It only seems natural to want to create a God that does everything we want. A powerful genie in the sky that answers to me. A book that I could open up and pray and have things my way. A religion that makes all things acceptable, that approves of the things that come naturally to me. To make a God that works the way I want one to work.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.” – John 1:1-5
In the beginning
John begins his gospel with the most outright assertion of the divine nature of Jesus. John’s very language, “In the beginning” mirrors the first verse of Genesis, and ties the gospel message directly to the divine beginnings of the world. “In the beginning” tells us that there was no time when the Word of God did not exist. That the Word of God was not a created thing. It existed with God, and was God.
This is important to our study about who Jesus is, because it is the fundamental statement of Jesus as God. If the Word of God were not in the beginning, the Word would have been a created thing. The Word would have been less than God; John by no means wants his readers to make the mistake of asserting that Jesus is anything less than God, or that God is anything less than Jesus. The Word of God, and God, were together in the beginning.
Made through Him
John’s statement of the power of the Word, “all things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made,” tells me that the Word of God is not subject to created, natural laws. He is the creator of natural laws.
I say this, not to defend Christ as a spiritual being, but to say that were Jesus a creation of man, He would be subject to our understanding. To those who would say that Jesus was a product of conspiracy, a creation of mankind’s desire for a savior, we would expect a savior that fits our own wants. We would have a savior who justifies the desires of the flesh, not condemns them. If we created our own God, it would be a God that would be easy to follow.
Darkness did not comprehend
A God of our own creation would be just a teacher, who would show us the way. A God of our own creation would be a spirit that would be at our beck and call, a source of power to those who knew it by name. A God of our own creation would be flawed, a product of our own understanding. A God of our own creation would meet my needs and not necessarily yours. Your God would be different from mine.
John MacArthur wrote “Hard To Believe,” in which he asserts that our sin nature makes it impossible for us to follow God by our own power.
If the Jesus who saves us from sin was a product of men, He would be one that is readily acceptable to many. We would not have to want to be like Him, He would be like us. We would not be convicted because a God that we created would not convict sin in the flesh. We would have spiritual laws, but they would be the laws that we want to obey, not the ones that are uncomfortable or costly.
I say this, in order to ask a question of you. Does your Jesus fit into your understanding? Is your Jesus hard to follow? Hard to believe in? Or have you created for yourself a Jesus that fits your worldview?
I would like to close this with a story that was passed on to me:
“An old farmer cursed the weather as he worked in the snow, preparing his livestock for the coming blizzard. It was Sunday, and his family and help were at church, so he was working alone. “A flock of fools,” he had called them, “Believing in a God that had never done anything for them.”
As he was rounding up the geese, the last of the animals, he became frustrated. Herding the geese into the barn was becoming a problem, as every time they approached the barn, one would break free from the group, and they would all turn and scatter back into the cold.
The farmer knew that many would die if they were not within the safety of the barn when the weather turned, and so he exhausted every strategy to force them into the warm shelter. Finally, kicking the snow, he shouted at them.
“If only I could become one of them,” he thought, “They might follow me. If I could speak their language, they might listen. If I could lead them, instead of driving them ahead of me, they might find the way.”
And for the first time in years, he prayed.”
“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” – John 1:14