The Eternal Present Tense
Makoto Fujimura's John - In the Beginning masterfully captures the mystery and majesty of John's declaration of Jesus Christ's divinity in John 1. His colors break through the darkness of the canvas declaring life and purity, suffering and royalty as the blue and green stand boldly while red and gold dance across the canvas. The striking nature of Fujimura's painting visually declares the first words of John' s gospel which sing in poetic melody to the tune of Genesis.
"In the beginning was the word," John writes and our ears perk at the intentional change. "The Word was with God, and the Wordwas God. He was in the beginning with God." John's assertive phrases are quick and clarifying, as though he's eager for us to understand the Word properly. "All things were made through him. In Him was life and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it." Each verse flits across the page with fervor and excitement merging the origin of the universe with a story far greater; the origin of a new creation.
By the eternal Creator declaring Himself as the Word, the Message to all mankind, His Scriptures are set apart from all other messages, all other religions, all other gods. His voice speaks everything into existence. He has spoken to past generations leading up to the birth of Christ recorded in His Holy Scriptures. And this message points to the one incarnate deity, Jesus Christ--the Word that took on flesh and walked among His people. Through this eternally present Word of God, the message is not, can never be confined to the pages of a book. His word will never be archaic, irrelevant, untimely, inapplicable. For it has spoken into all times and continues to speak, penetrating the hearts of men, calling them to repentance and faith (Hebrews 4:12).
We worship and serve a God whose voice speaks life into existence (Genesis 1:1). His voice speaks tenderly to His people, bringing comfort (Isaiah 40:1-2). His voice speaks truth and wisdom (Psalm 51:6). His voice brings order to the natural world (Psalm 50:1). His voice calls us to repentence (Mark 1:15). His voice promises judgment of evil, (Psalm 9:7-8). His voice tells of the salvation of His people(2 Timothy 1:9). His voice declares that He is with us always (Matthew 28:20). His voice promises that He is returning (Hebrews 9:28). The word of God, eternally speaking to mankind, is alive and present. As we "live and move and have our being" in Him, we live in the truth and presence of His Voice (Acts 17:28). The mysterious, eternal, all-powerful God "is not silent, has never been silent. It is the nature of God to speak…The Bible is the inevitable outcome of God's continuous speech (Tozer, 38)." Are we eagerly listening to his voice today?
Tozer, A. W. "The Speaking Voice." The Pursuit of God. Harrisburg, PA: Christian Publications, 1948. 34-39. Print.
John 1:1-5 The Word Became Flesh
"Eternal Light" - John Michael Talbot