IN PERSON ALWAYS TRUMPS SECOND HAND
Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets. In these last days, He has spoken to us by His Son. Hebrews 1:1a
How many times, prior to meeting someone, has an acquaintance assured me that I would just love this person – in person. They told stories and anecdotes about them, even telling stories about their bold exploits for the kingdom. At the end of all these descriptors, I felt like I kind of knew the person but nothing could have really prepared me for how I would experience them in person. Sitting in someone’s presence was far more powerful than hearing about them second hand. It wasn’t that they were mis-represented but stories were limited in their impact.
Throughout the Old Testament, prophets experienced God in various ways. Dreams, visions, and even God’s voice in the wind, revealed pieces of Him as Yahweh but there was no complete picture because the revelations were partial. Until Jesus came, no one had ever been with God. When Jesus said that He and His Father were one in the same, He was assuring those around Him that they were experiencing God in the flesh. Finally, there was a first-hand knowledge, an up close and personal encounter.
Not all of who God is was revealed in Jesus. The apostle John told us that there was no way an infinite number of books could tell the stories revolving around the life of Jesus. They would remain a mystery until the day you and I no longer ‘see in part but, instead, stand in His presence for ourselves. Mystery will vanish and His glory will be on full display. With glorified bodies, we will have the capacity to behold Him. For mortal flesh, it is too much.
In the next verses and chapters in Hebrews, you and I will experience Jesus in a new and deeper way. The implications of His life and what His incarnation meant will be showcased through new phrases and words that can take our faith to higher levels of confidence. I am praying that we will trust Him more, believe fully that we are forgiven, be assured that He lives now to pray for us, and find a new kind of grit for living in faith instead of sojourning in the land of unbelief.
Holy Spirit, don’t let us miss anything. Please. Amen