(Photo above by me)
Have you ever wondered what God is really like? I’m not referring to His appearance, because he is invisible to the physical eye. But what is He really like, in word and in character? What would He say to us if He were here on Earth, and we could record His very words? We could even take note of His very character! Well, you may have already picked up on where I’m going with this. Maybe you haven’t. The answer is that we have already had God on Earth, in the flesh. His name is Jesus! This may not sound like any type of new revelation to you, but when I started letting this truth sink in to my mind recently, it astounded me. I don’t claim that I have had some new revelation on it, but I do say that I have received new illumination! God was demonstrated through Jesus. This is nothing new, and neither is the fact that Jesus was God. However, it has become so vitally important and exciting to me recently. This truth caused me to look at certain Scriptures with even more interest than I already had before. When I want to know what God is like, I just open up the four gospels and read Jesus’ words, and learn from His actions. Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Each are filled with the words of God. Of course, the entire Bible is the perfect inspired Word of God, and Holy Spirit breathed. However, the truth that was written through let’s say the apostle Paul, was still coming through a mortal man. Please do not hear me wrong here. Paul’s Holy Spirit inspired words were all true and inspired, but Jesus was God. I want to focus on that. I want to focus on Jesus and His words and actions.
For starters, this article may not help you if you do not hold to the orthodox view of the Trinity. God is three in one. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The Trinity is one God who exists simultaneously in three persons. Yes, Jesus WAS God…in the flesh. He was 100% man, and 100% God at the same time. Let me first bring out a couple of Scripture texts that support the Trinity. It’s amazing to believe, but some well known TV preachers do not believe in or teach Trinitarianism. Most of the “Word Faith” teachers such as Ken Copeland and TD Jakes hold to some very errant doctrines on the Godhead. (Many of their teachings are very heretical) If you follow any of them, or if you follow any of the cult teachings (Mormonism, J.W.’s, etc), then you may have had some bad teaching about the Godhead as well. If you use the NIV Bible, you don’t even have the word “Godhead” in the Bible! But that’s another story. Let me digress again to the topic at hand. Jesus was God in the flesh. If you want to understand God, just read up about Jesus. Obviously, there is much more to be ascertained about God in the Old Testament as well. Consider His dealings with everybody from Adam and Eve, to Moses, to Israel through the prophets. There are even some wonderful mentions of Jesus in the Old Testament. (not by name) For now though, I want to focus on the earthly, fleshly manifestation of God. First, a couple of brief foundational scriptures on the Trinity, just to make the point.
Here is one scripture which contains the Father, the Holy Spirit, and the Son (Jesus) all in one passage. This is the moment when John the baptist baptizes Jesus. I’m using my trusted King James Bible, as usual. Matthew 3:16-17 “and Jesus, when He was baptized, went up straightway out of the water; and, lo, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon Him: v17, And lo a voice from heaven , saying, ‘this is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Bold words made bold me)
In the passage above, we see all three members of the Trinity are mentioned in the same place, and same time. In this next passage, we hear about them all together in heaven. 1 John 5: 7 “For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost; and these three are one”. Now just who is “the Word”? It’s Jesus. Here’s another one; This from John’s gospel. John 1:1 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God”. V2 “The same was in the beginning with God” V3 “All things were made by Him; and without Him was not anything made that was made”. Jesus is the Word! (also see Col. 1:16)
Now to my proof texts for this article. I want to look at the relationship only between God the Father, and God the Son. This is a powerful scripture, and it reveals so much amazing truth!
John 1:14 ” And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us (and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father) full of grace and truth”
Did you catch that? “and the Word was made flesh”. Jesus was always in existence, even before the foundation of the world. He was there with the Father and the Holy Spirit in the beginning, and He was later “made flesh” and dwelt among us. Let’s look at one of my very favorite Scriptures next.
Colossians 1:15 “(Jesus) who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature”
So, Jesus is an exact duplicate of God. Again, clearly not in a visible sense, but in character, and in knowledge, power, and every aspect. Do not be thrown off by the statement that He is the “firstborn” of every creature. Of course, He IS that, but this does not refer to a chronological birth order. It is a positional status. It is the same as saying He is “King, and heir of all things”, positionally. Remember, although Jesus was born in the flesh about 2,000 years ago, He always existed before that. He was with the Father. He is the image of the invisible God!
Colossians 2:9 “for in Him(Jesus) dwelleth all the fulness of the godhead bodily”
Right there we see that in Jesus, dwells all the fulness. I don’t want to get too deep into scripture on this particular article, but I wanted to cause readers to really stop and think about this. Jesus is God, and He came and dwelt among us in the flesh. When we read those red printed words in our Bibles (if indeed you have such a “red letter edition”), we are reading God’s very words. Sure, the entire Bible is Holy Spirit breathed. I believe that all the Scriptures are inspired by the Holy Spirit, yet filtered through the men who wrote them. Hence, we have the four separate gospel accounts, for example. The four different men wrote their account of the story of Jesus’ life, but the Holy Spirit guided them much stronger than what we know today as that “still, small voice”. In other words, the Holy Spirit was very heavy handed in writing the scriptures. All of them. Now, what of Jesus’ words? They are the very words of God. Straight-up. No filter. No filler. No small minded man’s point of view. Now, what can we do with this knowledge, and how do we apply it?
Am I saying that we should only pay super special attention to the red letters in the Bible? No I am not! The entire Bible is the Word of God. It is infallible. It is perfect. What I am saying though, is that when we look at Jesus’ words, we can clearly see the character of God. Think of his verbal blasting away at the scribes and pharisees. He really lit them up! In John 8:44 Jesus said to them “..ye are of your father the devil”. Wow, that is not something I would want to hear from Him. But let’s look at another facet of Jesus.
In Luke 11:9-10 He says “and I say unto you, Ask and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you” V10 ” for everyone that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened”. These are such encouraging, beautiful words from our savior, Jesus. Just ponder for a moment. This was God talking to us. Do you see the gravity of this? This was God’s very words to us. Wow. We are talking about the very maker of the universe here. The one and Holy God.
How about when the woman was caught in the very act of adultery, and the scribes and pharisees brought her out to Jesus? He used such wisdom in His response. He also exhibited His divine mercy! First, he simply stooped down and wrote something on the ground. Maybe the 10 Commandements? Maybe the names of her customers? We don’t know. But then, what He said next was amazing. John 8:10 “When Jesus had lifted up Himself, and saw none but the woman, He said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? Hath no man condemned thee?” V11 “She said, no man, Lord. And jesus said unto her, ‘neither do I condemn thee; go, and sin no more'”. I’m not wanting to analyze or exegete these scriptures right now. I want you to ponder them, and just take them in.
Applying the words of Jesus throughout scripture to ourselves is essential. It is sometimes very indicting. It is sometimes very consoling. Occasionally, it can be hard to understand exactly what He is saying. He often spoke in parables so as to keep the truth hidden from those who do not truly have an appetite for it. Then, there are some people who have their own carnal ideas of what the scripture means to them. What it means to you? That is irrelevant. The scripture (whichever one is in question) means what it means. We do not each get our own interpretation of scripture to make our own. Now as for application of scripture, that’s certainly open to individuality. How you apply a scripture to your own life is between you and God. But the scripture means what it means, and nothing more, or less. Jesus’s words were God’s words. They ARE God’s words. They are eternal, powerful, and sharper than a two-edged sword!
In the four Gospels, we see God in action–in the flesh. That was God who asked the woman “where are your accusers?”. The words spoken there were God’s words. The character shown by Jesus at that moment was God’s character. Isn’t that powerful? I love to read the very words of our Lord Jesus, and say to myself, “that is God talking to me”. Now, I do not get carried away as some do with this. I think it was the great Charles Spurgeon who once said “All scripture is for us, but not all scripture is TO us”. Much of what Jesus said to the Jews was TO the Jews, not us. That must be understood by any reader of Scripture. However, everything He spoke to the Jews is also FOR me to learn from, and for you.
I LOVE the Word of God. I love to read it, to indulge in it, to taste of the wonders of all that it offers. I hope I have even scarcely began to relate to you what I see in the words and the character of God…..in Jesus. He was God. His words are life, and they abide forever. Remember John 1:14 “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us…” How amazing.
I leave you with this powerful scripture. In the Gospel of John, as Judas and the pharisees and officers came to arrest Jesus at night. John 18:4, Jesus asked them “whom seek ye?” (V5) They answered Him, Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus saith unto them “I Am”