A Different Perspective
This past weekend, I kept my two grandsons. My daughter-in-law and I had arranged for pick up at 5:00, but I arrived early. Sure enough, two young boys were rarin’ to go for a sleepover at Mamaw’s house. They love to play with Ike, our little black dachshund, eat junk food, and hang out in a different-but-familiar place.
I was especially excited because I had purchased a couple of new games. Our favorite was a small battery-operated pick-up truck with a bunch of tiny plastic chairs. The game’s object was to pile as many chairs on the moving pick-up as possible. The first player who depleted their pile of chairs won. It was loads of fun because the chairs would topple off the truck at any given turn, causing that player to start over. Simple. Uncomplicated. David and I enjoyed the competitive aspect, but Emmitt was content to knock all the chairs off. No amount of explaining how to play made any difference. For a six-year-old, the chief entertainment was to wreck the work in progress.
Then we tackled a card game called Push. I read the directions, but when we attempted to play, something got lost in the translation. I puzzled over the rules and finally found a link to an instructional video. Always an exercise in patience, I clicked all over the website and eventually tapped the YouTube button. When I typed in “How to play Push,” a video popped up with two children giving a hands-on demonstration of the game and explaining step-by-step what they were doing. Once nine-year-old David and I watched it, we knew exactly what we did wrong. It was such a great solution, I later typed in “how to play Slamwich,” another card game we never quite mastered. Once again, we watched some kids playing the actual game, and it all made sense. Both games were a lot more entertaining when we knew how to play.
The written directions were a great starting place, but live human beings showing us how to play was easier to comprehend.
It reminded me of the Bible. In the Old Testament, God gave His people the law and the prophets. They served as a collective schoolmaster to help the Israelites know God. It also helped them recognize their sinful state since no one kept the law perfectly—or even wanted to.
However, God already had a plan not just for the Israelites but also for all of humanity to understand Him better and restore our broken relationship with Him. In the New Testament, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John record the coming of Jesus Christ and his mission. Astonishing enough, God became a man—for our sakes. John 1: 1 says, “In the beginning, the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God.” Verse 14 explains, “So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son.”
Throughout the ages, people have wondered about the nature of God. In truth, we need to look no farther than Jesus. “He (Jesus) is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His (God’s) nature…” (Hebrews 1:3)
Like with the card games we played, the more I watched the videos, the better I understood how to play. So likewise, when I study the life of Jesus Christ, the better I comprehend God’s unsurpassed love for me. What He wants is a restored relationship between us. So I have the privilege of calling Him Father, or even more intimate—Daddy, and He calls me His child.
Doesn’t get any better than that!