Amazing GraceDecember 15, 2016
Peace on Earth?December 30, 2016
If I asked you about Jesus’ sacrifice for us, you would immediately think of the cross. But have you thought about what an amazing sacrifice it was for him to leave Heaven and become one of us? The Apostle Paul crystalized this amazing sacrifice for us:
Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,
but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. (Phil. 2:6-7)
“Equality with God… but made himself nothing.” Jesus gave up perfection: perfect joy, perfect glory, and perfect love to become… a human… and to live in this sin-infested world we have wrought. The Prince of Peace became the Pauper of Poverty… for you.
Now that is amazing.
He came to shine his light into this dark world. He came to shine his light into your darkness… and then, to light up your life.
Jesus’ best friend, John, decided late in life to write a fourth Gospel. He wanted to convey the essence of this light, this Jesus he knew and loved so dearly.
So he began with a sweeping prologue (John 1:1-18) unlike anything else we see in the Bible. John began with a theme that, to us, seems odd. But to the Greco-Roman world, it would have been familiar and perhaps, even for them, an “ah ha” moment of clarity:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. (John 1:1-2)
This “Word” about which John wrote is the Logos. For the Greeks and Romans of John’s world, the Logos was the underlying principle of rationality that made the world orderly, coherent, and intelligent.
In the 6th century B.C., one of the earliest Greek philosophers, Heraclitus, pondered the idea that the world was ever-changing. If everything we see is changing like this, how can there be order in this world?
Do we not often ask these same questions as life races by, and even more so after tragic events? “Where is any order, any purpose in this crazy world? And where is my order, my purpose?”
Heraclitus’ answer was the Logos, “the word or reason of God, with a purpose and design to the world.”
Plato came along two centuries later and observed,
It may be that someday there will come from God a Word, a Logos, who will reveal all mysteries and make everything plain.
Hold on, Plato. He’s on the way.
In a stroke of inspired genius, John eloquently bridged the two worlds of philosophy and religion, Greco-Roman and Christian, by clarifying this Logos:
What you have been wondering about… What you have been musing over all these centuries… has come. In the form of a man. And we have seen him. And loved him. And been loved by him.
John continued, “In him was life, and that life was – and still is – the light of men” (John 1:4).
Are you walking in the light? Are you flourishing in this light, absorbing it and then radiating it? You can have it, you know. Jesus came so you could.
That would be an amazing life; wouldn’t it?
This will only be possible when you fully allow this Logos, this Jesus, to illuminate and shape your purpose.
We try to find this meaning, this purpose, through our marriages, our children, our jobs, our hobbies, our sports, and our civic and church activities. But the “Life to the Full” can only thrive within the Logos.
You will not find real meaning to this world or, more importantly, to your world, until the Logos shines his light into your heart and soul and mind.