For decades I’ve had a fascination with Scotland. Perhaps it’s the depiction of William Wallace’s heroics in the movie Braveheart or the scenery of the Highlands. Maybe it’s because my dad once talked about the Scottish clan from which we trace our family history. I’ve thought often of the place and carried numerous perceptions about the people and the land. However, perceptions and reality are always different. I had to put my feet on that lush soil, hear the cadence of the language, and eat Scottish food in order to know what the place is truly like. To know anything true, we have to experience the reality—not merely read or think about it.
Similarly, Scripture insists that if we want to know the reality of God, we must encounter Jesus Christ. God is not a vague, distant idea associated only with dusty stories and brittle commandments. He’s the One revealed to us as flesh and blood in the person of Jesus. God also isn’t a disembodied religious principle, for “in Christ lives all the fullness of God in a human body” (Colossians 2:9). If we want to know what God is like, we must look to Jesus. He’s God in the flesh.
So we listen to Jesus’ words in Scripture, and we hear how God sounds. We watch Jesus’ actions, and we see what God does. In Jesus, we catch God’s heart, God’s hopes, God’s posture. In Jesus, we see how He weeps over those in grief or sorrow (John 11:33-35). In Jesus, we see how He refuses to condemn but rather welcomes (John 8:1-11). In Jesus, we see how God gets angry when powerful people abuse their authority and pursue greed (Matthew 21:12-17).
“Let your roots grow down into [Jesus]” (Colossians 2:7). He reveals God’s heart toward you and toward the world.
NLT 365-day reading plan passage for today: Luke 12:22-48
Read John 8:1-11 and consider what it reveals about God’s heart. What surprises you? What comforts you? What challenges you?
In what ways have you felt a disconnect between your image of God and your understanding of Jesus? How does the life and person of Jesus reshape your view of God?