“It’s a mystery!” So often we hear a Christian or even a pastor answer a sincere question about God. Whether it’s why bad things happen or how God made the world, it’s a mystery. You just have to believe. No one knows. God’s ways are not our ways.
For sure, there are some details God does not give us. We don’t know exactly what it looked like when God made the universe. We don’t know how the Trinity is both three and one. But we definitely know a lot more about God than we admit. In fact, it is really pretty crazy how much we know about God. We know an almost inappropriate amount if we were just acquaintances or even servants. Except we are not servants. We are actually God’s friend.
It sounds strange to even say that. But Jesus tells us exactly that! In John 15, Jesus says, “I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.”
I don’t think we should take Jesus’ words lightly. Jesus says that He has told us everything His Father has told Him. How dare we say God is mysterious. It’s insulting, and it is the opposite of what Jesus teaches. The Almighty Creator has let us into His intimate consciousness through His Son. We are not workers on the shop floor unaware of the plans of our boss. We aren’t children of an absentee father unaware of where He is or what He is doing. Jesus calls us friends because He has let us into His circle.
Sure we don’t know exactly why the pandemic happened in 2020, but we know generally why pandemics happen. We don’t know every detail of why things happen, but we know intimately the purpose and meaning of all life, let alone our own! We know what God thinks of us. We know He forgives us. We know that He must really love us. We know that we will rise again. We know we are more than workers in His factory. We are His friends. He is FOR us.
What a friend we have too. Despite our sad reputation for ruining friendships in gardens from Eden to Gethsamene, God doesn’t give up. He is a loyal friend. He laid down His life just like He said He would, even while we all turned away, denied Him and betrayed Him.
Do you need to know more about God than that?
How sad that some people don’t know God like this. Tell them. Bring them into the friendship. But how much more sad that some Christians are like that second son in the prodigal son parable. He never left his dad like the first son. Yet he didn’t know his dad was his friend all that time. The son thought he was just a worker. He thought His dad did things for him only as a transaction.
There are a lot of Christians like that. They want God to go back to outer space and be mysterious. They see themselves as workers working for a mysterious Almighty and alien God who rewards them for their work. Do you see God as a friend? Or a boss?
It is crazy. God is God and we are not. We have no right to know anything about Him. We have no right to demand anything from Him. But that’s the Gospel. God came down in Christ to be our friend, a good friend, who lays down His life for us.
Don’t look at your life as some game God is playing. Don’t look at it as full of unknowable mysteries like the pagans who desperately throw any and every sacrifice to appease the crazy wills of gods. God is your friend. He is FOR you. His words, His truths, are all FOR you. You don’t believe this friend? Look to the cross if you doubt His loyalty.