Annelise on Hebrews 2:17
In the Christian scriptures, Hebrews chapter 2 discusses why Jesus needed to be human. The author wrote that a human, not angels, will rule over the world to come. He also speculated that it is fitting for humanity’s ‘saviour’ to suffer as we do. Verse 17 specifically describes Jesus becoming “like his brothers in every respect.”
The worshipers of Jesus read this as a reference to “God taking on human nature,” but a huge question arises from such a reading. This is not theological hairsplitting, by the way, but an important question of loyalty to worship our Creator alone.
There are two ways of looking at it.
If Jesus ‘took on’ this human nature when he was conceived with a human body and human will, then his human nature was created at that time. As part of creation, Jesus’ human nature owed worship to God. Also, we don’t owe worship to it.
On the other hand, if Jesus’ human nature was uncreated then it was different from ours: not ‘human’ at all, as the Christian scriptures say he was.
Perhaps a third option is to call it a mystery of faith. This can’t be. Israel’s covenant with God clearly describes the relationship that all created beings have with their Creator alone. So, to see Jesus being indistinguishable from his created human nature really answers the question of whether to direct worship toward him.
Faithfulness to God takes this seriously, while faithfulness more to Jesus-as-God pushes against it. No amount of Christology or heresy-avoidance can merge together the worship of Jesus and belief in the Christian scriptures with the loyalty to worship God alone.
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Yisroel C. Blumenthal
Good one, Annelise!
This post about Jesus somehow reminded me of the Kris Kristofferson song; “he’s a walking contradiction, partly truth and partly fiction,
taking every wrong direction….”. I see so many contradictions in the NT and in Christian theology, that I don’t know where to begin or how to keep my comment short. According to the principles of truth or of logic that was given to us by God, where 2 things that are true add up to a truth and where 1 lie added to another lie still equals a lie, how is it that some theologians or “believers” believe that a lie added to a truth (or vice versa) makes all of the combination 100% “truth”? If something (or somebody) is 100% one thing, how can it be 100% something else at the same time & in the same place? Figures can lie, but it is more likely that liars can figure. Can God lie? If we believe God is or was a man, than human nonsense can become God’s “truth”. God is then shaped in the “image of Man”, where one’s humanistic god can actually die. With such a “god” all lies are possible”.
If Jesus was a son of Adam (and David) and a son of Eve, then how did he escape being a victim of the NT theology of “the fall of Man” and yet be 100% man (at the same time being 0% man)?
Jesus supposedly “bore our cross”, but then a man bore his “cross”, so is the law of Jesus one that had him bear our burdens”? Or, do we, according to Galatians 6:2, “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.”? Or is the law as that in Galatians 6:5, “For each will have to bear his own load”?
Can we resist evil without Jesus? Cain was not a good example, but God thought he could overcome & have “uplift”. Was God wrong? Will God draw near to us, if we draw near to God without “believing or drawing near to Jesus”? James 4:7-8 reads “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you….” So we can do it, like Judaism says and like the “OT” says so often, and even the NT says (most clearly with the “prodigal son), without blood, which some naïve or some stiff-necked folk believe is absolutely required. But with sacrifices, the gift is from the individual worshipper to God. From one heart to God directly. Jesus cuts off that relationship between God and His Child. It is sort of like, God doesn’t like our gifts so he gets his own and then tells us to imagine it is from us. Or, maybe Cain could be uplifted just by imagining that Abel’s gift was actually his?
Is there a difference between a “son of God” and God? Or do some words, like “son” and “of” have no meaning and no purpose except to confuse us? Is there a relationship between God and God, sort of like the “father of God” relating to God? Could the “son who is god” exist before the “father who is god”? Can God be God without being a father? When was Jesus “declared to be a son of God” and by what or by whose spirit or power or by what method? Is there a hint in Romans 1:4? “… was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection….” If a son of God (i.e., Jesus) is also a descendent of David, isn’t David also equivalent to “The Lord” or at least higher in power and authority than his offspring, his son, Jesus (using the logic of Psalm 110, David is Lord to “the lord Jesus”)? When one starts off with an absurd notion (like a “devil” or a divine Son idea or a Trinity concept or Tri-theism, all of which appear to contradict or negate the “One God” concept & Monotheism), one keeps veering off into all sorts of absurdities or wrong directions. Some people revel in “secrets” and “mysteries”; I prefer reality & revelation.
Jesus can’t be God (or else Jesus was not tempted by an “evil being”), since according to Chapter 1 of James in the NT, “…God cannot be tempted with evil….” But, Jesus could have been only a “sinful” man “born of the flesh” ruled by his own desires, since as James next explains, “each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire.” It is interesting that Jesus is saved from evil by first quoting from the Torah (Deut. 8:3 of the “obsolete Law”), then by “not tempting” God by recalling Deut. 6:16, and then finally agreeing with Deut. 6:13 which states that one must “worship the Lord your God, and serve him only” (which means worshipping and serving the God of Jesus -our God, our Father- and not a “son of god” as pagans might).
In Romans 1:22, 23, & 25, the NT author has this to say about Jesus who was or who resembled the image of a mortal man, a creature or a created being: “Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man….”
“because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator….”
“Do not put your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no salvation!” (Psalm 146:3). Time and time again the Christian bible says Jesus is the “son of man.” G-d tells you not to trust the son of man, because in him there is no salvation.