Herald JournalColumns
July 31, 2006, Enterprise Dispatch
Pastor's Column

How do we see Jesus?

Mike Nelson, North Crow Grace and Redeemer, Rural Cokato

“For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then we will see face to face. Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known.” 1 Corinthians 13:12

With modern day technology, we might not relate very well to the Apostle Paul’s metaphor in this verse. When we look into the mirror in the morning, we get a fairly exact image of ourselves; sometimes first thing in the morning it can be rather scary. The image is reversed, but a fairly accurate reflection of what we really look like at that particular moment.

But the mirrors of Paul’s day were more like the chrome used for trim on a car. It reflected an image, but it was often somewhat distorted and dulled.

Because Jesus does not physically stand before us today, the image we get of him is not always the clearest. Dr. Albert Schweitzer, who was known as a missionary, physician and musician, but was also a very able theologian, wrote that the problem we have with trying to discover the historical Jesus in scripture is that the one doing the research usually remakes Jesus in his/her own image.

The image we get today of Jesus is only partial. But we need not worry that the image we get is inadequate. Jesus has promised that, even though we cannot see him, he is with us. Jesus assured his disciples on the night before his death, “You heard me say to you, ‘I am going away, and I am coming to you.’ If you loved me, you would rejoice that I am going to the Father, because the Father is greater than I.” John 14:28-29

Jesus still dwells with us because he and his Father have sent us the Holy Spirit to enlighten us and comfort us. Jesus said, “But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you.” John 14:26

Today we see Jesus only partially, but what we do see, what he has made known to us, is sufficient for us to become his faithful followers. And Paul assures us that someday we will see him face to face and then we will know him fully. We will know him even as fully as he knows each of us today.

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