Job 11:7-9, ‘Can you find out the deep things of God? Can you find out the limit of the Almighty? It is *higher* than heaven—what can you do? *Deeper* than Sheol—what can you know? Its measure is *longer* than the earth and *broader* than the sea.’
Ephesians 3:18-19, ‘[I pray] that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the *breadth* and *length* and *height* and *depth*, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.’
According to Job 11:7-9, knowledge of the infinite God is incalculably beyond human understanding. Paul agrees, and yet—using the same dimensions—prays that the Ephesians would, nevertheless, comprehend this infinite God, and that they would know Him in the Love of Jesus Christ, the Love that is definitively proclaimed in the flesh of the resurrection-illumined Crucified One.
The unbounded height and depth and length and breadth of God’s fullness, which Job 11 places beyond all comprehension, has entered into the bounded creation, has folded its infinity into the finitude of space and time, has expressed itself upon the height of a roman cross, through the depth of a beam sunken into the earth, by the length of two human arms stretched out upon the wood, and in the breadth of a human chest, in which God’s own heart embraces the lance of our damnation and pours out the river of His boundless life.
Here—staggeringly, shockingly, inexhaustibly—here is the fullness of God, here are the incalculable dimensions of His majesty, here is the totality of His excellence, here is that which cannot be known and yet has made itself known, here is the higher than the heavens, here is the deeper than Sheol, here is the longer than the earth and the broader than the sea, here is the ineffable fullness of God—Here at the cross of Christ where God loves us and gives Himself for us in the Beloved Son. Nothing is left out, nothing is excepted, nothing of God is left un-declared to and over us at this moment….and to know this love is to be filled with the fullness of God.
Finally, notice that the totality of God’s excellence is known in the knowledge of His love…God is to be finally and truly known not in the categories of ‘essence’ or ‘nature’ or ‘energies’ or whatever other good and helpful categories we have developed…No, finally, fully, ultimately, the totality of all that God is and can be known to be toward the creature is encompassed in that single reality: Love. And to know this love is to know oneself simultaneously as beloved….beloved of God…loved, indeed, from the cross.
Thus, knowledge of God cannot be kept at arm’s length, it cannot be known merely as a system of doctrines or teachings, it cannot be ‘mastered’ as can a skill or technique or raw body of knowledge….rather, knowledge of God is knowledge of God’s love for me in Jesus Christ—a love that does not deny or belittle, but embraces and swallows up, the damnation that I deserve. Thus, knowledge of God as the person who loves me *in the crucified and risen Jesus* and, reciprocally, knowledge of myself as a person who is loved by God *in Jesus the crucified and risen Jesus* is the only way I can know God at all.
Indeed…might we even say that to truly know myself *only* as the ‘disciple whom Jesus loved’ *is* to know all the fullness of God? I think that can be said. Yet here, we have to qualify that this knowledge is not merely individual…it is not simply knowing God in Christ’s love for me…It is a knowledge of His love toward and in and as an entire Body, as the Bride, as the Church; this is, in fact, the women depicted in today’s image.