Portrait of God

Jesus Christ is the self-portrait of God.

My understanding of God is incomplete and unclear. It depends on what God shares with me and when. Similar to people getting to know each other over time, some stories are shared early on, while others are shared not at all or much later.

My heart is aware that our understanding of God is orchestrated for a divine purpose. My comprehension of Him has evolved over time, much as a child’s view of his or her parents evolves from infancy through adulthood. God doesn’t change, but our capacity to comprehend Him evolves with God’s grace. In my experience, our understanding depends in part on how hard we seek Him, engage Him, and whether we invite Christ into our hearts.

I don’t believe we are meant to understand God completely. I don’t believe that we can. John the Baptist said, “I am of this earth, and my understanding is limited to the things of earth.” (John 3:31) As humans, we too are limited in what we can comprehend about things not of this world.

There are certain truths to be shared about God with all who seek Him and listen. One of my favorite descriptions of God is found in a description of Christ: “Before anything else existed, there was Christ (literally, ‘the Word’, meaning Christ, the wisdom and power of God and the first cause of all things; God’s personal expression of himself to man), with God. He has always been alive and is himself God. He created everything there is – nothing exists that he didn’t make. Eternal life is in him, and this life gives light to all mankind. His life is the light that shines through the darkness – and the darkness can never extinguish it.” (John 1: 1-5)

But although he made the world, the world didn’t recognize him when he came. Even in his own land and among his own people, the Jews, he was not accepted. Only a few would welcome and receive him. But to all who received him, he gave the right to become children of God. All they needed to do was to trust him to save them. All those who believe this are reborn! – not a physical rebirth resulting from human passion or plan – but from the will of God.” (John 1:10-13)

When I think of God now, I think of Christ. I believe Christ paints a spiritual image of God in terms we might understand. “For Moses gave us only the Law with its rigid demands and merciless justice, while Jesus Christ brought us loving forgiveness as well.” (John 1:17) The concept that calls to me most is that of “loving forgiveness.” It is His love and forgiveness that invites me to Him. It’s His love and forgiveness that invites us all.

Jesus Christ is the self-portrait of God.

Until we trust Christ to save us, we do not yet comprehend.

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