Jesus is what God looks like. In Colossians 1:15 Paul writes that Jesus is the “image of the invisible God.”
When we look at Jesus we are seeing what God is like. Which is a very profound thought.
If Jesus is what God looks like, then God is wildly different than we may have previously thought.
The Pharisees in Jesus’ day thought they had God all figured out. So when Jesus declared His divinity, the Pharisees couldn’t stand for it. In their minds, Jesus was not acting like a proper God is supposed to act.
The life of Jesus is an ongoing reminder to me that I can never arrive in God. I will always be exploring, and discovering the depths of His greatness.
God is bigger than we think, and He is certainly far better too.
Therefore, we should always seek to change the way we think about God. We are all on a journey.
When we look at what Jesus is like, we are seeing what God is like.
The profoundness of this is astounding. Here are three things Jesus did on earth that I find amazing.
1. Jesus hung out with the riffraff
Jesus spent a whole lot of time with the sinners, the tax collectors, and the losers of society. This greatly offended the religious leaders of His day. I love the way the Message Bible recounts their reaction:
“..The religion scholars and Pharisees saw him keeping this kind of company and lit into his disciples: ‘What kind of example is this, acting cozy with the riffraff?'” (Mark 2:16 MSG)
According to Jesus, God’s favorite people to hang around are losers, sinners, and riffraff.
I find it interesting that Jesus spent so much of His time on earth with these types of people.
To me this isn’t just an amazing fact, since I know that Jesus is what God looks like, but a profound revelation about God.
I was taught as a Christian growing up that God is deeply offended with our sin. But is that really true?
Christianity says that God is unable to look at our sin, but doesn’t the life of Jesus say otherwise
It has been said that God can’t even look at our sins, but doesn’t the life of Jesus clearly contradict that?
The life of Jesus does not reveal a God who is separate from sinners, and unable to look at their sin.
Nothing is further from the truth.
Instead, Jesus reveals a God who is present in the midst of sinners, and who actually prefers such a crowd!
2. Jesus healed the sick
It’s hard to find a single page out of the four Gospels that doesn’t record a miracle of Jesus. He spends much of His time going around healing the sick, raising the dead, and casting out demons.
What does this tell us about God?
Well for starters, it tells us something profound about God’s relationship with pain.
For as long as I can remember, I have heard Christians teach that God gives sickness to teach us how to be better people.
But is that true?
According to Jesus it isn’t.
Jesus reveals a God who never causes sickness. And unless you can find me a verse that says otherwise, I will stick to this simple resolve:
God does not cause sickness.
The bible is bursting with stories of Jesus healing the sick. This is undeniable.
Which means that is what God is like. God is the God who heals sickness.
(For a more in depth look into God and His relationship with pain, check out my upcoming book “The God Who Solves Pain”.)
3. Jesus won by losing
When we think about the almighty power of God tend to conjure up images of an unstoppable force that shoots lightening bolts, rains down fire, and moves mountains.
Our understanding of the power of God often times looks more like Zeus, than Jesus.
But what does Jesus have to reveal about the power of God?
The ultimate triumph of Jesus, His greatest hit, is the cross. Which paradoxically is also His weakest moment.
When God set out to save the world He didn’t use the power of Zeus. He used the paradoxical power of Jesus.
He came and died a humiliating death. No other God in either mythology, or religion has ever done something like that.
It is a fact that is profound in it’s weirdness. What kind of a God does that?
In our minds, god’s don’t die.
But that’s what makes Jesus so profound. He wins the greatest triumph of all time by losing, dying, and laying completely dead in the grave.
We sometimes believe that God interacts with us through forcefulness, much like the mythical god Zeus. But here Jesus shows that Gods way of doing business is far more paradoxical.
He doesn’t use forcefulness to save the world. He uses weakness. Jesus becomes human, stoops low to save us, and dies a humiliating death. Paradoxical power is how God solves problems.
The life of Jesus is profound, and amazing. Through His incarnation, life, death, resurrection and ascension He reveals a God very unlike the god’s of our imagination.
What’s the conclusion then?
Is it true that God can’t look at sin? Or that God causes pain? Or that God is forceful in getting His way?
Amazingly, no. At least not according to Jesus.
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