Look Closely

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John 12:44 “Then Jesus cried out, ‘When a man 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.’”

God hasn’t told us everything about himself. There are questions the theologians have tried to figure out for years, but for many the best answer is to say, “God hasn’t told us.” We don’t know why God permitted the fall into sin. We don’t know why some people are saved and not others. We believe in the Trinity, but we still must admit we don’t know how God can be one God and three distinct persons all at the same time.

We do know that what can be known about God can be learned by getting to know Jesus. Jesus says that when you believe in him, you are believing in God himself. When you look at him, you are looking at your God. That makes the faith we confess unique among all the religions of the world. Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism–they all have their holy books. But none of the writers of those books claim to be God. And none of those books tell you about the life of God working and living among us.

As much as Christians need and love our holy book, God has given us more than just a holy book. He has given us a person. He has become a human person, and he lived here with us so that we could know him and what he is like. Doesn’t it make it so much warmer, to get to know a person than merely to get to know an idea? Would you rather hear and read about abstract concepts and theoretical principles, or would you rather follow the real life story of a flesh and blood person and see everything he has to say in action? It may be interesting to read someone’s comments on an artist’s work. But if I knew the artist wanted to live with me, let me read his autobiography, even send me personal letters describing himself, I would prefer this more personal and intimate connection. This is one of the blessings of believing in Jesus. We are at the same time getting to know the true God and what he is like.

Soon we will be peeking into a manger to see a baby just born. What we see is more than cute, or sad and nearly tragic. It is holy. It is divine. It is God in all his love, giving up everything to come and rescue us.

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