The Outcome of the Resurrection -- By: S. Lewis Johnson, Jr.

Journal: Emmaus Journal
Volume: EMJ 06:2 (Winter 1997)
Article: The Outcome of the Resurrection
Author: S. Lewis Johnson, Jr.


The Outcome of the Resurrection

S. Lewis Johnson, Jr.1

An Exposition of John 16:16–24

Introduction

True spirituality is ultimately personal. We can never be satisfied with a purely intellectual knowledge of God, although a true knowledge of God is always intellectual in its foundation.

The necessity of the personal dimension led finally to the incarnation of the Lord Jesus Christ. John, in particular among the apostles, stresses the point. It is he who has written in this gospel, “No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared Him” (1:18). And, in response to Philip’s query, Jesus said, “Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?” (14:9). To see Jesus is to have a personal revelation of the Father’s nature and being. And, finally, in his First Epistle the apostle begins the opening chapter with these words, “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us) — That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ” (1:1–3). It is clear that for John spiritual life is not simply intellectual knowledge, although that is necessarily involved, but also a personal acquaintance in the most intimate way with the Son of God, the revelation of the Father.

That kind of revelation can only be through the medium of an incarnation. There is a very touching story, told by Dr. Rufus Jones, the notable Quaker philosopher, about a mother seeking to encourage her little girl to put aside her fears of the dark. The mother assured the daughter that she need not be afraid of the night, because God was with her. The little girl was not so sure yet of the omnipresence of God and of His special concern for her, for she bluntly replied, “I don’t want God; I want someone with a face.” And the child probably spoke for many of us at one point in our spiritual experience. We naturally want someone with a face, and it is because of this, among other m...

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