December 17, 2013
THE GEORGIA CAPITOL DEVOTIONAL - 17 December 2013
Have you ever considered the picturesque nature of God’s Word, the Holy Bible? Many of the biblical accounts are easy to share orally with others, so that those who hear the accounts can imagine the scenes of Scripture in their minds. The Bible conveys true accounts in a quite descriptive—and sometimes poetic—nature to assist in bringing to mind the most lucid understanding of the Bible. To assist people to be mindful of the Bible, individuals throughout time created visual depictions by means of carved reliefs, frescoes, graffiti, and mosaics; in later times, artists used canvas and paint. The intention for such art was to help the believer communicate—in an historical and factual manner—the reality of the biblical events.
One may also discern a similar divine depiction when considering the Christmas narrative. John 1:18 reads, “No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him.” The Greek verb (exēgēsato // ἐξηγήσατο) translated “explained” describes what God did when he became embodied (incarnate). You have probably heard the English term “exegesis” (an explanation or interpretation of a biblical text), which is derived from the Greek verb in John 1:18. The idea is a narration providing a detailed description, or articulating something with tremendous detail.
Jesus, as the God-Man, portrayed the true picture of the unseen God. The character of Jesus Christ that was displayed to humanity during the days of his earthly ministry reveals “the kindness and severity of God” (Rom 11:22). To have truly seen Jesus—God the Son—was to have beheld God the Father. Jesus explained this truth more completely when He instructed his disciples regarding his departure (John 14:6-9).
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me. “If you had known Me, you would have known the Father also; from now on you know Him, and have seen Him.” Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” Jesus said to him, “Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?
Christmas is a time to celebrate the grace of God in sending his Son to reveal himself to humanity, and fulfilling the prophecies that included a Messiah who would pay the wages for sin upon Calvary’s cross (cf. Rom 3:23; 5:8; 6:23; 10:8-13). God wanted humanity to “see” Him; therefore, He sent his Son who “is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature” (Heb 1:3). Jesus will, one day, take those who trust in Him to where He is, and “they will see His face” (Rev 22:4). Until that blessed day, God’s people look for Him to appear, for when we see Him, “we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is. And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure” (1 John 3:2-3). The hope of God’s people for the return of the Lord Jesus Christ has a purifying effect since we seek to live by God’s grace and for his glory so that our own lives depict the holiness of our Lord.
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Grace and peace to you,