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 The Israelites left Egypt for Canaan. God ordered Moses to meet Him on Mount Sinai. Moses was on the mountain for 40 days. The people were in the desert and without their leader. Like any desperate person, they sought God’s presence, but they failed to find Him and started doubting. Then the people built a calf of gold and said (Ex 32:4-5): Israel, this is our god, who led us out of Egypt!” Then Aaron built an altar in front of the gold bull-calf and announced, “Tomorrow there will be a festival to honour the LORD”. The word for “LORD” which Aäron uses here is “Jahwe” and it is the name of the God whom the people had always worshipped, and whom we still worship today. So they moulded a figure or body which God could, so to speak, enter into, to be with them where they could see Him. Moses made it very clear that what the people had done was against the will of God. They had transgressed the second commandment.

God understands our desire to see Him. For us to be able to see Him, God didn’t use a golden calf, but let the greatest miracle ever happen when God Himself became visible as a human being in Jesus. For the legalistic Pharisees it was difficult to recognise God in Jesus. They perceived God as One who condemns and a God of rules and laws: You may only walk thus far on the Sabbath, even if you are hungry you may not thresh grain by hand on the Sabbath, you must not let yourself become unclean by being too close to a sinner, etc.

Jesus was totally different: He prays for those who condemn and crucify Him (Luke 23:34): Jesus said, “Forgive them, Father! They don’t know what they are doing” He eats with tax collectors and sinners (Mark 2:15-16). He washes the feet of the disciple who would betray Him, of another who would deny Him. He meets a criminal on the cross and takes him Home with Him. (Luke 23:29-34). If Jesus touches the eyes of the blind, they see, (Mark 8:22-25). Those who are ill touch Jesus’ cloak and they are healed (Mark 6:55-56). He weeps with his friends (John 11:35). He tells of the love that God has for us, and He pays for our sins on the cross.

God does not come to us in a lifeless, man-made figure of gold, but it is now also possible to recognise God everywhere in his children. One day a missionary, who wished to work amongst an isolated group of people, started telling them about Jesus, about his love for them, etc. The people responded: “But we know Him, He stayed here with us for a while.” The man then realised that they had recognised Jesus in the previous missionary. Often one can just look at a child and then know who the father is.

 One day Philip said to Jesus “Lord, show us the Father; that is all we need.” Jesus said to him,Whoever has seen me has seen the Father” (John 14:8-9). We cannot see God directly, but we can see his children. People must be able to say of God’s children: Who has seen them, has seen the Saviour, Jesus.


Our heavenly Father, thank you for the knowledge that You love us so much that You came  in Jesus and came to live in us. Amen.