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Friday: Further Thought ~ Jesus, The Promised Son — 17 Comments

  1. I am not a genealogist, but I do have an interest in my ancestry and like to talk to those members of the family who are obsessed with searching ancient documents and finding out where the family have lived and what they have been up to. (There is really only room for one obsessing in my life and bird photography fills that space nicely.) It was interesting to visit England many years ago and see the houses where my great grandparents lived. I met people who had descended from the same stock as me and felt that sense of "belonging" even though we lived on opposite sides of the earth.

    I often wondered why the Bible furnishes us with not one, but two genealogies of Jesus. Surely, he was the Son of God and that is sufficient isn't it? While the two genealogies differ (that is another topic) what is the point of having genealogies at all? Perhaps the real reason for their inclusion was to show that while Jesus was God he was also human. He is also one of us. I know that there is a whole branch of theology that studies this concept in depth, but for the rest of us, it is reassuring to know the Son of God is also the Son of Man, who was tempted like us and who suffered pain and mental anguish like us. He has a human ancestry just like us. He was not some sort of spirit person with a "smoke and mirrors" existence but a real touchable person who spoke our language.

    In some ancient cultures there are two levels of existence. There was the everyday life that most people were involved in. Then there was the spiritual level which had its own special language and which only the initiated understood. Christianity was never meant to be thought of in that way. Just as Jesus was the Son of God and the Son of Man, so our Christianity must bridge the gap between God and Man in such a way that it can be understood by all. Our efforts to preach the Gospel is not so much about trying to induct people into a spiritual world but rather demonstrating the fusion of the relationship between God and us.

  2. I commend today's lesson for hillighting that Jesus coming to earth, which involved Him permanently becoming both human and divine, was necessary for the fulfilling of a range of functions at the same time.

    1) Authentically becoming the new, replacement (substitute) head of humanity - referred to by Paul most succinctly in Romans 5:12-19 as the second Adam. This was necessary because humanity (under the 'fall' of the first Adam into self-seeking) was doomed to extinction and nothing could arise from within that humanity to fix this (as per Romans 5:12-14). How did Jesus fix this? By entering humanity from outside of humanity, yet becoming authentically human, Jesus became a valid substitute head of humanity who then successfully faced every possible temptation to resort to self-seeking that was thrown at Him by Satan in an attempt to derail Him just like Satan had derailed the first Adam. Because Jesus was successful, He became the first human to retain the right to eternal life. This is how He defeated the devil's 'kidnapping' of the human race and reversed ('ransomed') the otherwise exclusively terminal condition of humanity as a whole. While this meant that humanity as a species was no longer exclusively terminal, this 'inheritance' also needed to be distributed to each member of humanity who was free to either embrace and live in harmony with that inheritance or reject it and continue to live in accordance with the principle of self-seeking via doing what seemed right in their own eyes - ie, the default inheritance of each human under the first Adam (Romans 5:12-14; Psalm 51:5; Deuteronomy 12:8).

    2) Since Genesis 3, Satan has been relentless in misportraying God's nature and character (and the ways of God's Kingdom) to each and every person on this planet in order to try and deceive them, like Eve and Adam, into losing trust in God and therefore resorting to self-reliance instead. And Satan has been very effective in his efforts - so much so that it was necessary for God to personally come to earth in human form to counter the misrepresentation and misportrayal first-hand. Thus Jesus is our most accurate reference-point for truly understanding who God is and what His ways are. The need is for each human to realise that God is not the one who will turn against us and can therefore be fully and completely trusted. We are the ones who turn against God and that is how we lose connection with life - just like Eve and Adam did. And when we can see this picture of God, it also changes how we see others around us and ignites and grows our compassion and love to also work with God in this 'mission' (as per 2 Peter 3:9).

    As we continue through Hebrews, we will be offered the opportunity to see how much God and Jesus are both, exactly alike, for us - how they 'get' (understand) our challenges and struggles as fallen humans because of Jesus first-hand experience, and therefore how much they want to offer all of their resources and indwelling support via the Holy Spirit to help us embrace and live out the inheritance that the second Adam gave up all to make available to each and every one of us.

    The metaphors of the second Adam and the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world come together in the oneness that they always were referring to in the book of Hebrews... as we will continue to see over the coming weeks.

  3. I’ve always loved nature. Since I was young, I’ve always felt at home outdoors. I’ll never forget, being 6, 7, 8 years old, sitting on the curb of our driveway, staring into the sky. Somehow, knowing I could talk to God. And He was listening. I’ll also never forget my Daddy and sisters making fun because they thought that I was talking to leaves. I’m 53 now, and they still chuckle about it. That tickled the family, in fact, just last year. In their defense, I do remember having an interest in leaves. And my family still distinctly remembers one conversation: one day, they asked who I was talking to and my young self told them I was talking to leaves. Amidst their laughter, I reasoned, “Leaves are my friends.” I hate to admit it, but I do remember saying it. And I assure you, they won’t let me forget.

    Brother Maurice, I’ve long appreciated your insights. This morning’s discussion about genealogy and the “point of having genealogies at all” led me to respond. It encourages my soul to remember that Jesus has both a human and a heavenly ancestry. I’ve never really studied my family’s ancestry. Instead, I’ve always just been incessantly grateful for the family beside me- the people I see. For beautiful, God-fearing parents who treated each one of my three siblings and I like we were everything to them. And for the most selfless, loving siblings I also get to journey this life with.

    This is my first time considering genealogy at all. I conceive of it as providing some sense of belonging and situating us somewhere in space and time. I hope it encourages someone- this inspiration I’m left with: Jesus, with his human genealogy and heavenly ancestry, is the Great I Am. Who is situated beyond space or time. He is the eternal I AM. He was yesterday. He is ever present right now. And He will always be.

    I am now a mental health and addiction therapist and one main issue most of my clients struggle with is who they are. For various reasons, they abhor themselves. And my ‘work’ is to help them see who they are. I’m humbled by the honor of helping them see themselves through the eyes of our Savior. And the eternal I Am. If you struggle with who you are, or where you are on this phase of your journey through life, I hope it helps to know that God is there. Yesterday. Now. And always. And to know that when our beautiful Creator said, “Let Us make man in our image, after Our likeness,” They did that.

    Which makes me wonder as I still go outside wee hours most mornings. I live out in the country, so there are open fields behind my home stretching as far as I can see and I still stare up into starry skies. So, it’s still just me and God talking. Nowadays, I wonder: “When I consider the heavens, the works of Your fingers, the moon and the stars You have appointed, who am I that You, great beautiful God, are mindful of me? And I think the answer is, “You’re My child. I made you like Me. I gave you the best human genealogy a person could ask for. Your parents, siblings and now your spouse.” And my heart is so full because I know I also have the King of Creation, the Redeemer of our souls as my infinite heavenly ancestry.

    Ancestry tends to make us look back. I’m looking forward to meeting Him tomorrow.

      • Thank you, Sarah. That warms my heart. I smiled when I wrote about my earthly family. I sobbed my way through typing, as I considered our immense God, how we are truly in His image and how much He adores us.

    • Hi Sharen

      Welcome to this blog. Please continue to share more of your insights across time - especially with respect to your experience/s and insights related to the intersection of mental health, addictions, Christian faith and the Christian faith journey.

      God bless you in your ministry with your clients...

    • This idea of "ancestry" and Jesus being both Divine and Human etc. I like this. Jesus had them both and so did Melchizedek because these Kings and Priests were and are "One and the same." The OT records only "One" King that was also a priest, Melchizedek. The book of Hebrews says that this King and Priest had "No beginning of days nor end of life." This then also applies to Jesus. Then the Apostle Paul goes on to describe Jesus as the "Second Adam." We have a "sinful nature." because of the First Adam. Then via "faith" towards the Second Adam, we then end up with a "sinless nature." And God sees Jesus His Son in us. Wow, what a God.

      • I've enjoyed your insights, Pete. Our second Adam has no beginning or end of days. Our divine ancestral heritage, Who exists beyond space and time, chose to make Himself in our form - in the form of the same clay He molded and breathed His own breath into, and the Majesty of heaven is forever intimately a part of the human race. Thereby He covers us, so God sees His son when He looks at us. Lovely thought.

  4. For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son(He like the Father and the Holy Spirit, always was and forever is)(also, He initiated the last days, God spoke to us by Him, He is the Creator of the Universe, and God's glory emanates through Him) that who soever believeth in Him shall not parish, but have  everlasting life.  John 3:16.

    • It's amazing to me though, Brother John, that some scholars are now seeking to remove the word "begotten" from John 3:16. Sadly, our own Biblical Research Institute is in that league. Without that one Word, the whole gospel crumbles.

      • As I mentioned earlier in the week, Jesus was begotten (of Mary and the Holy Spirit), but unless you know Greek better than the scholars you degenerate, please withhold your judgement of them. Anyone who knows more than a smattering of Greek knows for a fact that the word begotten does not belong in Jn 3:16. The scholars are only trying to be faithful to the original. They are not trying to burst anyone's theological bubble. Christ's birth is well attested to in other scriptures. the fact that John didn't really intend to bring it into this particular verse should not cause anyone scandal.

        • Thank-you Wilton. I was getting confused, as their are two views presented this week. How does the Greek compare with the Hebrew. My scant research is there is no such word begotten in Hebrew. That would put the whole world as sons and daughters of God if they come to God through Christ. I believe your message of Thursday also, thus also William and the Adventist Biblical Research Institute, that it is necessary to change the word begotten to three words, 'One and Only'. For God so loved the world that He gave His One and Only Son, that who soever believeth in Him will not perish, but have everlasting life. At our age I do believe we will have to rely on God to retrain our memory of our childhood memory verse. 😃

  5. Have Christians become too absorbed by this life that they are in danger to forget their miraculous placement in Christ Jesus - the privilege to be in the presence of God at all times? This privilege is evidenced by the life they live and reflects whether or not they love God with all their heart and soul or not.
    Our Creator moved heaven and earth to bring His children home; have we become too casual about our homecoming, has it lost its joy? We can learn all the facts and theological truths in our bible studies at any time, but how do we go about our personal relationship with the Savior?

    What about the relational side of God's Truth? Do we live our lives in recognition of that we are in our Savior at all times and with that in the presence of the Father in Heaven? That we are safely tucked away in Him with the assurance that when we come to the Throne of the Father with our petitions that He will hear us because of the Love and Faithfulness of His Son, knowing that He sees all our shortcomings as well?

    Could our busy lives lead to lower our awareness that redemptive work is ongoing? Has our personal redemption lost its glorious shine because we line it up alongside other ‘accomplishments’ we achieved in our lifetime? Have we lost the humbleness of the awareness that we have been brought from death to life in this life of ours? Does our love of the Redeemer still occupy the highest place of focus and thanksgiving in our life?

    When I read Ellen White’s book ‘The Desire of Ages’, I was spellbound by her clear and precise language reflecting that which all the world hungers for – Salvation is found in the Son of God, our Lord and Savior Christ Jesus. My living soul has always hungered for clarity about the spiritual aspects governing life; she was, and in turn we are greatly blessed by reflecting on her writings.

    Her quotes: “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased,” embraces humanity; that - in Christ Jesus ‘we are acceptable in the Beloved’; that - ’Christ Jesus’ glory is a pledge of the love of the Father for us!’
    May these quotes, when reflected on, help highten our awareness and bring back deep-felt appreciation for the most important encounter man can ever be privileged to experience in this life - his/her personal meeting with the beloved Savior Christ Jesus, the Son of God, through whom the Father pledges the believing soul: ‘This is My beloved child, in whom I am well pleased”. We have been born-again to love one another!

  6. The question to "Dwell on the importance of the eternal deity of Christ. What is lost if we believe that Jesus were somehow, in some way, a created being, like us, but who went to the cross? Contrast that thought with the reality that Christ was eternal God, and He Himself went to the cross. What is the big difference between the two ideas?" is deep indeed. The Scriptures clearly teach that Christ is the Creator (Colossians 1:16) and is the divine Son of God. His deity is without question, because He is "the express image of God" Hebrews 1:3. God created "by" Him, hence Christ cannot be a created being. Yet when it is taken that He is "the eternal God" there is confusion, because some take it that God is the same being as "The Son of God". Not so, according to the Scriptures. Christ is a separate being from His Father. His eternality is forward from the time He was begotten, which is too far back in eternity for us to fathom. One way to understand this is to know that we too, when we believe in the only begotten Son of God, get "life eternal" (John 17:3), yet we cannot be said to have existed eternally backwards in time. To acknowledge that Christ was begotten from the Father, just as the Scriptures say, helps us to believe that Christ is eternal indeed, but it also does not belittle the Bible fact that He was begotten from the Father. Without a begotten Son of God, we have no salvation and no heaven to hope for.

    • Christ is God

      Isaiah 9:6 KJV
      For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.


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