In my last post we talked about Albert Einstein's unrestrained enthusiasm for Jesus. His verve for “the luminous figure of the Nazarene” was extraordinary, especially for someone who was not, as far as we know, a Christian. Einstein spoke of Jesus in such ebullient terms that it's hard not to admire his fervor and wonder if our own words about Jesus would be as effusive. When Einstein read the Gospels he found Jesus so compelling that he couldn't resist the urge to talk about him, and to do so with a kind of reverential awe that incites devotion. It's this kind of passion that emboldens us to read the Gospels more expectantly, anticipating an encounter with Jesus on each and every page.
It's important for us to remember that when Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John sat down to write their Gospels, they were intending to proclaim good news—and it was good news about a real, historical person who had left an indelible mark on the world. His name was Jesus of Nazareth, and his life was so noteworthy, so undeniably different and bursting with such vitality, that it moved these four men to declare, each in his own way, that God had quite literally shown up in the person of Jesus Christ. The world would never be the same.
The Gospels give us a glimpse of the human face of God (John 14:9). They point us to someone who is unlike any other man who's ever lived, someone who existed in such a harmonious relationship with God that his actions and God's actions were indistinguishable (John 5:19). It wouldn't be a theological stretch to say that the glory of the Father was clearly on display in the life of his Son (John 1:14). And it's this glory—made visible in the words and works of Jesus—that we encounter in the Gospels. Whether Einstein knew it or not, the eternal riches of the divine nature were perfectly expressed in the one he found so enthralling.
In a unique way, the Gospels grant us access to the glory of God (
). Through the lens of Jesus, they allow us to see what God is like. We're no longer in the dark. The light has come (
), and with John we can say, “We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”