, because tidy Christianity with all answers given is easier than one which reaches out to the wild wonder of God’s love, a love we don’t even have to earn.

–Madeleine L’Engle

The quest is over

Man in his homesickness for his Heavenly Father has looked at nature to see the image of God. He views sunrises and sunsets and mountains and flowers and wonders if God is like that. But the storm rages, thunder rolls, flood arise, and the earthquakes shake; nature is cruel, and man’s faith in God’s being, like Nature is shaken with it all. No, God is not like that! The nature-worshipers are confused—and empty.

Then man looks on the works of his hands—on idols. He goes through austerities to wring out of the idol some favor or attention. For instance, in the hottest period with the thermometer 115 digrees in the shade devotees in India will measure their length on the ground for 50 miles to get to the temple to ring the bell, and thus get the attention of the idol. But the idol sits attentionless.

Then man looks to his books for some word from God. But the letters are letters, not life. He drinks of the words, but knows in his heart of hearts that this is not the Word.

Then he looks on the face of Jesus, and in one look he knows his quest is over. Jesus is “the Stamp of God’s very image.” The doubt now is not whether Jesus is like God, but rather is God like Jesus? If He is, then He is a good God and trustable.

If the best of men should try to think out what kind of God they would like to see in the universe, they could not imagine anything better than that He should be like Jesus. 

–E. Stanley Jones

%d bloggers like this: