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The Hiddenness of God (John 8:12–30)

God can be frustratingly difficult to see sometimes. “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork,” the psalmist tells us (Psalm 19:1 ESV). But, for every beautiful sunset that inspires, there is a terrible hurricane that destroys. It is difficult for us to understand God as He really is by observing nature alone.

But Jesus is “the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature,” Hebrews tells us (Hebrews 1:3 ESV). If we want to know what God is really like, we need to look at Jesus.

In John 8:12–30, Jesus again debates the Jewish leadership about his identity. His claims about himself are growing more explicit, and the scribes and Pharisees don’t believe he is who he says he is. “You are bearing witness about yourself!” they assert, “That kind of testimony isn’t valid!” But Jesus is undeterred. “The Father who sent me bears witness about me,” he responds.

The two go back and forth without making much progress, but you can tell that Jesus cares for his interlocutors. “You are of this world,” he warns. “I told you that you would die in your sins unless you believe.” You can sense the sadness in his voice as you read.

Tucked into the debate are some key thoughts about the nature of the Trinity. Jesus tells us that if we know him, we know the Father also. Jesus and the Father are one. If you know the Son, you know the Father. If you reject the Son, you also reject the Father.

And this brings us back to the hiddenness of God. God isn’t hidden; we just need to know where to look for Him.

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