eMeditation On The Bible
NOTE: According to the Bible, we learn about God and our relationship with God by learning about Jesus. What is it about Jesus that makes him our “bridge” to God? There are three aspects of his identity that make Jesus the person who uniquely brings God to us. Specifically, Jesus is: (1) the visible image of God; (2) the presence of God as a human being; and (3) the agent of God sent to accomplish God’s purposes for the human family. Last week's meditation looked at Jesus as the visible image of God. The current meditation explores Jesus as the human presence of God.
Story (Matthew 12:1-6)
Jesus and his followers were walking through a farming region on a religious holy day for which picking the grain in the fields was forbidden. The religious leaders saw Jesus' followers picking grain to eat, which was permitted on regular days. They said to Jesus, “Look! It is against the religious rules to pick grain on this holy day. But your followers are doing it!”
Jesus answered, “Haven’t you read what our greatest king in history did when he and his soldiers were hungry? They entered God’s temple and ate the holy bread that only the priests are allowed to eat. But I tell you, someone more important than holy days and the temple is standing in front of you.”
In Jesus, God became present on earth as a human being. Jesus’ followers knew him as a real flesh-and-blood human being; they never doubted that he belonged to a particular human family, ethnic group and culture. But during the years they were with Jesus, observing him and being mentored by him, his followers (along with many other people) recognized that in Jesus there was something more, something Other than a human being. People experienced the Presence of God in Jesus. When they observed Jesus, they saw:
(1) the power to heal broken bodies and liberate people from evil forces;
(2) the authority to forgive sins;
(3) the ability to explain who God is and how to live in a relationship with God as our heavenly father;
(4) a deep, intimate relationship with God.
His followers were aware that whenever they were with Jesus they were in the presence of God. And Jesus never did or said anything to deny this. In fact, he accepted the worship of people and said things about himself that supported their experience of him. For example, Jesus compared himself to God’s temple multiple times. In all religions, temples are the place where God’s presence resides. But Jesus asserted that God was present in him in a way that was greater than any temple, shrine, altar, church or mountaintop.
God came to us in Jesus, who was the human presence of God on earth. In Jesus, God has given us a reliable guide to know and honor God. The followers of Jesus observed, listened to and actually touched God’s presence in Jesus. Those who knew Jesus best wrote biographies that preserved his life and teachings for future generations.
Therefore, your knowledge of God and the core values of God’s family are based on more than the collected wisdom and religious teachings of the human family. God has provided you with direct and personal knowledge of God through Jesus, whom you can meet today in the Bible.