GOD BECOMING MAN IS A HISTORICAL AUTHENTICITY
The history of the Jewish people shows that God was involved in the daily affairs of mankind. They knew of a God who was Almighty, Omnipresent, and Omniscient. He is all-powerful, and He created the World by the tiding of His mouth. He spoke, and things came to be. He said, “Let there be light and light came to be” Genesis 1:3. To their surprise, here comes a man who talks, walks, and does things like that God. The words He says are so powerful and have life. They realized that the long-awaited Yahweh had finally returned to them in person. The personified word, wisdom, glory, and spirit they knew of are now manifested and standing before them in the “here and now” person of Jesus of Nazareth. Can any good thing come out of Nazareth? Come and see!
GOD BECOMING MAN IS A HISTORICAL AUTHENTICITY
The history of the Jewish people shows that God was involved in the daily affairs of mankind. They knew of a God who was Almighty, and all Omnipresent and Omniscient. He is all-powerful and He created the World by the tiding of His mouth. He spoke, and things came to be. He said, “Let there be light, and light came to be” Genesis 1:3
They knew God rescued them from bondage in Egypt with a mighty hand and outstretched arms. On their 40-year journey through the wilderness, they witnessed astounding miracles. “During the forty years that I led you through the wilderness, your clothes did not wear out, nor did the sandals on your feet” Exodus 29:5. He revealed Himself at Mount Sinai. When He commanded them to build a Temple for His dwelling, they were convinced that God was immanent and personal.
N.T. Wright, the Bishop of Durham, explains the authenticity of incarnation from the perspective of the first-century Jews of Jesus’s time, including how they understood God and God’s actions in this world and Israel in five ways. They talk about the Word of God, meaning they knew an omnipotent God who created the Universe and man. They equated God with wisdom and experienced a God who was wise. They almost personified wisdom and looked upon it as the “second self.” This wisdom dwells within Israel and the world, and instructs them to be wise. They also speak of the glory of God; that is, they knew that God dwelt in the temple, and they knew that God promised to descend from heaven and remain in the temple later in Jerusalem. They also talk about the Law of God, meaning they knew about a God who is not only the perfect lawgiver but also an ontologically existing force that reveals Himself or makes Himself known.
Finally, they talk about the spirit of God, meaning they know about a God who dwells in certain chosen people who did extraordinary things that ordinary people could not do. For example, Samson and many other spirit-filled prophets have done great things. They believed that this God would come to rebuild the temple and free them from Rome's oppression. The Messiah is so mighty that the Romans must pack their bags and flee.
To their surprise, here comes a man who talks, walks, and does things like that, God. The words He says are so powerful and have lived in them. “The words I have spoken to you are spirit, and they are life.” John 6:63. They recall God’s promises with their forefathers, “I am making a covenant with you. Before all your people I will do wonders never before done in any nation in all the world. The people you live among will see how awesome is the work that I, the Lord, will do for you” Exodus 34:10. Now they see the miracles He is doing before their eyes.
He stilled the roaring sea. This reminds them of God himself, who divided the waters of the Red Sea and led them to dry land. They are astonished and wonder, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!” He feeds five thousand with five loaves of bread and two fish, reminding them of the manna their forefathers had received in the wilderness. He mesmerizes them by walking on water, opening the eyes of the blind, healing the deaf and dumb, and raising the dead. People come from every quarter, and all those who touched, even the very edge of His garment, is healed and to their utter dismay, He remains the only physician who never lost a patient. They are amazed at His miracles and say, “no one can do these signs unless God is with him.”
He commands, “Lazarus, come forth!” And the dead man, after four days, steps out of the sleepless sepulture. They marvel at His words of wisdom as He speaks and exclaim, "No man has ever spoken like Him!" He says, “Son, your sins are forgiven,” not only your sins, but any sins, and they are stunned. They know that only God can forgive and they ask, perhaps, He has the authority to find the guilty innocent. When He cast out the demons by commanding, “Be quiet and come out of him,”’ amazement came upon them saying, “What is this message?” For with authority and power he commands, and they come out.”
When He says, “you have heard, it was said… but I say unto you,” they marvel at His authority and are convinced that He fulfilled the law. Only God can say this with such authority. They are astonished at His understanding and answers. His answers are so precise and flawless that no one dares to ask Him any more questions. More shocking is when He states, “Before Abraham was ‘I AM,’” which reminds them of the mighty name “I AM WHO I AM,” God had spoken about to the Prophet Moses, who prophesied about the future Messiah” ‘The Lord, your God, will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own people; you must listen to everything he tells you.’ (Deuteronomy, 3:22). Is He deliberately invoking the very words to make the point “I AM HE?”
When he triumphantly entered Jerusalem, they exclaimed: Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” They are witnessing the greatest historical event in all of world history before their own eyes. He convinces them to believe in His claim to be God. The king-the deliverer, the prophesied Messiah, has returned to His people. The long-awaited Yahweh finally returned to them in person. So, the personified word, wisdom, glory and spirit they knew of is now manifested and standing before them in the “here and now” in the person of Jesus of Nazareth. Can any good thing come out of Nazareth? Come and see! According to Wright, Jesus literally believed that He was called to embody (In Latin incarnation) the return of Yahweh to Zion.
1. Flew Anthony, Varghese R. A. There is a God. Harper One. 195 Broad Way, New York, NY
1007. 2007, p 188-95.
LETTING HUMANITY KNOW HOW JESUS CHRIST FULFILLED
THE ETERNAL QUEST OF MAN AS REVEALED IN THE HUMAN
GENOME/THE BOOK OF LIFE.