The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:14
I often hear people complain about the God of the Old Testament. “He’s harsh and unloving.” “He’s judgmental and is unjust.” “He’s distant.” They do not see the relationship between that God and the Son in the New Testament who calls him Father. Do you ever wonder at what some see as disconnect between the two depictions of God in the Old and New Testaments?
During this Lent time I came across a reflection that was so graphic, I had to share it. John’s Gospel begins with, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” So God and the Word are one. John goes on to say in the 14th verse of chapter 1 that the Word was Jesus. If we make an equation of this, we have: Word=God=Jesus. In our Trinitarian belief, we say that God is the three persons of the Trinity: Father, Son, Holy Spirit.
When we carefully read and discern what John is saying to us, we see that Jesus was from the beginning; he was with God and was the agent of creation; and that when God spoke the Word, his utterance was Jesus. Jesus is the tangible, emperical essence of his Father God. Remember, that he said, “I and the Father are one” (John 10:3). And, “If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him“ (John 14:7).
The Word that came out of God’s mouth was Jesus. In the Old Testament, while the Father had been distant from almost everyone but prophets and those to whom he chose to reveal himself, in the New Testament, he comes out into the open, and we see him through the person of Jesus. Perhaps the Sermon on the Mount is Jesus’ verbal picture of the true nature of the Father as seen in and through Jesus. When Jesus said, “I came to fulfill [the Law]” (Matthew 5:16, 17), as much as anything, he’s saying, “This is the true nature of my Father.”
If we really want to know the Father, we must come to know Jesus.
Father, there are many things in the Bible that are hard for us to understand. Teach us through the inspiration of your Holy Spirit that we may perfectly love and know you. In Jesus, the Word. AMEN.