How does God reveal himself to humanity?
In my book Prince Crossing, Vicki, a pastor's wife, views God one way but learns to see him in another way as she matures in her faith. Disappointment in her circumstances causes her to long to know God as he is and live in his presence. But how can we know who God really is? Is he so mysterious that we have no way of figuring him out?
The book of Hebrews goes a long way to explaining God's nature to us. Consider the first four verses of chapter one:
“Long ago God spoke many times and in many ways to our ancestors through the prophets. And now in these final days, he has spoken to us through his Son. God promised everything to the Son as an inheritance, and through the Son he created the universe. The Son radiates God’s own glory and expresses the very character of God, and he sustains everything by the mighty power of his command. When he had cleansed us from our sins, he sat down in the place of honor at the right hand of the majestic God in heaven. This shows that the Son is far greater than the angels, just as the name God gave him is greater than their names.” Hebrews 1:1-4 (NLT)
The book of Hebrews is a joy to read. The purpose of the book is to help us understand that Jesus Christ is greater than any angel, priest, or former religious system a person has found comfort or awe from in the past. The writer of Hebrews makes clear that Jesus trumps them all. Although the title of the book indicates that this was written to Jewish Christians, the principles discussed in this book apply to anyone who has put their trust in any religious system that depends on works rather than the love and grace of Jesus Christ.
The first chapter of Hebrews sets us up clearly for what is to come—the absolute supremacy of Christ. The first four verses above give us a glimpse of what this book is about, but please take time to read the whole chapter. You will be bowled over and astounded by the beautiful language of this text, but also by the majesty of Jesus Christ.
I also love the book of Hebrews because it flies in the face of what I think is the gravest mistake children’s Sunday school teachers often make: continually referencing God and Jesus as separate, unconnected beings. Just this last week, I heard someone tell a humorous story about asking a child who made the snow, to which the child replied, “God.” Then the child hesitated and said, “And Jesus, although he didn’t do very much.” The teacher thought that was a very funny story, but I cringed, and if you read Hebrews 1, you will too. It makes extremely clear that Jesus is God (and had as much to do with creation as the Father). We can, and should, make distinctions between the Father and the Son, but they are both equally God and equally powerful.
Do you think of Jesus and the Father as completely different? If so, you are missing the point. Jesus came to reveal the Father to us. He said that if we’d seen him, we’d seen the Father (John 14:9). Take the time right now to make a list of how you view the Father. Then make a list of how you view the Son. Let them sync and consider how Jesus reveals the Father.