Mystery

“With all wisdom and understanding, He made known to us the mystery of His will according to His good pleasure, which He purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.”- Ephesians 1:8-10

Scattered throughout the Bible are phrases that either say “the mystery of Christ” or another wording of the same intent. I’ve always underlined or marked a star by these phrases when I’ve come across them while reading because I’ve always been amazed by the idea that I am not going to know or understand the full extent of who God is until I am in heaven. 

“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” - John 1:14

I often think about the followers of God who lived before Jesus and how they didn’t have the New Testament to guide their understanding of God and how the trinity interacts. We are so fortunate to be able to see even just a glimpse more of the picture than they did within the infiniteness of who God is through the way Jesus lives, speaks and interacts with others throughout the entirety of the Gospels.

John 1 is filled with the assurance that we get to know more of who God is because of the fact that He sent Jesus. I’ve read before that Jesus represented God to humanity, while Jesus also represented humanity to God and responded to Him in true and right relationship.

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning.Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” - John 1:1-5

This passage which begins the book of John sets us into the place of understanding the revelation of God through Jesus by breaking the story down into parts. There are so many things that I think could be said about how we can know the character and heart of God because of Jesus. I think though that the scripture alone really lays it out for us to see in simple terms. We know in verses one and two that God existed from the beginning of time and that His Word was with Him from the beginning. Then we see in verses three and four that He created everything and He is the giver of life and that this life brings light into the darkest places.

We come to see the meaning of this light as the passage continues in verses nine and ten.

“The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. He was in the world, and though the world was made through Him, the world did not recognize Him.” - John 1:9-10

This verse sets us up to see that God and Jesus are the same in mind, heart and spirit when John explicitly says the true light who is giving light was coming into the world, and yet while He created the world no one recognized that it was Him.

When you think about this, it can either feel very simple and make so much sense, or if you’re like me it sometimes hurts your brain to process the complexity of God and Jesus and their relationship and oneness. And I think that’s part of the mystery. We get to be overwhelmed by how vast and intricate God is in being Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. And because we have the Gospels we get to see more of who God is and what He cares about and what He wants for us because of what Jesus cares about and wants for the people He encounters.

Author | Emma Kate Shelton

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