God Is

Day 23

He Came to My Rescue

Read your Bible: John 1:1–18

Spotlight Verse:

So the Word became human and lived here on earth among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the only Son of the Father.John 1:14

I was reading about the famous philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche and found a twist to his tale that surprised me.42

As a kid he was very involved in church. Then at 18 he rejected the faith of his deeply religious family, especially his mother.

He despised Christianity as “the religion of the weak,” and promoted instead the “will to power.” He wrote the book Man and Superman. Nietzsche insisted he and his followers were the new supermen, beyond mere notions of good and evil. They were — he said — the new gods.

In fact, Nietzsche predicted that in the future, history would no longer be divided into before Christ and after Christ, but before Nietzsche and after Nietzsche.

Didn’t quite work out that way.

His mind began to break down. His health too. He began to go blind. Then his friends put him in an insane asylum.

And it was at that dark hour his Christian mother re-entered his life. She’d heard about what happened and came to claim him and take him home.

Her boy had rejected her — and everything she loved. But she took him into her arms and devoted the rest of her life to his care. And people who visited would sometimes see her rocking to sleep the broken body of this man who had claimed to be a superman.

Who was he, that she should be mindful of him?

He didn’t do anything to make himself lovable. In fact, he was incapable of it as his mental health deteriorated. What logical reason was there for her to love him?

This kind of love cannot be explained by logic. He was her child. She loved him with unwavering, unconditional love.

Like Nietzsche’s mother, God comes looking for us.

He knows we are incapable of seeking Him in any way that leads to freedom. He weeps that we are locked in a prison of our own making.

So He uses all the power at His command, the same amazing power that made the Universe, to come near, to be born into our mess, to enter the asylum that is our world. And He embraces us. And takes us home.

If God’s greatest self-description was to Moses, then His ultimate self-revelation was when He went beyond the middlemen, past the prophets, and came Himself.

The Apostle Paul puts it this way:

Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before everything else began, and he holds all creation together… and by him God reconciled everything to himself… Colossians 1:15, 17

The One who created became a part of the creation. Jesus Christ is God in the flesh, which is what the word “incarnate” literally means.

The indescribable, infinite, invisible One came to earth in a form that was describable, finite, observable. To rescue you.

The Son reflects God’s glory, and everything about him represents God exactly. Hebrews 1:1–3

Jesus shows you what God is like!

When Jesus walked around on earth and patted the heads of babies, forgave harlots, and blessed mankind, He was simply God acting like God in a given situation. — A.W. Tozer43

God acting like God.

Want to know what God is like?

You can see His power in His creation. But look what Jesus shows you. There’s God…

Hanging out with the prostitutes and lepers,
reprimanding the priests and religious teachers,
passionately outspoken about His love for the lost,
very angry over religious legalism,
delighted with children,
healing the sick,
giving rest to the weary.

The Attributes of God Expressed in the Incarnation

Think of the God you’ve come to know in this study. Absolutely powerful. Perfectly present. And infinitely loving.

To me, if these are all true, then the incarnation follows. God had the means and the motive.

If God is unlimited in power, all about closeness, and perfect in love, He would be able to come near — and He would want to come near. Not only to show us the way, but to be the way.

In fact, it is precisely in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus that I see God’s power and presence and love most clearly.

I think any search-and-rescue story, like the one about Nietzsche’s mom, touches me because it reflects this even greater cosmic rescue mission: God powerfully and lovingly comes to rescue you and me, at His expense, when our attempts at being god fail.

He calls your name.
He longs to hold you again.

Not because you have impressed Him.
Not because you have met His expectations.
Not because you are a Super-Man or Super-Woman.
But because He is love.

God is… my Rescuer.

Friedrich Nietzsche and his mother

Questions For Reflection

How does it impact you to think that the all-powerful God is also all-loving?

What does it show us about God’s character that He came into the world the way He did, and then behaved the way He did, as Jesus Christ?

Each day for the rest of this week, ask yourself these two questions: Have I thanked God for His love to me today? Have I shown love to someone today?