The Gospel Paradox
Have you ever thought of the Gospel as a paradox—a statement that seems to contradict itself?
In Sunday school, we are studying the book of Matthew, and one verse, in particular, jumped out. Jesus said, “All things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father. Nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.”
Hmm…only Jesus truly knows the Father, and He alone chooses those to whom He will reveal Him?
Immediately, God’s Holy Spirit flooded my mind with accompanying Scripture. John 6:44 came first. “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day.”
Wait…No one can come to Jesus unless the Father draws him. But no one can know the Father unless the Son reveals Him? A paradox, right?
But it continues because, in the very next verse, Jesus said, “It is written in the prophets, ‘And they shall all be taught by God….’ Jesus quoted Isaiah and then explained, “…Therefore everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me.”
Is Jesus saying we can hear and learn from God the Father before we come to know God the Son?
Yes, and I think I experienced it. Although I did not come to know Jesus personally until I was 32 years old, as a child, I knew God the Father would help me. And, believe me, I asked a lot of Him. I’m a procrastinator, and I’m always running late, so I made many prayer-deals, yet God never failed to come through.
Romans tells us, since the creation of the world, God’s invisible attributes, His eternal power and Godhead (deity), are clearly seen because they are understood by the things He made. Therefore, we are without excuse. So, even if we refuse to see the intricacies of a human body, we should at least be able to view a delicate flower and know in our heart there is a Designer.
Is this learning from the Father?
Consider this, the Word of God came to the Jews first. In fact, over 3,000 times, the Old Testament claims it speaks the Word of God. Thirty-seven of those times, the prophets said these exact words, “Hear the word of the Lord….” Hebrews agrees. In times past, God spoke to us through the prophets. But, in these last days, He has spoken to us by His Son—the brightness of His glory and His express image—“…The Word of God.”
Still, it’s true. A person can hear words with their ears and not learn or understand with their heart. The people of Jesus’s day saw Him in the flesh, they heard Him speak, they witnessed His miracles, yet few believed. They were religious— “What shall we do that we may work the works of God?” they said. And Jesus answered, “…This is the work of God, that you BELIEVE in Him whom He sent.”
Why is believing in Jesus the WORK of God? Because the action of believing with the heart ANSWERS the paradox.
If our heart is yielded to the God of creation so that we hear and learn from Him, His Holy Spirit will draw us to God the Son, for they are ONE in essence. And when we understand and believe Jesus died to pay the penalty for our sin, He, in turn, reveals the glory, majesty, and holiness of God the Father.