Dear friends, we are already God’s children, but he has not yet shown us what we will be like when Christ appears. But we do know that we will be like him, for we will see him as he really is. 1 John 3:2 (NLT)
As soon as I read this verse, I knew why it bothered me. John says that when Christ appears, “we will see him as he really is.” Inherent in this phrase is the fact that right now I do NOT see Him as He really is. And how can I? How can my puny, finite eyes really see and understand the infinite reality of our God-become-man-become-Savior?
How do I see Jesus? Usually, I see Him as I’d like to see Him—friendly, forgiving, easy to get along with, gently prodding me along to become a better person but mostly agreeing with my hopes and ambitions. I like to focus upon His place as King (Zechariah 14:16) because it gives me hope and security, but don’t spend too much time on His position as Judge and Lawgiver (Isaiah 33:22). I don’t like thinking about the many ways I’ve broken His law, and I can’t help but think that the final review of my life will be a disappointment to Him. And to me.
Furthermore, I don’t spend time seeing Him in light of my own desires and lusts. It is just too hard to imagine He ever had THOSE thoughts. Until, that is, I read Hebrews 4:15, which reminds me that He was “tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin.” Yes, Jesus was even tempted with THOSE thoughts. But unlike me, He never gave in.
It seems I’m a master at creating Jesus in my own image and likeness, making Him the type of God who comforts, forgives and accepts me, while at the same time rejecting my enemies (Now I like to see Him as Judge. Is it awful to see God only in the ways that suit me?). Continue Reading