Pastor's Blog

I’ve gotten the feeling that many evangelicals see Jesus as being God in a “man costume” – as though Jesus knew He was God “inside a body” and was looking through a “human” Halloween mask at life. 

As though His deity simply overrode and overpowered the difficulties of the human experience.

As though His humanity wasn’t real.

But when I read the gospels I get the impression that Jesus’ physical and emotional and spiritual experiences were all very real.  He got hungry and tired.  He got frustrated and angry.  And he was faced with temptations and tests of character exactly like we are. 

But when He faced these things I don’t see Jesus knowing that He is God so much as I see Him knowing the Father, having intimate connection with the Father.  I believe that from His earliest days when He faced tests and temptations His natural inclination was to turn to the heavenly Father in complete dependence and whatever the Father wanted made perfect sense to Him, and that governed every moral choice that He made.

I believe that with each life experience the sense of His bond with the Father grew deeper and stronger.  He didn’t have to “work it up”;  it’s just the way He saw and experienced life.

I believe that is the way Adam and Eve would have seen life before they yielded to the temptation.  But their taste of independence from deity – of being in the place of deity – when they chose to disobey somehow altered them and their progeny.  That “somehow” is the mystery of sin and its work in our lives.  We don’t know how it works or why.  We just know it’s a part of our experience.  If the sign says “Don’t touch” we feel an inner impulse to touch.

And “somehow” – though Jesus was born fully human, He experienced life more like Adam and Eve before the temptation rather than after it.  He experienced humanity – but not fallenness, it seems – and that is another aspect of the mystery of the incarnation.  If the sign said “Don’t touch”, Jesus knew both options just as Adam and Eve would have – to touch or not to touch -- but Jesus would immediately know that obedience was the right choice and would then choose to refrain from touching.

I believe Jesus experienced this comfortable, intimate connection with the Father, from the start.  It was how He saw life.  It was not the disconnect that we experience, the inherent powerful self-focus, the natural bent toward self, the centralization of self that makes sin what it is.  Jesus was able to deny self – not because He thought first about others – but because He thought first about the Father and what the Father wanted – and that Father-centeredness directed His perspective on Himself and others.

More to the point – and here is where I think we Christians find that we struggle -- Jesus wanted and enjoyed maintaining that connection with the Father and the perspective on life that was born of it.  Our Christian faith says that when we are “born again”, the Spirit of God breathes life into us and fixes our connection to the Father.  We are no longer blind to Him or His ways.  We can see.

But we have grown comfortable wearing the very thick glasses of sin.  And although we are forgiven of our sins, the “somehow” of sin-in-us is “somehow” not removed – yet another mystery in Christianity but a fact that we can all confirm.  We see and know what is right but the old glasses blur our vision or interrupt the signal – and back and forth we go in our struggle to obey.

Jesus never wore those glasses.  He was born with 20/20 vision when He looked to the Father.

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