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Jesus – God and man

April 9, 2013

“If a person claiming to be a prophet acknowledges that Jesus Christ came in a real body, that person has the Spirit of God” 1 John 4:2

This is another thread which runs through John’s first letter. The Apostle was determined to underline the true nature of Jesus – that he is completely God and completely man. The gnostic teaching which was becoming prevalent in the church in John’s lifetime, it seems believed that the material world was somehow beneath us all – even to the extent that it doesn’t actually matter how we behave. What matters is that we are very spiritual.

The idea therefore that Jesus could be God and yet get his feet dirty in the dust of daily human living would seem anathema to these people. And yet John states above that this is one of the central beliefs of the Christian faith – that Jesus came in a real body. As Eugene Peterson puts it in the message version of John’s gospel – Jesus “moved into the neighbourhood”.

At Spring Harvest Gerard Kelly talked about Salvador Dali’s striking picture of the crucifixion. He commented that many Christians, quite rightly have criticised the picture as the cross is depicted floating above the earth, as if Jesus did not belong in the real world. Jesus is shown as having a floaty existence, when we know of course that the cross was fully hammered into terra firma.

The trouble is that as Christians we can add to that deception. We can give the impression in the way we live and act that Jesus is not part of the real world. We can worship Him on a Sunday but then live on a Monday as if he is anything but Lord of our lives. As we get involved in the business of the day it can be so difficult to remember that Jesus is with us in the nitty gritty and the stress of everyday life.

What a privilege as Christians to know that the creator of the universe walks beside me at all times. As Adrian Plass puts it cautiously “Daily life in the context of an omnipotent God with really good ideas can be quite exciting” 

We can preach a message of good news to the converted and fail to meet people where they are. For the most part people around us are not asking us to give a defence for the things we believe in as Christians, but rather they are indifferent to the whole world of religion. To them Jesus is irrelevant and it is for his church to take the message where it is needed and ensure that Jesus meets the people of this world where they are.

For many people their idea of Jesus if they have one is a long haired man dressed in a white robe with blue eyes and beautiful teeth – not the look of the sort of man you would trust if you met him. Gentle Jesus meek and mild.

Jesus came as a man. But Jesus is God. And John reminds us that he is the one true God. He is not one of many. He is not the best of the available gods. He is the only one and he has laid down his life for the sins of the whole world.

As Christians lets stand firm that Jesus is God, and lets share the truth that Jesus came into this world on God’s rescue mission and still meets people in our towns and cities today.


From → Christianity

One Comment
  1. I agree that most of the time people are indifferent to religion. Recently in the USA people have become antagonistic to evangelicals. It seems that in an attempt to be incarnational and fight for the right to bear arms, oppose gay marriage, and oppose abortion evangelicals in America have incarnated something that people feel right to oppose.

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