First, Jesus’ teachings help us to know his Father. Jesus described Jehovah in terms that touch our heart. For example, to explain the merciful God who welcomes back repentant sinners, Jesus likened Jehovah to a forgiving father who is so deeply moved at the sight of his returning prodigal son that he runs and falls upon his son’s neck and tenderly kisses him. (Luke 15:11-24) Jesus also portrayed Jehovah as a God who “draws” righthearted people because he loves them as individuals. (John 6:44) He even knows when a tiny sparrow falls to the earth. “Have no fear,” Jesus explained, “you are worth more than many sparrows.” (Matthew 10:29, 31) We cannot help but feel drawn to such a caring God.
Second, Jesus’ example shows us what Jehovah is like. Jesus so perfectly reflected his Father that he could say: “He that has seen me has seen the Father also.” (John 14:9) Thus, when we read in the Gospels about Jesus—the feelings he displayed and the way he dealt with others—we are in a sense seeing a living portrait of his Father. Jehovah could hardly have given us a clearer revelation of his qualities than that. Why?
Illustrate what Jehovah has done to help us grasp what he is like.
To illustrate: Imagine trying to explain what kindness is. You might define it with words. But if you can point to someone actually performing a kind deed and say, “That is an example of kindness,” the word “kindness” takes on added meaning and becomes easier to understand. Jehovah has done something similar to help us grasp what he is like. As well as describing himself in words, he has provided us with the living example of his Son. In Jesus, the qualities of God are seen in action. Through the Gospel accounts describing Jesus, Jehovah is, in effect, saying: “That is what I am like.” How does the inspired record describe Jesus when on earth?
How did Jesus express the attributes of power, justice, and wisdom?
The four main attributes of God found beautiful expression in Jesus. He had power over disease, hunger, even death. Yet, unlike selfish men who abuse their power, he never used miraculous power in his own behalf or to hurt others. (Matthew 4:2-4) He loved justice. His heart was filled with righteous indignation at seeing unfair merchants exploiting the people. (Matthew 21:12, 13) He treated the poor and downtrodden with impartiality, helping such ones to “find refreshment” for their souls. (Matthew 11:4, 5, 28-30) There was matchless wisdom in the teachings of Jesus, who was “more than Solomon.” (Matthew 12:42) But Jesus never made a showy display of his wisdom. His words reached the hearts of common people, for his teachings were clear, simple, and practical.
How was Jesus an outstanding example of love?
Jesus was an outstanding example of love. Throughout his ministry, he displayed love in its many facets, including empathy and compassion. He could not see the suffering of others without feeling pity. Over and over again, that sympathetic regard moved him to action. (Matthew 14:14) Although he healed the sick and fed the hungry, Jesus expressed compassion in a far more vital way. He helped others to know, accept, and love the truth about God’s Kingdom, which will bring permanent blessings to mankind. (Mark 6:34; Luke 4:43) Above all, Jesus showed self-sacrificing love by willingly surrendering his soul in behalf of others.
Is it any wonder that people of all ages and backgrounds felt drawn to this man of tender warmth and deep feelings? (Mark 10:13-16) However, as we read about and reflect on the living example of Jesus, let us keep ever in mind that in this Son we are seeing a clear reflection of his Father.
A Study Aid to Help Us
By revealing himself so clearly in his Word, Jehovah leaves no doubt that he wants us to be close to him. At the same time, he does not force us to seek an approved relationship with him. It is up to us to search for Jehovah “while he may be found.” (Isaiah 55:6) Searching for Jehovah involves coming to know his qualities and ways as revealed in the Bible. The study aid that you are now reading is designed to help you in this endeavor.
You will notice that this book is divided into sections corresponding to Jehovah’s four cardinal attributes: power, justice, wisdom, and love. Each section opens with an overview of the quality. The next few chapters discuss how Jehovah manifests that quality in its various aspects. Each section also contains a chapter showing how Jesus exemplified the quality, as well as a chapter examining how we can reflect it in our lives.
Starting with this chapter, there is a special feature entitled “Questions for Meditation.” For example, look at the box on page 24. The scriptures and questions are not designed as a review of the chapter. Rather, their purpose is to help you reflect on other important aspects of the subject. How can you make effective use of this feature? Look up each of the cited texts, and read the verses carefully. Then consider the question accompanying each citation. Ponder over the answers. You might do some research. Ask yourself some additional questions: ‘What does this information tell me about Jehovah? How does it affect my life.
Questions for Meditation
Such meditation can help us draw ever closer to Jehovah. Why? The Bible associates meditation with the heart. (Psalm 19:14) When we reflect appreciatively on what we learn about God, the information filters into our figurative heart, where it affects our thinking, stirs our feelings, and ultimately moves us to action. Our love for God deepens, and that love, in turn, moves us to want to please him as our dearest Friend. (1 John 5:3) To come into such a relationship, we must get to know Jehovah’s qualities and ways. First, though, let us discuss an aspect of God’s nature that provides a compelling reason too.