Summary: One of the best ways to understand God is to look at Jesus, since Jesus is in nature God himself. Jesus came as a servant. He loves us passionately.

Summary: You can understand God by looking at Jesus, since Jesus is in nature God.

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Who is God — Part Four:

Understanding God through Jesus

Doug Britton, MFT

Man sitting reading Bible as he prays to understand God better by looking at Jesus

For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form. (Colossians 2:9)

Note: This is Part Four of a four-part series on “Who is God?”

When you read in the Bible about almighty God, the one who created everything, it’s hard to even begin to grasp his character. And when you first read about some of the things God did in the Old Testament, it’s easy to be confused or critical of him.

That’s one reason I am glad Jesus walked on the earth, fully human and fully God. We can learn a lot about God’s character by looking at Jesus’ words and life.

 

Jesus is in his nature God himself

Jesus was more than a prophet, a teacher, or a good man. As you can see in the following passages, he was (and still is) in nature God.

Related: Is Jesus God?

Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?” (John 14:9)

Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped ….  (Philippians 2:6)

For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross. (Colossians 1:19-20)

For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form. (Colossians 2:9)

Discussion question

  1. Some people think Jesus was simply a prophet, a teacher, or a good man. According to the previous verses, who was he?

 

Jesus’ life shows his amazing love for us

In the accounts of Jesus’ life found in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, the first four books in the New Testament, we see many examples of Jesus’ love. In this online Bible study, we will look at some passages that show his love in action.

Related: What Does it Mean to Be “Saved” or “Born Again”?

 

Jesus came as a servant

Although Jesus was God in the flesh, he came as a servant. He was deeply concerned for everyone and devoted himself to helping others.

For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many. (Mark 10:45)

Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. (Philippians 2:5-7)

Discussion questions

  1. Does it seem amazing that God, the Creator of everything, would come in the form of a servant? Why or why not?
  2. Why do you suppose Jesus came as a servant?
  3. What can we learn from Jesus’ example?

 

Jesus loves everyone, both rich and poor

Jesus doesn’t play favorites. He loves everyone regardless of his or her situation—Jew or Gentile, rich or poor, popular or shunned, liked or despised.

For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile–the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” (Romans 10:1-13)

Discussion questions

  1. What can we learn from Jesus when it comes to playing favorites?
  2. Do you personally play favorites? Is this something God would want you to work on?

 

Jesus loved those whom he corrected

When speaking to an adulterous woman at a well, Jesus spoke gently as he helped her face her sins (John 4:1-26). Whenever he corrected his disciples, he did so with love and concern for them (Luke 22:45-46). Likewise, when he rebuked the Pharisees it was with the desire that they would repent of their sinful attitudes.

We can learn from Jesus when we think we should talk to others about their problems. Instead of attacking others in anger, we should show loving concern. The apostle Paul made this point in the following passage in his letter to the Galatians:

Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted. Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. (Galatians 6:1-2)

Discussion questions

  1. Why do you think Jesus rebuked people? Do you think he simply wanted to punish them, or do you think he wanted to help them? Explain your answer.
  2. What are Paul’s key points in Galatians 6:1-2?
  3. When you correct people, do you do so with love, not anger? If not, how can you correct others with love?
  4. What is one type of situation in which you need to show more love when you correct someone?

 

Jesus even loved those who were going to kill him

Before entering Jerusalem toward the end of his life on earth, Jesus knew he would be crucified. Looking at the city of Jerusalem and speaking of its inhabitants, he said:

O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing! (Luke 13:34)

Discussion questions

  1. Why do you think a hen gathers her chicks under her wing?
  2. How can thinking about Jesus’ love and concern for those who were going to kill him help you better understand God?

 

Do you know Jesus?

This book was written to help believers in Jesus grow in their faith and personal life. You will get the most out of these pages if you know Christ, since it is through his love and power that we can truly change. If you have not yet entered into a relationship with Jesus, let me invite you to accept him as your Savior and Lord. Make this your personal prayer:

Jesus, I believe you are the Son of God, and I need your help. I confess I have sinned and failed you in many ways. I invite you to be my Savior and Lord, and I ask you to help me follow you the rest of my life. Thank you for loving me, forgiving me, and accepting me as your child.

If you prayed this prayer, welcome to the family of God. God has plans for you—to transform your life. You have an exciting time ahead of you!

 

Memory verse

For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross. (Colossians 1:19-20)

 

Understanding God through Jesus — Homework

  1. Is Jesus God? Explain your answer based on the Scriptures in this online Bible study.
  1. Does realizing Jesus is God help you understand God’s nature? Why or why not?
  1. Did Jesus make a special effort to befriend rich or powerful people?
  1. Do you make a special effort to befriend rich or powerful people?
  1. What changes, if any, should you make in the way you relate to people?
  1. What is most amazing to you about Jesus’ example?
  1. Although he is God, Jesus came to the earth as a servant. Based on his example, what are the first names of some people you should be doing a better job serving (such as your children, spouse, or friends)? What are some things you can do to serve them?
  1. Read Philippians 2:6. It says that although Jesus was “in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped.”

a. Do you sometimes “grasp” (or work hard) to put yourself in a position of power over other people?
b. If so, what is one way you have done that?
c. What have you learned about not “grasping” from Jesus’ example?

  1. Say a short prayer asking God to help you become a better servant to others.

 

Click here to read Part One of “Who is God?”

Click here to read Part Two of “Who is God?”

Click here to read Part Three of “Who is God?”

Getting Started, Getting Connected

Practical steps to take as you begin your journey with Christ

First Things First

Learning about God's nature, becoming a disciple

Living by Grace

Resting secure in God's grace, love, and mercy

Who Do You Think You Are?

Enjoying God's love and discovering your purpose in life

In the Bookstore

Getting Started, Getting Connected

6.99

Your first steps with Jesus

First Things First

12.99

Understanding God’s nature

Living by Grace

12.99

Understanding God’s grace

Who Do You Think You Are?

12.99

See yourself as God sees you

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Copyright © 2016 Doug Britton. (Permission granted to print for personal use.)

Unless otherwise noted, all Bible verses are from the 1984 New International Version.

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