He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; -Colossians 1:15 NRSV
Often we cannot reconcile our different views because we begin with different images of God. Some use the image of primitive people who saw God like Job saw him. One who metes out good and evil. One who gives and takes away.
Some begin with the view that the life of Jesus is the defining image of God. One who did not create the storm but spoke peace to it. One who did not cause anyone to suffer but suffered in their place. One who did not hurt but healed. One who showed us that God only did good and loving things and never did one bad thing.
In this world where religious people often paint a picture of a fallen God, there is nothing that speaks more deeply to me about God than the things that I read in the gospels. When I wonder what God is like I am reminded that Jesus Christ told Phillip that anyone who has seen Him has seen God. Jesus began his ministry by saying that He had come with:
These words teach me that many have a skewed image of God. Some well meaning people simply teach bad news about God and paint him as one who causes bad things. These folks walk in bondage and seem to embrace a blind darkness about the true nature of God revealed in Jesus Christ. God is light and in him there is no darkness at all.
- good news for the poor;
- freedom for prisoners;
- sight for those walking in darkness;
- liberty for those being oppressed and
- a message of favor and acceptance.
... this devotion is part of an ongoing series on words in the bible.