Friday, October 21, 2005
In Spirit and Truth
Their idols are silver and gold, the work of men’s hands. . . . Those who make them are like them; so is everyone who trusts in them.
—Psalm 115:4, 8
Some people say they need a picture or an image to help them visualize God. But Jesus said, “God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth” (John 4:24). God doesn’t want us to have any image to help us in our worship. After all, who can paint God? Who can give us an accurate representation of who God is? I’m not saying that every painting of Jesus is bad. But I will say this: it probably isn’t very accurate. None of us know what Jesus looked like.
I find it interesting that of all the details we find about Jesus in the Bible, not one person took the time to give us a physical description of Him. Couldn’t one writer have said, “Oh, by the way, Jesus was about 5′ 11″, and the color of His hair was. . . . ”? But we don’t have anything. God did not give us a picture, and I think I know why. With our penchant for idolatry, no doubt we would have made an image out of it.
“God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” If I need some holy object to help me worship God, then something is wrong. Whatever that image, no matter how beautifully it is done, it will not be accurate. It will give me a false concept of what God is really like. And if the image is false, then the thought of God is false. And that will produce a character that is false, because we become like the god we worship.
Copyright © 2005 by Harvest Ministries. All rights reserved.
Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New King James Version, copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000.