You cannot know God in fullness until you see Christ as God wants you to see him. Jesus said, “He that hath seen me hath seen the Father” (John 14:9). We must see Jesus not as man teaches, but as the Spirit reveals him to us, as God wants us to know and see him.
There are many volumes in my library about Jesus, written by good men. Yet, I believe many of these men have never seen Jesus as God would have us see him. We are to get God’s vision and testimony of Christ, then we will know God as he desires to be known. Here is how I believe God wants us to see his Son: “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning” (James 1:17).
Jesus was a gift! God wrapped all his resources up in Jesus, “and he gave his only begotten Son.” Christ is God’s good and perfect gift to us, come down from the Father. Do you see Jesus as God’s perfect gift to you? Do you see him as all you need to live joyfully, victoriously, righteously, full of peace and rest?
In the Old Testament, God gave Israel many wonderful gifts in the wilderness: A cloud to shelter them from the desert sun. Fire at night to assure and lead them. Water out of a rock. A branch to heal bitter waters. A brass serpent to heal the snake-bitten. Yet all of these good things were only shadows.
Who was the rock from which water came? Who was the fire? The manna? The brass serpent? Everything God did for Israel was through Jesus. That’s right—Jesus was every one of those gifts. “Brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea…and did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ” (1 Corinthians 10:1-4).
Today we have much more than the shadow. We have the actual substance—Christ himself! And he lives in us.