Daily Devotional

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Who Is Jesus?

He is the reflection of God’s glory and the exact imprint of God’s very being, and he sustains all things by his powerful word. Hebrews 1:3

The letter to the Hebrews tries to explain Jesus’ identity. Jesus’ ministry up until his crucifixion was not particularly unique. There had been other charismatic prophets that had called Israel to faithfulness over the generations. There had been healers and miracle workers who spellbound the Hebrew people. A Jewish religious teacher dying in Jerusalem was just a standard part of the resume for a Hebrew prophet. This is not to say that Jesus’ ministry was insignificant—but most scholars agree that his true significance was recognized only after his resurrection. Resurrection made Jesus unique, and after that remarkable event, Gospel writers started piecing together the stories of Jesus’ life in the hope of discovering his true identity. Was Jesus a Messiah? Was he the Son of God? Was Jesus the one the Hebrew people had been waiting for to redeem their common life and reestablish their special position in the world?

The writer of the letter of the Hebrews is fairly explicit. When a person looked at Jesus they saw God. Jesus was God’s reflection in the world. God had been imprinted in human form, and that representation was Jesus. Who is Jesus? Jesus is what God looks like in human form.

What do you imagine God to look like?

Lord, I am told in scripture that to see you is to see God. I long for such a vision. I strain to see you at work in the world and in the words of scripture. You can be a bit difficult to make out. Please reveal yourself to me . . . I want to know what you look like so that your reflection of God can be the image I model my life upon. In your name, I pray. AMEN.