In my personal discussions with unbelievers, I find that there are far more people who reject a distorted view of Jesus than the real Jesus. They have seen a Jesus presented that is not really Jesus, perhaps by unbelievers, but more often by those that claim Him. When they reject a distorted Jesus, they are not really rejecting Jesus, but something far less, usually something that Jesus himself rejected. Hence, the question of who is Jesus is pivotal. Mahatma Ghandi said, “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”
Jesus WAS God in human form. One miracle is all we need to make this claim, the resurrection. If the resurrection is real, then all the other miracles, the virgin birth, and even the Old Testament claims become believable. I have already written about how we can believe this was an authentic miracle. Take time to read this blog if you struggle with this assertion.
Jesus is NOT another God. God is one (not three). Any view of God that creates another version of God is not sustainable, logically or biblically. Just as Bohr’s model of the atom helps school children to understand the atom, the concept of trinity helps us understand God in different forms. People struggle with a God who prays to himself, but it is no different than the hand that can only do what the brain tells it to do.
Jesus HAS ALWAYS BEEN God in human form. Jesus was before all things. Just as the Spirit of God was present at the creation, “moving over the surface of the waters,” so the incarnation of God was present in the garden of Eden. Man and woman “heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day.” Abraham fed, washed, and bargained with God face to face. Moses regularly met with God “face to face, just as a man speaks to his friend.” He appeared to Job, Jacob, David and the prophets (Eze 1:26, Isa 6:1). After his death and resurrection, he appeared in the flesh to the apostles and others, as many as 500 at a time. He appeared to Saul who became the apostle Paul. He later appeared to John again. He is the last thing.
Jesus was God in COMMON form. He was born in the most ordinary place, to a poor family, in a nation ruled by another people (Luke 2). He was homeless. He was not particularly handsome or attractive. He took on a common name, for no one has been given His heavenly name. Jeshua is the Aramaic form of Jesus. In the Old Testament priestly family line alone, we see three priests by that name. We are also introduced to Bar-Jesus in the New Testament. Perhaps he would have been named Mike or David or Joe if he came today. He can be called by many other names, my lord, wonderful counselor, mighty god, eternal father, prince of peace. He suffered many things and was rejected by His generation. He even submitted to torture and death on the cross.
Jesus IS God in common form. Notice the change in tense. He is the hungry beggar you pass every day. He is the thirsty illegal alien who mows your yard. He is the shy, lonely girl that no one accepts. He is the naked elderly man walking down the hall at the nursing home. He is the stroke victim that lives across the street. He is the convict that will rot in jail. (Matt 25:31-46)
I find the following verse very instructional at how the ‘Son of God’ relates to the ‘sons of God’. Jesus was sent from God, but others can also be gods.
The Jews picked up stones again to stone Him. Jesus answered them, “I showed you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you stoning Me?”
The Jews answered Him, “…for blasphemy; and because You, being a man, make Yourself out to be God.”
Jesus answered them, “Has it not been written in your Law, ‘I said, you are gods’? If he called them gods, to whom the word of God came…, do you say of Him, whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’? If I do not do the works of My Father, do not believe Me; but if I do them, though you do not believe Me, believe the works, so that you may know and understand that the Father is in Me, and I in the Father.” (John 10:31-38)