Jesus, the God Man
When I was asked to write this reflection on ‘Jesus, the God Man’, I thought I would prepare by delving into Volume 3 of my favourite Theology reference book. However, when I opened it I discovered, to my amazement, there are 23 full pages so my initial reaction was wondering how to condense the teaching into one short devotional.
I would like first to offer some crucial Scriptures that point to the deity of Jesus.
When the Jews asked Jesus if He was the Son of God, they were, in fact, asking Him whether He was God the Son. Thus when He agreed with them they accused Him of blasphemy, claiming to be God, and therefore He was guilty and deserving death under Jewish law. (Luke 22:70-71) and (Mark 14:61-64).
John’s gospel begins with the words, “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” (John 1:1)
We see that the Word was with God and became flesh. He dwelt among us. John goes further when he says: “We have seen His glory. The glory of the One and only who came from the Father full of grace and peace.” (John 1:14)
When Thomas eventually saw the risen Christ he said, “My Lord and my God.” (John 20:28), so Jesus was God and is God, and there are other Scriptures that endorse this.
Now I would like us to take a brief look at church history to show that what we now see as clear truth, was gradually hammered out by the early Christians:
1. In the first century the Evionites taught that Jesus was a great prophet, but only a man.
2. In the fourth century Arius, Bishop of Alexandria, taught that Jesus was created by God at a specific time for a specific purpose
3. Later in the fourth century Appolinarius, Bishop of Laodicea opposed Arius. He embraced the divinity of Jesus, but did not believe fully in His humanity.
4. In the fifth century Nestorius, the Bishop of Constantinople taught that there were two separate persons in Christ’s one body.
5. Also in the fifth century Eutychiarism taught that Christ was neither fully man nor fully God.
6. Eventually, in 451 AD all the Bishops of the church gathered at Chalcedon and they made a statement that was designed to guard against all these heresies
They believed that Christ was “in two natures unconfusedly, unchangeably, indivisibly and inseparably God”, but they also taught that the two natures were never parted or divided into two persons, but were at all times one in the same Son.
This is the belief Christians still hold today. Catholics, Orthodox, Protestant and Pentecostals all accept the Chalcedon statement.
So now we have a Saviour, Jesus, who is fully man and fully God. How do we benefit from this amazing and unfathomable truth? Hebrews 4:15-16 says, “For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathise with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then come boldly to the Throne of Grace that we may obtain mercy and find help in time of need.”
Prayer: Father, we are amazed by the extent of Your love, grace and mercy for each one of us. Help us to come boldly into Your presence, not because we are worthy but because Jesus, who shed His blood for us, was without sin. Thank You Lord Jesus that you ransomed us at such great cost. Help us never to take this for granted. Amen