Keeping Christmas Well: Know God through Jesus the Son

Daily Reflection / Produced by The High Calling
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No one has ever seen God. But the one and only Son is himself God and is near to the Father’s heart. He has revealed God to us.

John 1:18

How do we know God? How can we know God, not just theologically, but relationally? Let’s keep these questions in mind as we turn to John 1:15-18.

After celebrating the Incarnation of the Word of God, who became human and revealed his divine glory (1:14), the Gospel of John underscores the Jewish context of these events. The Word Incarnate was the one about whom John the Baptizer testified (1:15). The law was given through Moses, “but God’s unfailing love and faithfulness came through Jesus Christ.” Thus, the Word Incarnate fulfills Jewish hopes for the Messiah and completes God’s revelation that began with the Mosaic covenant.

This brings us to verse 18, which is one of the most astounding verses in all of Scripture. It is also a tricky verse to translate and interpret. Yet its basic meaning is clear … and stunning. “No one has ever seen God” underscores God’s distance and difference from human beings. Unlike the pagan gods who showed up on earth periodically, the one true God has never been directly seen with human eyes. Thus, we cannot know God truly through our own powers of observation and discernment. We need God to reveal himself to us in a way we can understand.

This is exactly what happened in the Incarnation: “[T]he one and only Son is himself God and is near to the Father’s heart. He has revealed God to us.” The Word of God is also the Son of God. He has seen God and is thus able to reveal God to us. But, more strikingly, the Son is God (see John 1:1). Therefore he reveals God to us, not only in words and deeds, but also in his very person.

When we gaze upon Jesus, we peer into the face of God. Through Jesus, we can know God, truly, intimately, personally. Yes, our knowledge of God is not complete (1 Cor. 13:12). But insofar as we know God through the Word Incarnate, our knowledge is genuine and trustworthy. Thus, we keep Christmas well when our relationship with God is shaped by his self-revelation in Jesus, the fully divine and fully human one who was born in a stable and laid in a manger. We honor Christmas when we allow Jesus to show us who God is and what it means to walk in fellowship with him each day.

QUESTIONS FOR FURTHER REFLECTION: How has Jesus shaped your understanding of God? How has God’s self-revelation in Jesus impacted your relationship with God?

PRAYER: Gracious God, apart from your help, we would never know you. Oh, we’d know something about you from observing your creation, and our hearts would yearn for you, but we’d never know you truly unless you chose to make yourself known to us.

So, today we thank you for revealing yourself to us. You have made yourself known through the Law and the Prophets, through calling Abraham and forming a covenant with Moses. But most wonderfully, you have revealed yourself to us by becoming one of us. In Jesus, the Word Incarnate, you have made yourself known to us. Thus, you invite us to have a truthful, intimate, vital relationship with you.

All praise be to you, Gracious God, for revealing yourself to us in the Word Incarnate. Amen.


Best Of 2014

How do you measure a year? Days? Cups of coffee? Celebrations? Goodbyes? In 2014, something we’ve noticed at the High Calling is more and more people engaging with the message that God cares about everything in life—even the most mundane moments.

In the end, we consider 2014 a success if we have served you well, Reader. Some may consider it a strange way to show love: typing on a keyboard and submitting content into the faceless void of the Internet. This is why your actions matter so much to us. When you spend a few minutes reading an article, when you share a video or a Facebook post, we know you were inspired. When you send us a short note, you give us an opportunity to listen to you.

Thank you for reading. Thank you for sharing. Thank you for spending time with us. We hope you enjoy the Best of 2014!

Featured image by Marty Hadding. Used with Permission. Source via Flickr.