Heathdale flower 28th May 2020

Too Wonderful for Words?

The Apostle John helps us put the idea of Jesus being wholly man and wholly God into words.

Heathdale flower

Have you ever found yourself lost for words or had one of those moments when you find yourself wanting to say something, but nothing comes to mind or passes your lips! It may be a beautiful piece of scenery that unfolds before you, an act of bravery, a performance or a piece of art that you discover. Moments such as these may be described as ‘too wonderful for words’.

The Bible tells us that Jesus is God incarnate, a person who is fully God and fully human.

“That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched – this we proclaim concerning the Word of life (Jesus).” 1 John 1:1 (NIV)

The concept that Jesus could be both fully God and fully human at the same time is a concept that people struggle with. It astounded the people of Jesus’ day that God the Son actually took on human form; became flesh and bone! An incredible truth that is hard to put into words, as the Apostle Paul expressed when he wrote, “Thank God for His Son – His gift too wonderful for words.” (2 Corinthians 9:15)

In the book of 1 John, the Apostle John insisted he wasn’t spinning his account out of a fevered imagination but was recounting a sober fact: “that which we have heard… seen with our eyes… looked at and our hands have touched.” Each phrase draws us deeper into understanding this incredible concept and it also gives an added sense of intimacy.

The Apostle John first mentions: ‘that which we have heard’. He is declaring he has actually heard this fully God-man. John doesn’t stop there. He draws us another step closer: ‘that which we have seen with our eyes’. He goes on. It wasn’t just a fleeting glance, it was a steady gaze. A look that studied the one before him: ‘which we have looked at’. John draws us closer still with the final statement: ‘and our hands have touched’. The intimacy of touch, a special connection.

In these four statements, John draws on three of the senses — hearing, sight and touch. By combining these three senses, John endorses the truth that God the Son actually became a human being, too. John understood this and understood how vital it was for Jesus to be a real human being. If God had not become so, then our salvation would not have been possible. Jesus had to be like us in order to save us. The Anglican theologian, Bishop Handley wrote, ‘A Saviour who is not wholly God and wholly man is like a bridge broken at one end.’ Let every person gasp at this incredible mystery that Jesus is the heart of God wrapped in human flesh.

This is a mystery that continues to confound people to this day. The Staff and I desire to help our students to not only know this mystery but to also engage and embrace the fact that Jesus is the heart of God wrapped in human flesh. As they do, they will draw closer to God and further enjoy a deep rich relationship with Him.