Is it truth or blasphemy? When we returned from Brazil in 1995, we became reintroduced to American TV and one of my favorite shows seemed to me at first to be blasphemy. It was named “Joan of Arcadia” and the theme song by Joan Osborne went like this:
“What if God was one of us? Just a slob like one of us? Just a stranger on the bus Trying to make His way home?”
The gist of the story line was a teenager who God chose to appear to in a way that He seemed to be a stranger on a bus when someone in her life needed divine wisdom. It reminded me of the conversation between Jesus, Phillip and Thomas in John 14: 5 – 15:
5 Thomas said to Jesus, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, how do we know the way?” 6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me. 7 If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; from now on you know Him, and have seen Him.” 8 Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” 9 Jesus said to him, “Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works. 11 Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me; otherwise believe because of the works themselves. 12 Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father. 13 Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it. 15 If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.”
It is a historical fact that a man, Jesus of Nazareth, lived about 2,000 years ago. We know where He was born, the names of some in his family, how He died and, yes, that in him was life and that He himself was LIFE. His coming was a demonstration of life and this life is eternal. With Christ, “LIFE” stopped being just an abstract theory of philosophy. LIFE manifested itself as a carpenter’s son, who walked, talked, ate, slept, cried and loved and whose resurrection from the dead proved Him to be who He claimed to be. He said of Himself: “I am the way, the truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” Christ is life and life is Christ. If you have eternal life it is because you have Christ. If you don’t have Christ, you don’t have life. Real life, eternal life, which is the life of Christ, is much more than mere existence. Many exist who have never found “life”. If you ran into Jesus on the way to work on a city bus, would you recognize him? That’s not a strange question. After all, He became like one of us, didn’t He?