We have just celebrated the greatest events in the faith of Christianity – the death of Jesus on Good Friday and His Resurrection on Easter Sunday. These two events form the core of our Faith.
I hope that you had great services at your church that inspired your faith as you celebrated Jesus.
The death and resurrection of Jesus made me think of The Mystery of God. That is, how little we really know about Him.
In theology various terms are used to express this concept. Sometimes God is referred to as unknowable, not in the absolute sense but in the sense that there are some things that we will never know about Him in this life. Another term that is used is ineffable, which refers to the idea that God is too great to be described in words. Theologians sometimes talk about the incomprehensibility of God. That is, our minds cannot grasp the knowledge of all that God is.
All of these terms, and a few more, point to the fact that although we know some things about God through His revelation to us, there is much more about God that is still a mystery to us.
The Apostle Paul talks about the mystery of God in 1 Timothy 3 when he writes without controversy great is the mystery of godliness (vs 16). That statement appears in the context of a larger statement related to salvation. The idea of a mystery is often explained as something that was hidden in the Old Testament and revealed in the New Testament. This certainly applies to all that salvation in Jesus is. However, I think Paul’s statement also refers to the fact that in many ways our salvation is incomprehensible to us. It is one of the mysteries of God.
Why should God love us like this? A mystery. Why should Jesus die willingly (John 10:17-18)? A mystery. Why did God choose you to be saved (John 6:44)? A mystery. How could your sin be transmitted to Jesus and His righteousness to you (Romans 4, especially verse 5, Philippians 3:9). A mystery.
And that’s just one aspect of God. There are so many more things about God that we are not able to comprehend – they are mysteries to us. Things that God has chosen not to reveal.
That raises the question: Why would God hide Himself from us? Doesn’t He want us to know Him – deeply, intimately, personally, fully, completely?
Apparently not. At least not in the way we ask that question.
He wants us to know Him deeply, intimately, personally, fully and completely to the extent that He has revealed Himself. And that should be enough for us. Beyond His self-revelation He remains a designed mystery.
There are probably many reasons for this: God is so infinite that our minds would never be able to understand Him (I wanted to say that your head would explode – and that may be true!). You and I are not omniscience, which we would have to be to know everything about God. We don’t need to know everything about Him (He has given us everything we need to know. 2 Peter 1:3).
But there’s one greater reason that God has not revealed everything about Himself to us – and He has told us what it is. It’s so we will live by Faith, not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7).
By His silence about Himself, God is building your faith. He wants you to believe based not only on what you know about Him, but on what you don’t know. What you have to accept by faith.
To God, faith is greater than knowledge. God is not looking for people who know it all, He’s looking for people who believe it, even if they don’t comprehend it.
So, God remains a mystery. And He wants us to Believe in mystery. To Pray in mystery. To Follow Him in mystery. To Worship in mystery. To Accept Him in mystery.
Faith needs mystery in order to grow. Faith needs a God is unknowable; who is greater than us; who is incomprehensible.
I’m reminded of what Jesus said to Thomas, who was struggling with his faith – because you have seen me, you have believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed (John 20:29).
A paraphrase of that might be, blessed are they who have not known everything about Me and yet they believe.
God is honored when we believe even though what we do not know about Him is far greater than what we do know.
Stay in the Word