Going Deeper 7-18-19

The second reading for Pentecost 6...
Colossians 1:15-28   He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; for in him all things in heaven and on earth were created, things visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or powers—all things have been created through him and for him.  He himself is before all things, and in him all things hold together.  He is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that he might come to have first place in everything.  For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him God was pleased to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, by making peace through the blood of his cross.  And you who were once estranged and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his fleshly body through death, so as to present you holy and blameless and irreproachable before him— provided that you continue securely established and steadfast in the faith, without shifting from the hope promised by the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven.  I, Paul, became a servant of this gospel.  I am now rejoicing in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am completing what is lacking in Christ's afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church.  I became its servant according to God's commission that was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known, the mystery that has been hidden throughout the ages and generations but has now been revealed to his saints.  To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.  It is he whom we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone in all wisdom, so that we may present everyone mature in Christ.

I have said it many times, but it bears repeating:  If we want to know God, we look to Jesus.  Hey, it is repeated several times in the New Testament, so it must be very important.  Jesus "is the image of the invisible God."  

Let's be honest.  The Bible can be very confusing sometimes... especially as we work our way through the Old Testament.  At times it seems to be unclear what God is really like.  And in one sense, that makes sense.  God is infinite, beyond our knowing or comprehending.  In humility, we must come to recognize that we are too small and finite to be able to fully grasp all there is to know about God.  It takes a lifetime of learning, and in the end, there is still more we do not know than we what we do know.

But the best way to increase our understanding of God is to look to Jesus.  As a matter of fact, everything we truly need to know about the three core themes of the Bible-- sin, grace, and transformation-- we can grasp (with the help of the Holy Spirit!) by focusing on the teaching and actions of Jesus, the Son of God.  This is why I am among those who consider ourselves to be "Gospel Centrists."  Or, as the guys from The Bible Project like to say over and over again: The Bible is a unified story leading to Jesus.

"It is he whom we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone in all wisdom, so that we may present everyone mature in Christ."  May the Holy Spirit inspire and empower us to know Jesus more and more fully... and not only know about Him, but to connect with Him and abide in Him in increasingly profound ways.   

If we want to know God, we look to Jesus.

Mark Gabbert, Pastor
Zion Lutheran Church
Wellington, Colorado

"No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care."