“No one has ever seen God; the only Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, he has made him known.” – John 1:18

I am going to go out on a limb and suggest that this might be one of the most important theological statements in the entire Bible! John, the author of this statement, was raised to be a good, devout Jewish man who knew the scriptures and who knew God. In fact, I’d say that John grew up knowing God better than 99.99% of the world in those days. This is because John’s people were the people of the Book. The very book about God and about God’s interactions with humanity. John would have been raised on the principles and stories of their book. Nowadays, we call their book the “Old Testament,” and we still believe that it contains the very words of God. We still believe that this book contains accurate information about God. But, apparently , according to John, the Old Testament just wasn’t enough to really “see” God. Can you believe that John had the audacity to say that “no one has ever seen God” and that Jesus is the one who now “made him known”? I mean, did he forget about Adam & Eve, Enoch, Moses, or all the prophets? Didn’t they make God known? What is John saying here?

Maybe John is making a comparison. I don’t think we should read him as saying anything negative about the Old Testament, but something incredibly positive about how closely Jesus resembles God. Have you ever caught a glimpse of yourself in the reflection of a window and thought to yourself, “I look pretty good.” Only to walk by a mirror to find that your hair is a mess and your shirt collar is all a mess? Maybe that’s just me. It is amazing how much better you can see all the details when you look in a good mirror. And this is what Jesus was. He was the best mirror that we have ever had of the reflection of God. The image of God that we get in the Old Testament, was like the reflection of a window pane… you can sorta make it out, it’s better than nothing, but the image is unclear and a bit fuzzy.

However, after meeting Jesus, God was no longer fuzzy. John wrote these words after living alongside Jesus as his disciple, and then after living under the influence of the Spirit for many years. John had really come to see who God was because he had seen Jesus. And that is what he wants us to experience as we read his book. He wants us to experience God as he is explained through Jesus. Let’s pray that we would this year as we study the book of John.

Josh Rose
Discipleship Pastor

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