Tag Archives: prophets

The Medium is the Message

Tuesday Re-mix:

In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son… Hebrews 1:1-2

God also testified to it by signs, wonders and various miracles, and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will.  Hebrews 2:4

JesusMarshall McLuhan was the first to coin the phrase, “the medium is the message”.  In his instance, he was referring to the ushering in of the information age (specifically, television) back in 1964.  He noted that television (and other similar media) were more than just conduits of information, they were actually shaping and reshaping the message and were as much a part of the message as the message itself.  I suppose we could make the same observation today about social media.  Twitter and YouTube and SnapChat are literally reshaping how (and what) we communicate.  It just seems that, from time to time, a medium comes along that changes everything we thought we knew about messaging and communication.  When that happens, “the medium becomes the message.”

Never in the history of the world has this notion been truer than with Christianity.  In ancient days, God spoke His message through angels, He spoke His message through the prophets, He spoke His message through the law, and He spoke His message through miraculous signs and wonders.  But never was the message so clear and so divisive and so disturbing as when God spoke His message through  Jesus.  The very embodiment of God, representative of all His glory and power and authority, Jesus is “the Word become flesh.”  He is BOTH the medium AND the message.

For Christ-followers (for His church), we have a contemporary medium through the gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed …

Knowing the Word Become Flesh

My people are being destroyed because they don’t know me.  Hosea 4:6 (NLT)

 I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead.  Philippians 3:10a (NLT)

I have often said that the church today is getting itself into trouble when we are more concerned with knowing about Christ than with actually knowing Him.  I think I first came to that conclusion while studying Philippians and Paul’s comment quoted above (Philippians 3:10).  Apparently, this concern went back a ways before Paul.  Hosea warned the people about it as well.

When I was in High School (back in the days of old), I knew a set of twins.  Their names were Mike and Chris, and they went to a rival High School.  I only knew them because I had played against them in basketball.  They were as identical as any two twins I have ever seen.  It was uncanny…a little creepy even.  If you didn’t know them, it was impossible to tell them apart.  I knew people who knew them, and I would ask them how they tell them apart.  They would try to give me hints about their hair or their mouth or a certain behavior, but none of those hints really helped.  The truth was, those friends couldn’t really tell me how they tell them apart.  More times than not, when asked how, those friends would just say, “I don’t know…I just can, because I know them.”

That, it seems to me, is the difference between knowing God and knowing about God.  I have, upon occasion, listened to teachers teaching about God or Jesus or the Bible and heard lots of great information from them but could not help but ask myself whether they really know God.  There just was no familiarity in their …