Yesterday, I explained how our Lord had put aside all of his divine attributes when he became like us. That is an incredible statement and one that is foundational to the Christian faith. To be honest, it is impossible for us to know without any doubts whether God exists and what he is like unless, that is, he takes the initiative and reveals Himself to us.
And, if you simply scan history, you will see the answer to God’s revelation. It will be found in an obscure village in Palestine, over 2,000 years ago, when a Child was born in a stable. Today the entire world is still celebrating the birth of Jesus, and that is for a good reason!
But I started thinking about what it meant for Jesus to surrender all that He was as the Bright Morning Star, the Wonderful Son of God to become a man. Seriously, think about it. The moment He became a man, He put aside his omniscience (the ability to know everything) because he had to ask questions on several occasions, and though we cannot read anything of his youth, he had to learn things. Plus, his mom needed to change his diapers, wipe his runny nose. His mother and father probably had to strap him into a camel seat, for his safety. I mean, he was a human baby who grew to be a human man.
He had to put aside his omnipresence (the ability to be in all places at the same time) because he had to walk to each place he appeared and taught. As a man, he could only be in more than one location at a time. That must have been very limiting.
He put aside his omnipotence (the power of doing anything, almighty power) because, though he could have, Jesus never changed stones to bread, nor allowed angels to rescue him but instead, suffered the abuse of wicked men putting him to death.
Throughout is preaching, he proved to be far more than a commendable teacher or prophet. He clearly stated that he was God. His identity became the focal point whenever he taught. Once, he asked those who were following him, “Who do you say I am?” When Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God,” Jesus was not shocked, and certainly did not rebuke Peter. On the contrary, he commended him, saying, “You didn’t figure this out yourself. My Father revealed it do you! In fact, this ability for Him to reveal things to people, to open their understanding, will become the foundation of my Church!”
Jesus often spoke of “My Father,” and those who heard him didn’t freak out. They fully understood the impact of his words. But I’ll tell you what, the religious folks sure did! We are told, “The Jews tried all the harder to kill him; not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.”
On another occasion, he said, “I and My Father are One!” Once again, the religious folks became upset and wanted to stone him. He simply asked them which of his good works caused them to want to kill him. They replied, “We are not stoning you for any of these but for blasphemy! You, a mere man, claim to be God.”
Yep, during all this, he really and truly was God! His relationship with his Heavenly Father was so close and his humanity so perfect that he never erred in any judgment or truth that he declared. Though he was God, he lived as a man. Doubly amazing!
Jesus himself claimed that he and his Father were one, that he could forgive sins, that he was coming again in judgment — and all kinds of other things which no one who was not God could legitimately claim.
No one could read the Gospels without realizing that Jesus claimed for himself nothing less than divinity, yet, remained entirely human. Triple amazement!
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