Question: Do I have to believe Jesus is God? Why can’t I just believe he was a human sent by God? Isn’t that Israel was expecting?

Jason Micheli —  December 13, 2012 — 2 Comments

photo-1When I pulled this question from the bingo tumbler on Sunday for our sermon, Midrash in the Moment, I just answered:  Yes.

And moved on.

But here’s a bit more. Just a few thoughts.

First, it’s interesting that what the first Christians- the ones who actually knew Jesus or knew those who did- struggled with wasn’t Jesus’ divinity but his humanity. To them, it was obvious that Jesus was fully God. It took them centuries though to argue and iron out how they thought he was human.

Second, the term ‘Son of Man’ that comes Daniel 7 was understood by many Jews leading up to the time of Jesus’ birth to be God-man, an incarnate like being who would redeem all of creation. ‘Son of Man’ was the term Jesus most often used to describe and refer to himself. So to say Jesus isn’t God is in some way to accuse Jesus of lying.

Third, and this is what I tell my liberal social activist Christian friends all the time (the ones who just want to focus on Jesus’ teachings) it’s believing that Jesus is God-in-the-flesh that makes sure we treat his teachings seriously.

If Jesus is just some teacher, we can ignore him in favor of some other perspective that makes more sense to us or fits our own perspective better.

But if Jesus is God then when Jesus says to go the extra mile for your enemy, that’s God telling you to do it.

 

Jason Micheli

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2 responses to Question: Do I have to believe Jesus is God? Why can’t I just believe he was a human sent by God? Isn’t that Israel was expecting?

  1. You said: “… the term ‘Son of Man’ that comes Daniel 7 was understood by many Jews leading up to the time of Jesus’ birth to be God-man, an incarnate like being who would redeem all of creation.”

    My response: This is not true! The term “son of man” is a Hebewism that simply means one is a man.

    See the following source for further information on this truth: http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/13913-son-of-man

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