indescribable

The other day in class, we were unravelling the language and writings of the first five verses of the first chapter from the Gospel of John. I never knew you could cram 3 hours worth of expository teaching based on John 1:1-5.

Amongst the various headers buried within our notes, there was one subtopic titled ‘the incomprehensibility of Christ’ that was profound, and we were given the task to explore how we could use an illustration and application to unpack John 1:1-5 in a nutshell.

Unfortunately, during class I couldn’t muster a golden nugget of inspiration to describe the compelling evidence of: The Incarnate Word, where we read the wondrous passage of scripture that encapsulates the unity and divine relationship of God the Father and the LORD Jesus Christ.

It wasn’t until AFTER class that I found that spark of inspiration regarding the original exercise based on the subtopic ‘the incomprehensibility of Christ.’

Illustration:

John 1:1-2 (ESV)
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God.

To capture the imagination of my audience (ideally a local church congregation), I would want to encourage my listeners to think of (or for me to describe) a blank canvas used in traditional art. A blank canvas is pristine white without blemish and is ready for the artist to create his work of art.

John 1:3-5 (ESV)
All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

Continuing the arty-farty theme, I would then describe the process of how we typically perceive art on a blank canvas, where the artist would use multiple brushes to paint and mix colours to create an intriguing scene. The painted scene in visual terms is the created universe that comes to life.

The illustration of an artist painting on canvas is fairly simple to grasp, but there is a wondrous amazement, as we will never understand the tools that the artist used to create his masterpiece. Yes, we can acknowledge that God breathed life into the nostrils of man (Gen. 2:7), and that He spoke words of creation, but we will never know why a sheep looks like a sheep and a giraffe looks like a giraffe… and why do koala bears sleep all day? Who knows!

Application:

I would strongly, yet sensitively encourage and challenge my audience to self-examine themselves in light of scripture, by briefly reflecting upon Genesis 1:26-27. In fact there are parallels of creation and the revelation of the Holy Trinity in Genesis 1 and John 1:1-5.

So often, we aspire to become everybody else in life, except ourselves. It’s a sad fact, but I believe we need to learn to love ourselves the way Our Heavenly Father sees us as His precious children. He loves us just the way we are, and He longs for us to know Him as our LORD and Saviour.

I would also love to dive into the sexual intimacy between the divine oneness of man and woman in the perspective of a biblical marriage, and the intimacy of that marriage union of husband and wife with the LORD God, as the Creator of the Heavens and the Earth. There is something indescribable when learning of the biological science behind the sexual intercourse between man and woman, and how these cells are created to then shape and evolve in the form of human life. What can I say, something to look forward to in life!

Even looking at our own skin and seeing the glowing veins pumping our blood around our bodies, and by taking a moment to admire the artistic detail of bonding hair follicles, wrinkles and freckles – is something of an indescribable moment of marvel.

But only through a moment of observation can we arrive at a moment of marvel that the LORD God is behind the creation of the Heavens and the Earth.

God is the artist here – and the universe is His blank canvas.

~Richard