“That great impulse – love, compassion, call it what one will – which however discounted in our time, moved the dying Christ on Golgotha with a power that has reached across two thousand weary years.” Most likely, we would think these words were written by a believer, but Loren Eiseley was an agnostic. After World War II, Eiseley was depressed over the failure of Humanism. In Jesus, he saw love, compassion, and power that had spanned the ages, and he did not confuse that with the mess people have made of religion in the intervening years. However, he failed to realize he was seeing attributes of God demonstrated by the Son.
Hours before the crucifixion, the apostle Philip was struggling with a faith issue and said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.” Jesus answered: ” Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I’ve been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father” ( John 14:9, NIV). Jesus was not suggesting that Philip should see an outward glow or halo. However, Philip should have seen the character image of the Father in Jesus.
“No one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only, who is at the Father’s side, has made him known” (John 1:18). Sometimes we, like Philip, mistakenly think we need to see a physical image of the Father. What we do need is a character image that we can strive to imitate. God has provided that in the entire Bible, but he made it most vivid in the life of Christ recorded in the Gospels. Let’s open our hearts so that we too don’t miss what Philip and Eislely failed to see.
Author: Al Cornell
Adult Ministry Leader Tomah Church of Christ