I am continuing on from last message
to the question of knowing
what God is like
and we said that if you want to know what God is like look at Jesus
and then you will know what God is like
Look to Jesus and you will see God
Last week we talked on how God Speaks through Jesus
There are two more things we can say about Jesus
First, that Jesus was the reflection of the brightness. of God
Can I put it very simply:
what the sunshine is to the sun, Jesus is to God—that’s what this phrase means.
Look at the sunshine streaming in through a window.
It has taken eight minutes for it to travel at a hundred and eighty-six thousand miles a second from the sun.
So when you see the sun rise, it actually rose eight minutes before you saw it.
It comes streaming in and we feel it and we benefit from it.
It has reached earth and yet basically it is sunlight.
Now there is a difference between moonlight and sunlight.
Moonlight is reflected, sun is direct radiance, sunlight.
This word means not that Jesus reflects God perfectly but that he actually shines God a nd that he has reached earth.
He is God’s sunbeam on earth. He is on earth and God is shining in his life.
If you look at Jesus, you will see God shining.
Now frankly, if God was shining in Jesus as fully as God shines normally, you would not be able to look at Jesus.
Not even the strongest sunglasses would help you.
You know, of course, that you can’t look directly at the sun.
It is too bright and would blind you.
You can bear to look at sunlight, but there were two occasions when actually God’s glory shone so brilliantly in Jesus himself that they could hardly bear to look.
One was when Peter, James, and John went up the mountain and Jesus’ clothes changed not by reflecting light but by having so much light within them that they became transparent—that is the description.
He was transfigured and they saw his glory – glory as of the only-begotten Son of God the Father.
He was shining and even that was toned down so that they could bear to look. They couldn’t have stood the full thing.
A few months later another man saw the glory of Christ and it was turned up even further.
His name was Saul of Tarsus. It was midday and the sun was shining brightly but suddenly there was around him such a light that it was brighter than the midday sun.
If you can imagine looking into something that is brighter than the midday sun, no wonder he was blinded.
For three days he was in total darkness.
His retina must have been really damaged, as we know he was healed three days later and given his sight back.
It was Paul’s retina that would feel that bright light.
He saw the glory of Jesus and said, “Who are you?”
A voice said, “I am Jesus.”
He was the person that people used to look at in the street, of whom they could say, “Isn’t that a carpenter?”
Now it was with glory.
Even that wasn’t as bright as Jesus really is.
But if you saw the glory of God straight, clear today, you couldn’t take it.
Jesus was God shining as much as people could bear, and in his shining face the radiance of God’s glory shone.