November 21, 2017
READ: Colossians 1:11-20
Christ is the visible image of the invisible God (v.15).
From the time I first encountered Magic Eye stereograms (posters that show one obvious picture, but supposedly reveal more if you stare at them long enough), they’ve only frustrated me. I sat in front of one for what seemed like hours while everyone coached me, telling me to look through the image, then past the image and then telling me to cross my eyes and look harder. No matter what I tried, I simply couldn’t see what, I’m told, was right there in front of me.
It’s possible to be similarly baffled in our attempts to understand God. Our finite human sight, our way of seeing and hearing and understanding, is simply ill-equipped for grasping and comprehending Him. He’s the transcendent Creator who is above us, beyond us and outside our grasp. In fact, God once proclaimed to His people Israel that they couldn’t see His face. “No one may see me and live” (Exodus 33:20). In the same way, the book of Hebrews refers to God as the “one who is invisible” (11:27).
And yet the apostle Paul tells us, “Christ is the visible image of the invisible God” (Colossians 1:15). Jesus is how we see this One who we can’t see. Isn’t that a mind-bender? Jesus shows us, in human flesh, the reality of God. So if we want to know what God is like, we look to Jesus. We listen to His words. We ponder Jesus’ actions. We take note of when Jesus grew angry or sad. We listen to His questions.
In Christ, we understand God as the One who “created everything”, the One who “existed before anything else” and the one who “holds all creation together” (vv.16-17). When we encounter Jesus, we encounter God. Though much about God and faith are inscrutable, we are not left to grasp in the dark. We see Jesus.
365-day-plan: Romans 8:1-18
Read John 1:18. How does John reflect Paul’s words in Colossians 1? How does he describe the way God has made Himself known?
When has God seemed most invisible to you, most confusing or most bewildering? How do the life, teachings and person of Jesus illuminate this confusion?