John 1:18 - No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father's side, He has made Him known.
Screens. You are probably looking at one now. Everywhere we go we are surrounded by them. Our houses are full of screens. We read on screens. We watch on screens. We write on screens. It's all on screens. We spend so much time on screens there are warnings about how much time we spend on screens.
All this screen time can make it difficult for us to conceive of things that we can't see. We are used to watching a clip on the internet or seeing video footage. But what about the fact that there are things in life you are supposed to see, but you can't see them anymore?
Technology has allowed us to see things that previous generations couldn't see. We can see things so small that people didn't even know they existed. We can see in space beyond what we imagined just a generation ago.
We are constantly seeing more. And increasingly we judge reality only by what we see.
But we all know that there are vitally important things in our life that we don't—and can't—see with our eyes: things like love, peace, truth, life.
John 1:18 tells us that no one on our own terms has ever seen God. No one. Ever. So, in a world in which we see more, in a world in which we exist more in the realm of the visual, how do we know and believe in a God who cannot be seen?
The rest of John 1:18 tells us how we can know this God who can't be seen. "The only God, who is at the Father's side, He has made Him known." The One who is at the Father's side is Jesus. He is God come in the flesh (see John 1:14). Jesus showed us in His life, death, and resurrection who God the Father is. God the Father can't be seen, but He can be known through His Son Jesus.
When we want to get to know who God is, we should not look to human philosophy or to wisdom. We don't think about God as simply a better version of humanity. We don't make up lofty ideas about God. When we want to know who God the Father is, we look to Jesus.
And when we see Jesus, we see God's love in action for you and me. He calls you to repentance so that you can see it. He focuses your attention on the cross so you can receive it. And He offers you a resurrection, eternal life in Him by faith, seen clearly through His Word to anyone who will look.
Today, you will probably spend a lot of time looking at screens. But let us not be distracted by all that we see with our eyes. Let us focus our eyes on Jesus. He is the One who reveals God the Father to us. And He reveals that God the Father loves you, and through the death and resurrection of Jesus, has saved you.
The Holy Spirit works through that Word to let us see Jesus and let us see God the Father. The Holy Spirit works faith that we might be sure of the things we hoped for and certain of the things we cannot see.
THE PRAYER: Heavenly Father, give us the eyes of faith to see and hold on to the truth of our life and salvation in Jesus Christ alone. In His Name we pray. Amen.
From "Listen and See," a sermon from Rev. Dr. Gregory Seltz, former Speaker of The Lutheran Hour
1. What is it about computer technology that you find most interesting, most helpful?
2. How has Jesus made God known to us?
3. Do you place any limits on the time you spend on the computer, watching TV?
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