“For when you see me, you are seeing the one who sent me.”
A dream come true, this.
Having long legs, I mean.
I’m well aware that these long legs are an illusion – a figment of my imagination. (Helped along by the low ray angle of the winter sun this far north.)
This shadow I’m casting has nothing to do with my form in reality. It moved when I moved and tried its best to follow me around – but it definitely left a warped impression of me.
Which is why this verse from John’s gospel is so interesting. See, Jesus is claiming in public that seeing Him was the same thing as seeing God.
He was much more than a shadow of the real deal – He was an ‘exact representation’, as Paul mentions in Colossians.
Which means when He was lying in a manger, He was God, too.
So let’s look again at that baby.
Soft and cuddly. Innocent. Warm and affectionate. Capable of emotion. Willing to obey His earthly parents. Growing strong, wandering to the temple and schooling the brightest rabbinical minds of the day.
Laughing with friends. Touching lepers. Loving on grieving widows and seeing the marginalized and elevating women and challenging the narrow minded religious establishment.
Jesus, showing us the Father.
No illusions. No long-legged lopsided shadows.
Draw closer to the manger. See for the first time the heart of a good God, drawing close to fallen and stubborn humanity, living among us.
See the God of Christmas with fresh eyes with me?
Father, how we see is sometimes bound up in illusion. Thank You for sending us Jesus, a baby who would grow up to reveal Your character with precision. Teach us to see You afresh, with a clearer picture of who You really are. Amen.