God’s Spokespersons

Published by DonDavidson on

Before I became a Christian at age 20, I often asked Christians why God is silent. After all, if—as I was so often told—God will save whoever “believes,” why doesn’t he show himself so that everyone would believe?

The answer to that question is two-fold. Part of the answer—as I have discussed before—is that God wants more than mere “belief” in the sense of intellectual assent or acknowledgment. But the other part of the answer is that God has to use intermediaries because we couldn’t handle it if he didn’t.

Of course, sometimes those intermediaries have been angels, as was the case with Zechariah,[1] Mary,[2] Joseph,[3] and the shepherds.[4] At other times, God has used prophets to convey his messages.

Why does God relay his messages through individuals rather than talking to large groups? You’ll find the answer in Exodus. Not long after the Israelites arrived at Mount Sinai following their escape from slavery in Egypt, God came down and appeared to the people in the form of smoke, an earthquake, and a loud sound like a trumpet.[5] The people were terrified—so terrified in fact that they asked Moses not to let God speak directly to them again.[6] God granted their request, and from then on he spoke through prophets instead.[7]

At this time of year, we celebrate the birth of God’s ultimate spokesperson, Jesus Christ, as Hebrews 1:2 says: “in these last days [God] has spoken to us in His Son.” But Jesus is unlike the prophets who preceded him, for he does not merely speak for God—he shows us God. Hebrews 1:3 explains that “He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature.” In other words, when the Jewish people saw Jesus, they were seeing God—but in a way that did not terrify them. They did not see God’s awesome, overwhelming power or his dreadful judgment. Instead, they saw his love and mercy and forgiveness.

So this Christmas, celebrate and give thanks for God’s revelation of himself through his son, Jesus. Merry Christmas.

[1]. Luke 1:11-20

[2]. Luke 1:26-38

[3]. Matthew 1:20, 2:13, 2:19

[4]. Luke 2:9-14

[5] Exodus 19:18-20

[6] Exodus 20:18-19

[7] Deuteronomy 18:15-19


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