The God man - Hope 103.2

The God man

By David ReayWednesday 19 Nov 2014LifeWords DevotionalsFaithReading Time: 0 minutes


Read Philippians 2:6-8

6      Though he was God,
            he did not think of equality with God
            as something to cling to.
7      Instead,he gave up his divine privileges;
            he took the humble position of a slave
            and was born as a human being.
        When he appeared in human form,
8          he humbled himself in obedience to God
            and died a criminal’s death on a cross. (NLT)

It is so hard to truly grasp what Christians call the incarnation: God becoming human in the person of Jesus. In this hymn-like passage,Paul pushes language to the limit to try to describe Jesus in a way that does not distort him.

Jesus is truly God,not just a God-like man,not just a wonderful chap who shows us how to live. Then again,Jesus is truly a man,not just a pretend human,not just a divine being who wears his humanity like some fancy dress outfit.

If we overemphasise Jesus’ divinity,we can lose sight of how much he identifies with us and the suffering he underwent prior to and during his death. He becomes another-wordly visitor remote from our life circumstances. If we overemphasise his humanity,he becomes a very superior sort of social worker who acts as a sort of exemplary guru for us to imitate.

We need to live with the tension rather than resolve it,accept the mystery rather than explain it. Jesus was truly God and truly man. Not being able to figure that out is not to say it was impossible. It is to say that we are not gods,that we are not the final judges of what is or is not possible.

David Reay