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Wednesday, February 15, 2017

SEE JESUS AND YOU SEE GOD THE FATHER Featured

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Do you clearly see who God is and what he is like?

Or do you feel like your vision of God is fuzzy and unclear?

Perhaps you feel like you’re in the dark and you can’t really see who he is at all.

I was in 3rd grade when I discovered that my vision was fuzzy and unclear. Sitting in the back of the classroom, I strained to see what the teacher was writing on the chalkboard (yes, I’m dating myself here. There were no dry-erase or smartboards yet!).

I didn’t realize I had a vision problem until that moment when I experienced my inability to clearly see.

After an eye exam, the optometrist prescribed lenses for my first eye-glasses. I had a significant near-sightedness with an astigmatism – which has gotten worse through the years. But with wearing glasses and then contacts, starting in high school, my vision is corrected.

Wow, what a difference! I could make out lines and see sharp edges unlike ever before. The whole world around me now looked crystal clear in my sight.

We need this same crystal clear sight of who God is.

On the evening that Jesus celebrated the Last Supper with his disciples, spiritual vision became the topic of conversation when Philip thought he still lacked a clear vision of God the Father.

“‘Lord,’ said Philip, ‘show us the Father, and that’s enough for us.’

Jesus said to him, ‘Have I been among you all this time and you do not know me, Philip? The one who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Don’t you believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me.’”  (John 14:8-10 CSB)

For Philip, if he was going to clearly see or imagine who God the Father is, then he believed he would need to see something aside from or in addition to Jesus. But Jesus corrects Philip’s fuzzy vision here. Jesus tells Philip that when he sees Jesus he is seeing the Father!

This means that none of us can clearly see or imagine who God is unless our spiritual vision is restored and corrected by Jesus alone.  Jesus is the lens that enables us to clearly see and imagine who God is and what he is like.

Who is God?

See Jesus.

What is God like?

See Jesus.

How do we know what God’s heart and will for us is?

See Jesus.

Not “Jesus and ….”  Not “Jesus but…”

Simply Jesus. See Jesus and you see God the Father.

Look at Jesus declaring the Good News of God’s liberating kingdom. See him drive out demonic powers of evil. He heals sick and broken bodies. He brings peace and order within chaotic storms.

See him liberate the oppressed and bring justice to the victimized.

See him rebuke religious hypocrisy and pride. He chastises the self-indulgent wealthy. He condemns sectarian and exclusionary attitudes. He warns of the self-destructive end for the self-absorbed life.

See him forgive people of their sins. See how he loves and parties with outcasts, the marginalized, and the throwaways of society. He feeds the hungry and poor. He offers rest for the weary.

Look at him bring the dead back to life. Look at him promise life and redeeming justice for a world in the throes of evil, violence, and death.

See Jesus hanging on the cross. Suffering. Bleeding. Dying.

See Jesus praying from the cross in harmony with the Father: “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”

Look at Jesus crucified and see God the Father giving His life for you!

God allowed us to reject him and do our worst to him. Yet, he gave his best to us in love.

The suffering-servant King Jesus, crucified on a cross and risen from the dead. He is the lens the Holy Spirit uses to correct our blind, distorted, and fuzzy vision of God.

When we see Jesus with Spirit-given eyes of faith, then we have a crystal-clear vision of who God our Father is and what He’s like.

He is a Jesus-looking God.

Wow, this makes all the difference in the world!

In the coming weeks, we will explore all the ways that reimagining God as a Jesus-looking God transforms how we think and live.

Read 124 times Last modified on Saturday, April 08, 2017
More in this category: « A RELATIONAL GOD OF LOVE, PART 1

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Meet Pastor Chris

  • Hi! My name is Chris Boehnke (a good German name pronounced “Bane-key”). Tracy, my wife, and I have been married for 21 years and God has blessed us with four beautiful children: Joshua (18), Lauren (16), Nathaniel (13), and Mikayla (9). I treasure my wife and family among the greatest gifts God has given me in life. I was born and raised in Omaha, Nebraska – the heartland of the Midwest – by two loving parents, Don and Linda. I grew up attending a conservative but vibrant Lutheran congregation, while also experiencing excursions into other evangelical and charismatic church environments. This exposed me to a breadth of Christian practice and teaching that has incited me over the years to ask a ton of questions and to seek deeper understanding regarding what “the church” is and what it’s central message, “the Gospel,” is all about. While my interests were in art…

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