Friday, December 30, 2011

God Was Uniquely Present in Jesus

"In this real flesh-and-blood man, Jesus of Nazareth, God was uniquely present in the world. This man was not just a great teacher of profound truths about God and the secret of a happy, successful life. He was not just a revolutionary political leader with a vision of a more human and just society. He was not just a great moral hero for us to imitate as best we can. He was not just a very godlike personality, the model of a truly spiritual life. Nor was he just the founder of a religious club later called the church, where religious people with a common interest in him come together to admire him and admire themselves for admiring him. To know this man is not just to know a very great, very good, very wise, very spiritual human being. It is to know God. His very name is 'Jesus,' which in Hebrew means 'God helps' or 'God saves' (Matt. 1:21). He is the 'Christ,' the 'Messiah,' the 'Anointed One' of God. He is the 'Son of God' (Mark 1:1). His miraculous birth is a sign of the fact that where he comes from, who he is, and what he does cannot be explained in terms of the ordinary process of human life and history. This man comes from God. What he says and does is God's word and action. He is 'Emmanuel,' God-with-us (Matt. 1:23)."

~ Shirley C. Guthrie, Christian Doctrine (1994)