In the previous episode I claimed inseparable link between Jesus and the gospel, the “good news” he went about proclaiming: Jesus is the very embodiment of the gospel. Without him, there is no gospel, no good news.
To some, Jesus is as familiar a person as their closest friend. For others he may be but a curiosity from the depths of religious history or perhaps, mythology. Still others may only be familiar with “Jesus” as a word spoken during moments of anger or frustration, a cultural utterance with no spiritual significance whatsoever.
For our purposes, let us for a moment simply take Jesus at his word and see where it leads.
In the portions of the gospel record dealing with his birth the tale makes it clear that Jesus was born to a Jewish woman in Palestine by the name of Mary, the wife of a Jewish man named Joseph. There are fascinating details claimed in the Bible regarding Mary’s pregnancy of which I will make note now of only one: that Mary was a virgin who became pregnant through God’s power in order to give birth to God’s own Son in the form of a human being. This very special baby was to be given the name, Jesus, because he would “save his people from their sins.”
When Jesus was about thirty years old he began to announce the “good news” and expand on it in great detail. Among the things he claimed was that God was his Father and that God had sent him.
From this early beginning (and if we take matters at face value for now) we gain important insight into who Jesus is and why he came: Jesus is God’s Son who came because his Father sent him and to show us what his Father was truly like.
It is worth repeating: Jesus is God’s Son who came because his Father sent him and to show us what his Father was truly like.
To be sure, Jesus’ mission had great breadth and included other important objectives. But bedrock to them all, and key to realizing the infinite depth of God’s love and absolute dedication to his Fatherhood, is Jesus’ own relationship as the obedient Son. The Son of God came to earth because it was his Father’s will and Jesus’ great joy was to yield himself to that will. In coming, he did only what he saw his Father doing and said what his Father told him to say. When asked by one of his closest followers, “Show us the Father, Lord, and we will be satisfied,” Jesus replied, “Have I been such a long time with you without your really knowing me, Philip? The man who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The very words I say to you are not my own. It is the Father who lives in me who carries out his work through me.” (John 14:9-10)
Jesus came because his Father wanted him to come and Jesus loved his Father. In coming, Jesus gave us a living representation of what God is really like, a revelation of the Fatherhood of God that shattered false impressions that had endured for ages. And for those who view the Bible as a whole through the lens of Jesus, shatters false impressions still…