How intimate are you with God? Think about it, how would you describe your relationship with God?
Growing up as a Catholic in Mexico, I witnessed many people treat God as this grand, powerful entity that overlooks and takes care of the world’s problems. We would pray for world peace, our leaders, major catastrophes, and big major problems in our lives.
Even after I accepted Jesus, there were times I didn’t want to bother Him with my little issues. After all, the big King in the sky has bigger problems to deal with than my minor financial problems or the little squabbles I have with my husband. I could probably take care of those myself.
However, these last two years, it appears that God has been stubbornly trying to break the image I created of Him in my head. Especially as I continue to explore His word , and go deeper in to the Bible . I will tell you of two verses that have shown me how intimate God wants to be with me (and with all of us).
I have been taking a course in my church about God the Son, and in the course, we dig deeper into the Gospel of John.
One of the passages we looked at was:
John 1:18 says “No one has ever seen God. It is God the only Son, who is close to the Father’s heart who has made him known” (John 1:18).
Now, that is the NRS version; if you look at the NIV, it says:
No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known. – John 1:18 (NIV)
The NAS version says:
No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him. – John 1:18 (NAS)
The NIRV says:
No one has ever seen God. But God, the one and only Son, is at the Father’s side. He has shown us what God is like. – John 1:18 (NIRV)
And so it differs according to the translations.
So why do the translations differ? The original Greek uses the word “κόλπῳ” or “kolpon”—so the only begotten son, who is in the “kolpon” of the Father
Kolpon is a very intimate word, and unfortunately, it doesn’t have an English equivalent. The word can be used as
- As the womb of a pregnant mother
- The front of the body between the arms
- The bosom or lap of a parent where a child would sit.
- Close to one’s heart (think of when a newborn is placed on the mother after giving birth)
- A bay of the sea- which is a safer location for ships
Kolpon is a word of intimacy, love, kindness, and protection. It makes sense that the word “Kolpon” is used when describing the relationship between Jesus the Father. Jesus states that the Father and Him are one (John 10:30), and He loves the Father (John 14:31)—their relationship is part of the intimate Trinity.
However, the use of “kolpon” doesn’t stop there, the Gospel extends that use.
“23 Now there was leaning on Jesus’ bosom one of his disciples, whom Jesus loved.” John 13:23
This passage is talking about John—he was in Jesus’s “kolpon”
We are always talking about Peter, he was a great brazen leader of the apostles, or Paul the persecutor who later spread the word to the Gentiles. How about John? John was in the “Kolpon” of Jesus.
In fact, the full context of that passage is that Jesus just told them that he was going to be betrayed by someone in that room, and Peter (the leader) motions to John to ask him who. Peter knows how close John was with Jesus, and so he figured it was better for the teacher’s pet to ask.
After looking more into the Bible and praying, I figure that is how intimate God wants us to be with him. There are other verses that show us that kind of relationship (for example: in Mathew 23:37, Jesus laments that he wants to gather the people of Jerusalem like a hen gathers her chicks).
I mentioned earlier how I thought God was this grand, powerful entity that was overlooking and taking care of the world’s problems, and I should not bother Him with my small problems. I have come to the realization that only half of that is true, the first half. I believe God wants us to be in His “kolpon”, to share the same level of connection and intimacy John shared with Jesus.
God wants us to be intimate with Him. The definition of intimate is:
- involving very close connection.
- (of knowledge) detailed or thorough.
- private and personal.
- a very close friend.
How can we be intimate with God if we don’t share with Him all aspects of our life, even the little things? How can He be a very close friend or a hen (like Matthew 23:37) if our only view of Him is the big man in the sky?
So let me ask again: How would you describe your relationship with God?