John 1 v 16 - 18

Life before Jesus for the Jew was governed by the Law. The first five books of the Old Testament-the Torah-told you how you were to live and if there was some area of your life where there wasn't to be found a command there then the Jewish Rabbi would interpret them for you to bring in new commands. Everything was governed by obedience to the Law. Not a bad thing you might say but it could so easily become legalistic: your heart was doing one thing when your hands were doing another: that is why Jesus called the Pharisees 'whitewashed sepulchres'! With the coming of Jesus, humans no longer had to obey the Law of God like slaves, but sought to answer the call of the love of God like sons and daughters. God the Judge has become God the Lover! People in John the apostle's time were fascinated, depressed and frustrated by what they felt was the infinite distance and utter unknowability of God. John declares that through Jesus they have seen God! How could Jesus have done this when no one, even the great heroes of the Old Testament couldn't? Well... 1. Jesus is unique. No one before or since has lived life without blemish and fully devoted to God. No one has said the things He said or acted in the way He did. All of our heroes are made of straw except HIM! 2. Jesus is God. To see Him is to see who and what God is. 3. Jesus is intimate with Father God, complete and uninterrupted in His relationship of love. It is true, that when Jesus died on the cross, as the great Hymn writer Charles Wesley declared: 'The Immortal dies'. God can never be a stranger again. We look forward to a time when we will walk with God in the new Eden. The distant, invisible, unreachable God has come to men and women! Wonder at that this Christmas!

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