Imagining God - Hope 103.2

Imagining God

By David ReayMonday 7 Jul 2014LifeWords DevotionalsCultureReading Time: 0 minutes


Read John 14:8-11

8 Philip said,”Lord,show us the Father,and we will be satisfied.”

9 Jesus replied,”Have I been with you all this time,Philip,and yet you still don’t know who I am? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father! So why are you asking me to show him to you? 10 Don’t you believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words I speak are not my own,but my Father who lives in me does his work through me. 11 Just believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me. Or at least believe because of the work you have seen me do. (NLT)

When you think of God,what comes into your mind? We speak of him often and speak to him often. We claim to hear from him regularly. We are aware of his characteristics. But how do we ‘imagine’ him? Agreed,we dare not make some ‘graven image’ of him. Agreed,we dare not assume he is a mortal with human features. But it still leaves us wondering what is going on inside when we speak of or to God.

Perhaps the only thing we can do is heed Jesus’ words in this text. We see God in Jesus,who is the human face of God. We reflect on Jesus’ words and his works and conclude we are seeing God at work.

Though even then it doesn’t quite answer our question. We really don’t know what Jesus looked like. He would have been a man of ‘Middle Eastern’ appearance,but more than that we cannot know. Whatever imaginary picture we have of him is bound to be mistaken.

In the end,we can only picture God as a father,a wise counsellor,a just arbiter,a kind companion,a powerful yet benevolent ruler. What ‘face’ we give to such ideas is up to each individual. We cannot help but imagine such a face,but we dare not idolise it. Ultimately,to imagine God is to imagine the unimaginable.

David Reay