Sometimes in life something just comes and slaps you around the face and then proceeds to turn your world upside down. This happened to me about 7 or 8 years ago, I was generally quite content with my Christian life, was actively involved in a church and on the whole things were not too bad. Then, bam, it hit me, I had been in church for about 50 years and somehow I had missed this, either that or it had never really been taught …………………. God is like Jesus! Once I realised the truth of this it began to turn my theology inside out and upside down.
Brian Zahnd a Pastor from St Jospeh, Miossouri puts it like this:
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.1
In John 1 v 4-7 we read of an exchange between Philip and Jesus, Philip asks Jesus to “… show us the Father”. Jesus responds, ” ….. he who has seen me has seen the Father”
Hebrews 1v3 speaking of Jesus says that he is “…the express image of His (God/The Father) person,”
Colossians 1 v 15 says that Jesus is the image of the invisible God
Jesus says in John 12 v 45 he who has seen me has seen God who sent me
John 5 v 19 – Jesus says that the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He (The Father) does, the Son also does in like manner.
Jesus is saying that he is the image, the representation, the likeness of God the Father and that when we see Jesus we see God. When we describe Jesus we are describing God. When we see Jesus act, we see God act and Jesus specifically said that he does what he sees the Father doing. In other words if we want to know what God is like, how he acts and what he does or doesn’t do then we must look at the Jesus. We have to continually ask the question of actions attributed to God, is that something I could see Jesus doing?
What do we see in Jesus, we see love, compassion, we see a healer (or restorer), we see someone who identifies with the down and out, the sick, the infirm, the undesirable and the traitor. We see a giver of life not a dealer in death, we see someone who unconditionally forgives and even asks for forgiveness for those who tortured and crucified him. After his resurrection Jesus did not seek revenge on those who killed him but he came back proclaiming peace. In Christ we see no thought of retribution or violence only peace, love and forgiveness; and God is like Jesus.