"What if God Was One of Us?"

About 20 years ago a song hit the airwaves that really caught my attention. “One Of Us” was written by Eric Bazilian and released by Joan Osborne. In the chorus the question is asked – “What if God was one of us?”

As she sings, Joan gives a bit of a description as to what this person (God as one of us) would look like. She describes him as “just a slob,” a person who rides the bus to his home. She also hints that he has a nickname that people may or may not use in his presence.

What I find so very interesting about this song is that God DID become one of us. One of the names for Jesus is “Immanuel” or “God with us.” The Apostle John explains it this way – “So the word of God became a human being and lived among us. We saw his glory (the glory like that of a father’s only son), full of grace and truth” (John 1:14).

I would never suggest that Jesus was a slob but if being a slob means being ordinary then the Bible agrees with that too. The prophet Isaiah describes Jesus (our God with us) this way – “There was nothing attractive about him, nothing to cause us to take a second look” (Isa. 53:2). In other words, Jesus’ appearance was quite ordinary.

As for the names... the religious rulers of the day called Jesus all kinds of names including “glutton, drunk, and a friend of tax collectors and sinners” (Matt. 11:19). The ultimate insult came in Luke 11 when Jesus was accused of using the power of Satan to cast out demons. Basically, they were calling Jesus a witch doctor.

The fact that God DID become one of us is good news. It really is the gospel (good news) in a nut shell. God, through Christ, has lived a human life. He has known the same kinds of struggles, disappointments, and challenges that we know. “We don’t have a priest who is out of touch with our reality. He’s been through weakness and testing, experienced it all—all but the sin. So let’s walk right up to him and get what he is so ready to give. Take the mercy, accept the help” (Heb. 4:15,16).

What it all means is that God is approachable through Christ. He is willing, and able, to forgive any wrong you have done. Isaiah declares, “Surely the arm of the LORD is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear” (Isa. 59:1). You can talk to him like you talk to a friend. There is no one better to help you in your time of need. He is ready to listen if you are ready to speak!