Jesus, the Face of God

The Father’s Son became human in Jesus.  That means Jesus is the unveiling of God.

18No one has ever seen God. It is God the only Son,* who is close to the Father’s heart,* who has made him known. John 1.18

Apart from the Incarnate Son God remains hidden.  We cannot know him.  No one has ever seen God.  No one can ever see God.  He remains hidden from us.  Religion may try to see God but it just comes up with a nameless and faceless being that we call God.  Only in Jesus do we see the face of God.

Thomas Torrance writes,

“When we look into the face of Jesus Christ and see there the very face of God, we know we have not seen and cannot see God anywhere else or in another way but in him, for he is God himself become human, and there is no God except the God who has come and meets us in Jesus”.

Jesus is the face of God.  In him, God has opened himself up to us as he is within himself.  He has shown to us the internal relations of God as a community of love.

In Luke 10.21-22.   We hear Jesus speaking to his Father out of the Triune community of love.

21 At that same hour Jesus* rejoiced in the Holy Spirit* and said, ‘I thank* you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and the intelligent and have revealed them to infants; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will.*

The Son rejoices in the Spirit before the Father.

At Jesus’ baptism, the Father sent the Spirit to remain on Jesus.  Here, in Luke 10.21, we see that the Spirit the Father sent is the Spirit of joy in the Father.  And that joy of the Spirit springs up from the heart of the Son to the Father.  With deep joy, The Son thanks the Father for revealing great things to little children.  Here we see that Life in the Trinity is the Son delighting in the Father with great joy.  That joy is expressed in and by the Spirit.  And the Father always responds by saying. “this is my Son with whom I am well pleased”.  All three persons are included in the expression of joy.

The Son testifies, “all things have been handed over to me by my Father”.

The Son speaks to his Father as Lord of heaven and earth.  His Father is the Sovereign Lord who does what he chooses with all things that he rules over. What the Father has chosen to do is hand everything over to the Son.  Why?  Because he loves his Son and is well pleased with him.  Listen to Jesus,

35The Father loves the Son and has placed all things in his hands.

… John 3:35.

The Son speaks of the exclusive knowing of Father and Son.

22All things have been handed over to me by my Father; and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, or who the Father is except the Son

What kind of knowing is Jesus talking about here?  And why is the knowing of these two persons so exclusive?

Jesus knows who the Father is from within the Being of God. I know myself within my own being as no one else knows me.  The Son knows the Father from within his own being because the Father and Son are one in being.  That means the Son knows the Father more intimately and deeply than anyone can ever know the Father.

The Father and Son know one another personally as one being.  The being of God is love.  God is love.  So at the centre of their knowing is love. In the face of Jesus, we see that God is love towards us and what he is towards us he is within himself.  The Son and Father know one another as one being in love relationship.

The Son claims that we can only know who the Father is as the Son reveals him

22All things have been handed over to me by my Father; and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, or who the Father is except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.’

The Son does not reveal to us as one who has some truth about God to make known.  He is the Father’s Son one in nature with the Father.  He is, therefore, the very unveiling of God in person.  He alone knows who the Father is because he is one with the Father in being.  That means the revelation of God is not the revealing something about God, but God revealing himself out of himself in such a way that he who reveals and he who is revealed are one and the same.

The face of Jesus reveals to us the relating of Father and Son in the Spirit.  We only see God as Father and Son relating to each other.  There is no other way to see God.  We only know the Son as Son relating to his Father.  We only know the Father as Father relating to his Son.

Having spoken to the Father Jesus turned to speak to his disciples.  He said to them,

23  ‘Blessed are the eyes that see what you see! 24For I tell you that many prophets and kings desired to see what you see, but did not see it…

The disciples see the face of Jesus.  In his face, God is unveiled as persons in love relationship.

This makes them truly blessed!

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