Read & Study the Bible Online - Bible Portal
William Barclay
If the word was with God before time began, if God’s word is part of the eternal scheme of things, it means that God . Sometimes we tend to think of God as stern and avenging; and we tend to think that something Jesus did changed God’s anger into love and altered his attitude to human beings. The New Testament knows nothing of that idea. The whole New Testament tells us, this passage of John especially, that God has always been like Jesus. What Jesus did was to open a window in time that we might see the eternal and unchanging love of God. We may well ask, ‘What then about some of the things that we read in the Old Testament? What about the passages which speak about commandments of God to wipe out whole cities and to destroy men, women and children? What of the anger and the destructiveness and the jealousy of God that we sometimes read of in the older parts of Scripture?’ The answer is this – it is not God who has changed; it is our knowledge of him that has changed. These things were written because people did not know any better; that was the stage which their knowledge of God had reached. When children are learning any subject, they have to learn it stage by stage. They do not begin with full knowledge; they begin with what they can grasp and go on to more and more. When we begin music appreciation, we do not start with a Bach Prelude and Fugue; we start with something much more simple, and progress through stage after stage as our knowledge grows. It was that way with human beings and God. They could only grasp and understand God’s nature and his ways in part. It was only when Jesus came that they saw fully and completely what God has been like.
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