In this video, Joshua Ryan Butler explains how the story of the gospel of Jesus Christ reshapes our conceptions of who God is and what we must do to find him.
The following is a lightly edited transcript provided by a transcription service. Please check video before quoting.
You should love Jesus because he first loved you. The gospel’s not so much about us going out to find God as, rather, God who’s come to find us. Sometimes we treat God as if he’s lost, like he’s gone missing out in the universe somewhere, and it’s up to us to go kind of follow any trail of bread crumbs we can find, any clues he’s left behind to find him. So we talk about “searching for God,” or “exploring spirituality,” or “finding faith.” But what if we have it backward, and God is actually the one who’s coming after us?
The beauty of the gospel is it reveals that God has come for us in Jesus. The Creator of the universe, the one who has knit us together, who has formed creation for his glory, that he has come to find us in our distance, in our suffering, in our alienation, in our shame. He’s come to be united with us and to be with us in Christ.
So it’s not so much about us necessarily going out to find the light switch and turn on the light. It’s rather the light of the world—Jesus—has come into our midst. And the question is are we willing to step out of the shadows we’ve been hiding behind?
It’s not so much about us finding the right trail to ascend up the sacred mountain and find God, as it’s rather God who’s come down the mountain from heaven and earth to encounter and find us in Christ. The question is whether we’re willing to step out of the bushes and the fig leaves we’ve kind of been hiding behind.
The real question is not so much whether we can jump high enough, work hard enough, try long enough to find God and peace. The question is, rather, do we want to be found? The beauty of the gospel of Jesus is that Jesus has come to find us. And the invitation is actually to bring before him and expose all our dark secrets, all of our hard stuff. Whatever we’ve got to bring, he’s big enough to take it, and he has taken it. He’s gone all the way to the grave and back to be with you and me. So the invitation is to enter into union with the Creator of the universe who’s come for us: Christ, our King.