This is the first week of Advent.
Advent (Latin: to come) is four weeks before Christmas when disciples of Jesus ponder His coming; specifically, WHY DID HE COME?
The first reason Jesus came was to reveal God.
There are three means by which we come to know a person; the first of which is reading about the person. Think of Steve Jobs, the founder of Apple. Walter Isaacson wrote the authorized biography entitled, Steve Jobs.
However, reading about a person is rather superficial and shallow in that one is presented with a mere narrative. You view the person from a distance. She is barely perceptible. “We shall be grateful for every inspired word which has come down to us through a book – grateful, but not satisfied because a book is impersonal.” (E. Stanley Jones)
The second level of knowing a person is to personally meet him. Imagine traveling to Apple headquarters to encounter Jobs in person. You shake his hand. You listen to his voice. You observe his body language. You study his demeanor. You might even have an opportunity to ask him questions. You are meeting a person who has dramatically changed the way you live. Certainly, you’d be in awe of this amazing person! Meeting is enormously deeper than reading!
The third level of knowing someone might be called revelation. You become friends with Steve. Removing his mask (which we all wear), he gradually reveals his inner space: his dreams, thoughts, feelings, failures, fears, hurts, etc. He invites you IN. You begin to know him “from the depths” of his being. Obviously, without revelation Jobs would remain opaque and inscrutable.
Hence, in all relationships we encounter a Pyramid of Knowing.
Anticipating the next post about Jesus’ revelation, note the words of E. Stanley Jones. “You see God in the face of Jesus, His Son, or you do not see Him. You may see your imagination of Him, but you do not see Him. If you would come to the Reality about God you must come through His Son. Jesus said, ‘He who has seen me has seen the Father.'”