It seems the longer you know God, the less able you are to explain him. John wants us to be sure of three things about Jesus: That he existed since the beginning. He is co-equal with God. That he was a real flesh and blood human being. That’s clear enough. Much later, he says “God is Light”. This is not that helpful since we hardly know what light is.
When John writes about our behavior, he is much clearer. But just as we are beginning to understand that our faith in God must result in better behavior, he hits us with “God is Love.” John proves that the more we know God, the less able we are to explain him. The reason is that God is unknowable. But that does mean we can’t know him. Huh? Imagine yourself standing knee deep in the Pacific Ocean. You are in the ocean. You are off the shore. But what do you know of the ocean? You know something. Can you know more?
But God being unknowable is no reason not to pursue him. Paul says, we know in part. Wouldn’t Paul know God pretty well? Yet, he writes of a strange limitation. We see in a mirror, darkly. A mirror? What do we see in a mirror? Ourselves. Is he saying that we are limited by ourselves as humans in knowing God? Darkly? And we do not even see ourselves clearly.
Does anyone explain heaven? Why not? Jesus says he came from there and that he was going back. I’m not sure why we would want to go there when we have no idea what it is like. It’s good. I’m sure it is good. God’s will is done there unlike here on earth. But can we pray “thy will be done” and not do it?
How can we do the will of God? Do we even want to? Why would we? There is only one motivation according to Jesus. “If you love me, do as I have told you”. This is an echo of the first commandment to love God with all. But it is now personalized by Jesus. “If you love me…”
What did Jesus make a particular point of? “A new commandment, I give you…” A new one? Love God. Love our neighbor. Doesn’t that cover it? “Love one another as I have loved you.” Once again, it is personalized. “…as I have loved you.”
How much does Jesus love you? People tell us that Jesus loves us. There are signs with it written. I’m not going to answer it for you because it’s too personal. I have to answer it for me. Then I have to love him that first loved us. Have to? If I don’t, I can’t begin. Unless I am reacting to his love for me, I can’t begin.
How does all this relate to our title” “Explain God”? Jesus said his life explained God. “If you have seen me, you have seen The Father.” Jesus explained God for three years, by living. He said, “You believe in God. Believe, also, in me.” Such a simple statement. Yet, it also says, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be rescued.” Believing becomes loving. Loving leads us to do what he said. Doing what Jesus said changes us. Not just a little. A lot.