Many people have wondered what God is like. They’ve looked at flowers, snowflakes, hummingbirds and rainbows and realized that God must be very smart and very powerful. The things He’s made are amazing! And when people eat a crisp apple, sit by a warm fire on a cold day, or listen to musical instruments, they realize that all those wonderful things are made possible by God, and so He must also be very kind.
But knowing God through what He’s made is somewhat like knowing an artist only through his paintings. How much more could you learn about that artist if you could actually meet him in person and be friends for a few years?
God wants us to know Him personally, and not just through what He has created. That is one reason that God sent Jesus to the earth. We read today, “No one has ever seen God. But his only Son, who is himself God, is near to the Father’s heart; he has told us about him” (John 1:18). Nobody knew God the Father better than Jesus. They had lived together forever! In the original language in which John wrote, he said something like, “Jesus and God the Father were bosom buddies!”
Not only did Jesus know more than anyone else about God the Father, He also acted more like God the Father than anyone else. Have you ever heard the expression, “Like father, like son”? That was certainly true concerning Jesus and His Father. Jesus once said, “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father!” (John 14:9). If we want to learn what God the Father is like, all we have to do is learn about Jesus. We read today, “Everything about [Jesus] represents God exactly” (Heb. 1:3). If God the Father had become a human being instead of Jesus, He would have said and done the same things.
Before Jesus came, there were only two ways to learn about God: through looking at His creation, and through studying the words of the people who wrote the Old Testament. Some of those people had experiences with God from which we can learn, and some of them (the prophets) actually spoke God’s words. But ever since Jesus came, we now have three ways to learn about God! As we study the life and ministry of Jesus in the weeks ahead, we’ll be learning about God, the creator of everything, a person with whom we’ll be friends forever. What could be more exciting than that?
Q. Perhaps your parents are like most parents: one is a little more strict than the other. If you have to get a spanking, you probably would prefer to get it from your mother, because she doesn’t spank quite as hard as your father! Do you think God the Father is more strict than Jesus is since He’s the Father?
A. No. Both the Father and Son are equally loving and equally strict. They become equally angry over the same things and care about you the same.
Application: Since God has put forth so much effort to help us to get to know Him, we should study His creation, His Word, and the life of Jesus so that He will become our closest friend.