Bob Woods: On speaking about God
Craig — For some reason lately, I have been thinking about the different words we use when speaking about God.
It’s not easy to find the right words, because no human language is rich enough to adequately express who God is. No word or phrase can define God without giving a distorted image. Yet, we do not have to leave our brain behind when considering this.
In the form of a joke, here is Jesus’ answer to our attempt to describe him. Jesus said, “Who do people say that the son of man is?” And his disciples answered: “Some say John the Baptist, but others Elijah, and still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” He said to them, “But whom do you say that I am?”
Peter answered and said, “Thou art the Logos, existing in the Father as His rationality and then, by an act of His will, being generated, in consideration of the various functions by which God is related to his creation, but only on the fact that Scripture speaks of a Father, and a Son, and a Holy Spirit, each member of the Trinity being coequal with every other member, and each acting inseparably with and interpenetrating every other member, with only an economic subordination within God, but causing no division which would make the substance no longer simple.”
And Jesus answering, said, “Huh?”
The disciples find Jesus’ words difficult to hear and understand.
Maybe you remember an episode of The Twilight Zone, a popular television show in the 1960s. In one episode, the world was filled with evil, corruption and pain.
One day, aliens arrived from space, and before long, disease was eradicated, human problems were solved and peace reigned. The people had everything they had ever longed for.
The aliens had a little book, the cover of which read, “To Serve Man,” but no one could decipher the book. Finally, the alien visitors arranged for humans to accompany them on a return trip to their home.
People were so thrilled by all that had been done for them that plenty of people volunteered to go to wherever this spaceship was going. At the end, they decipher the alien script and discover the book was a cookbook and that “To Serve Man” was actually a book of recipes for rendering human beings as delicacies at a feast.
Foolish people thought their “saviors” had come to do good, but in reality things were horribly worse. We do not have to leave our brain behind when considering whoGod/Jesus is.
No other great religious leader ever claimed to be God. Not Mohammed, Buddha, Lao-Tse, Joseph Smith or Oprah.
But if Jesus is God in the flesh, then it means God really cares. Cares enough to come -to come Himself – not just send an ambassador. Cares enough to involve Himself in our mess.
So, what does this mean to me? He calls me to be like Him. To feel and act like Him. Reach out like He did. To be with Him. To tell His story. To drive out demons. To do life in His name. Be like Him?
Because He came as true human, a fully Spirit-filled man, I can’t dismiss Him as merely true God who died for me. I have to consider that He is also a true human who shows me what I can be.
Now, there’s the real threat, to me, to my comfort, to my way of life, to my understanding of ministry.
Can I do it?
He promised He’d help -through His Spirit and through the encouragement of His followers.
We Christians join on Sunday morning as we try to figure out how to follow the Son of Man and to teach others who He is. Questions? Call 824-6836.
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