"Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed."

Friday, April 23, 2010

God's Art Gallery

Why are these portraits in the Bible? Why does this gallery exist? Why did God leave us one tale after another of wounded lives being restored? So we could be grateful for the past? So we could look back with amazement at what Jesus did?

No. No. No. A thousand times no. The purpose of these stories is not to tell us what Jesus did. Their purpose is to tell us what Jesus does.

These are not just Sunday school stories. Not romantic fables. Not somewhere-over-the-rainbow illustrations. They are historic moments in which a real God met real pain so we could answer the question, "Where is God when I hurt?"

How does God react to dashed hopes? Read the story of Jairus.

How does the Father feel about those who are ill? Stand with him at the pool of Bethesda.

Do you long for God to speak to your lonely heart? Then listen as he speaks to the Emmaus-bound disciples.

What is God's word for the shameful? Watch as his finger draws in the dirt of the Jerusalem courtyard.

He's not doing it just for them.
He's doing it for me. He's doing it for you.

pg. 190 He Still Moves Stones by Max Lucado


Amber said...


There's never just the surface to any story in the Bible. There's always *more*, and deeper. It's wonderful. :)

Susanne said...

I agree! It fills me with hope! :)

Suroor said...

I was distracted by the pictures :) I love to look at Jesus but in both my dreams he didn't look anything like these photos :)

If he knew he'd be painted so much he would have hired a hair dresser :)

The stories are necessary, I accept. Bible too is not a book of tales. Those tales teach us application of Jesus' teachings today.

Susanne said...

Suroor, yes, it seems most artists depict Jesus as maybe more European-looking than he likely was. :) I remember the first time I saw a black Jesus and thought it was weird! Goes to show how different it was from how "Jesus" looked in my mind. I suppose I can understand some black people who think Jesus is "the white man's God" and reject Christianity. Some in favor of Allah ... maybe he is the God of the darker-skinned people or maybe we "Europeanized" Jesus so much by portraying him so "white" that it drives some away?

When I wrote this post and thought how the author was easily equating Jesus with God,I immediately reread it through YOUR eyes...knowing you love Jesus, but don't accept him as divine. Then I thought maybe I could tell you that even though you may not accept, "What is God's word for the shameful? Watch as his finger draws in the dirt of the Jerusalem courtyard." because it says "God" and not "Jesus" then maybe you could relate to Jesus being an instrument of God and, therefore, in a way it WAS God doing these things through Jesus's actions.

Kind of like we have a saying that we are to be the hands and feet of Jesus. Meaning we are to DO God's will on the earth now -- care for the hurting, go where needed to serve others, visit the afflicted. So if Jesus came to earth to do what God wanted, he was in these above examples, "being God" or being God's hands and feet by doing God's will.

I hope that makes sense. Thanks for your comment. :)

Suroor said...

I can completely accept the Bible without believing that it was God talk Himself but rather talking through Jesus like you very well pointed out.

There is a group of Christians called "Ramadan fasters of Jesus" - they are a bunch of really nice folks. They fast every Ramadan with Muslims for Jesus. Likewise there are groups of Muslims who are called the "Muslim lovers of Jesus" who follow Jesus - a bit like the Free Followers of Jesus. They don't believe Jesus was God but believe they can lead best lives through following Jesus, the best example.

Unknown said...

Good point! That is such a great explanation of Scripture, I'll have to remember to bring it up to my mom and my sister for their Sunday school classes. :) Thanks.

Susanne said...

Suroor, glad that made some sense! I love the examples you provided - how sweet! :)

Sanil, thanks! I'm glad it was helpful! Great seeing you again! :)