God Is Like Jesus
published on 02/14/2020
"God is like Jesus. God has always been like Jesus. There has never been a time when God was not like Jesus. We have not always known what God is like — But now we do.” - Brian Zahnd, pastor of Word of Life Church, St. Joseph, MO.
Consider these bold claims:
John 1:1, 14 CEB
In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God… 14 The Word became flesh and made his home among us. We have seen his glory, glory like that of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth.
Col. 1:15 CEB
The Son is the image of the invisible God…
Heb. 1:1–3 CEB
In the past, God spoke through the prophets to our ancestors in many times and many ways. 2 In these final days, though, he spoke to us through a Son. God made his Son the heir of everything and created the world through him. 3 The Son is the light of God’s glory and the imprint of God’s being.
Again and again, the claim of the earliest followers of Jesus Christ is that He was - and is - the full self-revelation of God. This is an astonishing claim and, if it is true, it is exceedingly good news. Think of it: Jesus of Nazareth is the very expression of what God is actually like. In Him, we see the true nature, character and personality of God. Jesus embraced the outcasts because God is an embracer of outcasts. Jesus is a friend of “sinners” because God is a friend of “sinners.” Jesus stepped across religion’s boundary-lines to love the rejected ones because God steps across religion’s boundary-lines to love the rejected ones. Jesus loves His enemies because God loves His enemies. Jesus died rather than retaliate against His enemies because God would rather die than retaliate against His enemies. This could go on for a while, you get this idea… for more see Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.
This observation is nothing new. In fact, it is among the earliest claims of those who grappled with the meaning of Jesus in the first few centuries. When we speak of the Trinity, this is what we are saying: God is known as God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. What may seem new, however, is our willingness to engage with the paradigm-bursting implications of this most basic claim. If this raises a million questions in your mind, welcome to the club! In a way, this is a pretty good definition of the Church: people who are exploring what it means to see that God is exactly like Jesus.