I asked my son Harrison (6) to describe me. He said I am big, I have big feet, big ears, big hands, a blue shirt, brown hair….. and so on. Then I pointed out that everything he described was physical, everything could be measured in some way. I then asked if he could describe what I was like and the conversation took a different tack.
How do we describe the indescribable? When we meditate on the names of Christ it is tempting to analyse the names, to break them down into component parts. The name Almighty literally means ‘ to hold all strength’. This is not something we can understand, we cannot comprehend the strength of the ocean never mind the One who made it, the One who flung stars into space.
“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.” Rev 1:8
Let me take a different approach. I can tell you my wife’s name, I can tell you her height, weight, eye colour and age. But you do not know her. I can send you her CV (Resume). You will then know her education and professional accomplishments. But you do not know her, many others have equivalent CVs. I can tell you stories about how we met, about her many adventures in childhood, I can tell you about music, books, places she loves, I could show you videos and photos or share things she has written. All this will help you know about her and you might even FEEL like you know her, but you do not. Even if I could share every memory I have with you , you still would not know her. You will not know her until you become part of her story and she part of yours. Then the journey to knowledge begins.
We cannot know Jesus by definition, nor by reputation or history. We might know what Jesus likes and dislikes. We may know that He is infinite in time, in space, in power and in knowledge. We might know that he is good, that he is kind, that he is merciful. But still this is not knowing Jesus.
And for the good news (gospel). Jesus left behind stories, not definitions. He inspired people to keep telling the stories. In these stories the person of Jesus starts to take shape. We realise we want to know this Jesus, this water walking, storm stopping man who is God. In the stories and lives of those around us and those who have gone before we find a multi-coloured picture of Jesus not a black and white dictionary definition.
All stories of Jesus, whether written, sung, prayed or lived have one purpose, to point you and I in His direction. As we seek, we find ourselves invited to become part of His story as He is already part of ours.
I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them. John 17:26