Final Note: The Preposterous God: A Summary

The mostly unknown God is preposterous and unimaginable, and thus it is beyond our human capacity to define Him. Yet we read in Ecclesiastes 3:11b, “He has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.” 

Solomon, the likely author of Ecclesiastes in the Hebrew Bible, gives us the above verse in the tenth century before the Common Era. We ask, “What did he mean?” 

We have a sense of what might be referred to as a Godness buried deep within us. Genesis 1:27 contains a staggering revelation: “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him, male and female he created them.” 

The Creator God constructed us humans, male and female, and in His image. Thus, one can legitimately say the Creator God of the Bible is both male and female and who implanted the quest to know Him within us, perhaps in our DNA. Quite amazing yet unimaginable! 

Despite an inner awareness of something greater than ourselves, a God concept, this does not give us a revelation of who God is or what God is like. Our understanding is, to say the least, extremely limited. Smart as we are, aware as we are—these only take us so far. Thus, the absolute necessity for revelation. 

God in Person 

Some two thousand years ago, a tried and tested elderly apostle of Jesus wrote, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1). Was it the author’s intent to remind the reader of Genesis 1:1, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth”? (note: the Greek word translated “was” in English can be rendered “was and is.”)

The Word, logos in Greek, is God. God is the Word, a word spoken to us and buried deep within us. For long millennia, the sound of the word was muffled, faint, confused, and illegible. 

Yet we humans searched, and searched hard, to hear the Word. How close we came to an accurate decipher is an unanswerable question. No matter how hard we tried, we could not get there. Therefore, the Word Himself showed up. 

“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14). 

The apostle Paul put it this way: “When the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son” (Galatians 4:4). 

This Word gave us this word: “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). 

All the foregoing is preposterous, but what would one expect from a preposterous God? 

Who is the Word? What did the Word do? 

“Name” in ancient or Biblical Hebrew has a double component. The name is derived from both who a person is and what the person did. 

For instance, Daniel means “one given by God,” and Daniel was a prophet to the nation of Israel while they were captive to the Babylonians in the sixth century before the Common Era. The name Daniel refers to who Daniel was and what he did. 

Joshua is another example. The name means “Yahweh saves,” and Joshua, Moses’ second-in-command, led the Israelites, the chosen people of God, across the Jordan and into the Promised Land. 

Jesus, the name, is derived from Joshua via several languages, first Hebrew, then Greek, then Latin, finally English. Jesus, Joshua—the names mean that Yahweh or God saves or brings salvation. It was long thought that the Messiah, or Christ, meaning the one appointed by God, would be named Jesus. In the first century of the Common Era, many Jewish mothers named their sons Jesus. 

In the sixth century BCE, the Hebrew prophet Isaiah received a word from God about a coming Messiah: “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel” (Isaiah 7:14). Immanuel means “God come to be with us,” in person. Two chapters later we find, “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and His name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” 

This is surely a preposterous God. Yet, a God who speaks the entire universe into existence should be able to pull off such a task. 

Jesus, the son of the Virgin Mary, is this God with us. Paul put it this way: “But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons” (Galatians 4:4–5). The writer of Hebrews wrote, “Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things” (Hebrews 1:1–2). 

We see who Jesus is. Now, what did He do? “To redeem” goes directly to the doing. Jesus’ death on the cross, prophesied centuries earlier (See Psalm 22 and Isaiah 53), was the substitute for the death that sin finally brings to all. There Jesus took our sin away in a manner we will never completely understand. 

The title Savior means that Jesus takes our sin away and gives us the gift of eternal life. His resurrection seals the work of the Savior. This Savior, this Redeemer, will return at a time no one knows to restore us to fellowship with the Creator God, which is the ultimate intention of the Triune God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. 

Preposterous but true! 

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