Jesus and God: They Are One
There is this idea that I’ve come across a lot lately, in this podcast, and in this blog article, and in my reading of certain passages in Scripture. It’s this idea that I’ve heard in church many times, but never really grasped the full implications of it. It’s this idea imparted so eloquently in John 1:1-5:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was fully God. The Word was with God in the beginning. All things were created by him, and apart from him not one thing was created that has been created. In him was life, and the life was the light of mankind. And the light shines on in the darkness, but the darkness has not mastered it.
You know who these verses describe. Jesus. Jesus is the Word made flesh. He is the model for living a life that is pleasing to the Father. He IS the message of the Bible, walking around the earth and speaking the truth and proclaiming to the world, “I AM.” Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. The Bible is the way, the truth, and the light. If we take this idea seriously, doesn’t it make sense that we ought to read the entire Bible through the lens of Jesus’s teachings in the Gospels? Through Jesus’ character and Jesus’ way of relating to people, and Jesus’ statements of theology, and so forth?
I think so. I think reading the Bible this way is the key to seeing the grace and compassion of God even through all the horrific violence of the Old Testament, even when God appears to act in certain ways and command certain things that seem to be entirely contrary to what Jesus taught in the New Testament. If we read these passages and impress upon God characteristics such as arbitrary wrath and conditional love (characteristics that you can certainly find evidence for in the Old Testament), we’re probably missing something really big. God is Jesus. Jesus is God. The two are not opposite halves of the same whole, two different facets of one great Deity. They are the same. They are One. They are both holy, and they are both Love. They are both just. They are both jealous. They are both perfect. They are One.