And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth… No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known. John 1:14-18
On my trip to Kenya, Africa, this past February to work with Tyler and Amy Maxwell’s ministry, I was able to talk with many of the nationals working with them reaching the street children of Nairobi. One man in particular, during a jaunt from one part of Nairobi to another, shared his journey to Jesus. Essentially, having been an active Muslim, upon reading the Bible, he was amazed that God was his Father, he could call him thus, and that God was incarnated into his creation! This concept led him to step over the threshold of faith and become a Kingdom dweller!
While coming to the understanding God was available without encumbrances to even him, this man’s experience was finalized by the fact that Jesus was incarnated among his creation, ultimately to die an undeserved death of redemption for that same creation. Anyone who would do this, go to this length to understand human experiences firsthand, and then purposely lay himself on the cross to die an agonizing death, gripped him at the root of his heart and drew him to the Kingdom.
This view, or perspective, was new and refreshing to me. I’ve been steeped in Western Protestant tradition all my life and this understanding of Jesus and God was different. Hearing this man’s view caused me to step back and see Jesus and God in a new light. Perspective is very important. Interactions with differing cultures and how they see and perceive God and Jesus help my vision of them to grow in breadth and depth.
Being completely transparent and honest with yourself, take some time and compare your perspective between God and Jesus. Reflect on these differences between God and Jesus, and why you believe they might have these differences.
By Rich Obrecht