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