Thursday, May 24, 2012

Have you seen Jesus?

by Niki Turner

I took my youngest son with me when I went to cast my vote in the 2008 election. The elderly women at the registration table (none of whom I knew by name) took one look at my son and said, "That must be Pat Turner's son!" The same scenario has been repeated at the grocery store, at church, and at my 10th and 20th class reunions. Now the same thing is happening with my grandson, who, admittedly, has picked up the Turner DNA in spades.

Havin' Saturday morning coffee with my Pop. ~Talen

We aren't surprised when the natural son bears an uncanny likeness to the natural father, but we seem to stumble when it comes to the Son of God resembling Almighty God.

"Philip said, 'Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.' 
Jesus answered: 'Don't you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father.'" John 14:8-9 NIV
Religion, whether it's Christianity or Judaism or Mormonism or any other -ism, tends to blur one's understanding of the Creator behind institutional policy, protocol and procedure. Couple a sprinkle or two of religiosity with the blindness of the world system that surrounds us and we run the risk of having a very convoluted view of our heavenly Father.

Is He an angry, hateful, spiteful dictator just looking for a reason to smack us upside the head with the fly swatter of judgment? Is He a churlish, irrational tyrant operating on whims and fancies, tossing a tornado here and an earthquake there as it fits His mood swings? Is He a legalistic, Spock-esque ruler, immune to the feelings and thoughts of mankind? Or is He a "free spirit" with no requirements, no regulations, no expectations for those who follow Him? Even worse, is He just "removed" from the goings-on of the world He created, like a child watching the progress in a ginormous ant farm with no intention of participating no matter what takes place in the biosphere He created.
Hubby, oldest son, youngest son. Scary similarities.
I think Jesus answered the question quite succinctly...
"Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father."

Have you seen Jesus?
That's the question. Have we seen JESUS, or have we seen an analyzed and synthesized version of Jesus? Read through the Gospels again. He was quite the radical. You rarely find Him doing the expected thing. He most often found Himself at odds with the religious leaders of the day. Whether it involved healing a blind man on the Sabbath (by making a mud pie out of spit and dirt and slapping it on the guy's eye sockets), running into the temple and creating chaos by overturning the social/economic/religious system, or having dinner with notorious sinners, Jesus was a nonconformist.

"Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father."
That leads me to believe my Abba Father must be a nonconformist, too. How could He be anything else? Look at the vastness of His creation, the variety, and creativity involved! He's a supernatural being completely unmotivated by the things (selfishness, greed, animosity, fear, etc.) that motivate and guide carnal human behavior. Through Jesus, I see the Father's pure mercy, compassion, and generosity. I see (don't get out the stones yet) flexibility controlled and directed by unadulterated love; the kind of love that looks past outward appearances, even actions, and offers forgiveness, hope, and restoration, not because of what we do or don't do, but in spite of what we do or don't do.

Have you ever been confused or concerned about the character of God? Wondered about His will in a situation? Set aside the literature and pamphlets and sermons and hymns for a moment and set your eyes upon Jesus. What you see in Him is what's in the Father's heart!

"He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation." Col 1:15-16  NIV

I hope considering the ONENESS between God the Father and Jesus, His Son, will help clear away any confusion, settle in your heart the (good) will of God for you, and settle in your mind once and for all the character and nature of your Abba Father: LOVE.

About   the Author: Niki writes fiction, nonfiction, blog posts, newspaper articles, grocery lists, and Facebook status  updates. She can be found at her own blog, In Truer Ink, in addition to posting here. She was a 2009 finalist in the Faith, Hope, and Love "Touched by Love" contest.


  1. I just had an AHAH! moment. Thank you Niki. I've heard and read these truths before, so that's not the excuse, but I love the way you nailed it. I think I tend to think of Jesus and Father God as acting differently at times. Like good cop/bad cop?

    oh come on, I can't be the only one! I know Jesus sits at the right hand of the Father and intercedes for us, but I am going to look at that in a different way now.

    Wow, your boys look like twins as much as they look like their dad. Mine don't even look related!

    thanks Niki!

  2. Cool! Glad to bring you an AHAH! moment this morning!
    The good cop/bad cop analogy is very common, I think... I know I've prayed that way before.

    That picture of all three lookalikes together has become one of my favorites! I need to do one of me and my other son, Luke, because he's the only one who really looks like me.

  3. Niki, like Deb, I thought your boys were twins! I never thought of Jesus as a nonconformist! Oh my heavens! Me, being the nonconformist I am, I absolutely love it. Great post!

  4. You mean He was a liberal? eeps. I've always voted conservative. And yet, I don't like following the crowd regardless of which way they go.

    In that respect, I can relate to Him because He did what needed doing regardless who or what stood in His way. Except He was fearless and I'm not.

    Niki, as I scrolled down, I saw the 3 faces from the eyes up. And you're right... it was so uncanny, I thought someone had used an app where you put a face in a hole - except I thought you did it with the eyes only. As I scrolled farther, I was sure of it until I read the caption. Whoa! Talk about dominant genes.

    Great post.

  5. Amazing likeness. Although when I read the title, I have to admit I thought it was going to be a post about whether others can see Jesus in us.

    But I guess we can save that for another day. :)

    I'm a recovering legalist, of sorts, so my view of God's nature has shifted a bit over time. It's not like I ever thought God was just looking for an opportunity to crush me if I didn't keep in step. I think a lot of that behavior is caused more out of concern of what others think--not necessarily what God thinks.

    To shove all that aside and concentrate on a relationship with a Savior who is holy and loving--and lived only to please the Father--makes all the difference.

  6. Suzie, you're in good company, then, IMHO!

    The funny thing about the boys NOT being twins is that the picture is my #2 kiddo and my #4 kiddo. Number 3 is the one who looks like me!

  7. LOL Anita. Sometimes I wish the conservatives hadn't let the liberals steal the word "liberal," because it means "free" and aren't we supposed to be the free-est of all as believers?

  8. Oh Barb, I LOVE the "recovering legalist" description. I'm there, too. Perhaps it's backlash from all those years of wearing the PW hat and dealing with everyone's expectations.


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