Here’s something that has occupied the spare processing cycles in my brain when the screen saver is active. In other words, there is something that I have been considering deeply.
For unto us a child is born,Isaiah 9:6 — Modern English Version (Thinline Edition.; Lake Mary, FL: Passio, 2014)
unto us a son is given, and the government shall be upon his shoulder. And his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.
This is one of those memory verses I learned from years of listening to Handel’s Messiah. In that first line is a distinction that is easy to overlook. A child is born and a son is given. It is a prophetic announcement of the birth of Jesus. A child would be born to us humans. Not just any child, but a Son would be given. That Son would be unique. This announcement clearly shows that Jesus is God, not that He came from God.
In a discussion on the Godhead I just perused, I again pondered this idea. This God-Man… This Son, or Word, that was given to us. The interesting part of the conversation prompted me to write my thoughts down and share them.
The discussion was over the Son or Word and whether saying He is begotten by God somehow darkens the idea of His existence from “eternity past.” It’s precisely what derives from the idea of being begotten means, and sort of considers the hypostatic union. That is the union of God and man that is Jesus.
I want to give a foundation from here. This is what God says of Himself in the final chapters of the Old Testament.
For I am the Lord, I do not change; therefore you, O sons of Jacob, are not consumed.Malachi 3:6 — Modern English Version (Thinline Edition.; Lake Mary, FL: Passio, 2014)
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom is no change or shadow of turning. Of His own will He brought us forth with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of first fruits of His creatures.James 1:17–18 — Modern English Version (Thinline Edition.; Lake Mary, FL: Passio, 2014)
From these two witnesses, it is clear that God doesn’t change. The writer of Hebrews adds to this.
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, and today, and forever.Hebrews 13:8 — Modern English Version (Thinline Edition.; Lake Mary, FL: Passio, 2014)
How does a God Who doesn’t change incarnate?
It sort of intrigues me that the God Who clearly says He is the same and doesn’t change somehow put on humanity.
It is precisely that idea that I think is too simplistic of an explanation. If He puts on humanity, He changes. Or maybe that doesn’t count as a change.
God has a Unique Relationship with Humans
I think it goes back to something foundational.
Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness, and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the livestock, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”Genesis 1:26–27 — Modern English Version (Thinline Edition.; Lake Mary, FL: Passio, 2014)
So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.
This idea of God making us in His image. What is that, really?
I know one of my favorite Bible nerds says we are imagers. Meaning we get to make God known to others in unique ways.
What if this image is something profound like it is something that is really a part of God?
No… I am not drifting off into pantheism or panentheism.
I’m not saying we are God. Yet there is something more here. When you read the Bible, you’re going to read some things that you might be tempted to glance over.
Beloved, now are we children of God, and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be. But we know that when He appears, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.1 John 3:2 — Modern English Version (Thinline Edition.; Lake Mary, FL: Passio, 2014)
There is something so spectacular reserved for humanity. It cannot be put into words.
For those whom He foreknew, He predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, so that He might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom He predestined, He also called; and those whom He called, He also justified; and those whom He justified, He also glorified.Romans 8:29–30 — Modern English Version (Thinline Edition.; Lake Mary, FL: Passio, 2014)
It’s this imager-thing. We are made in His image initially and will be conformed to His image. There are other texts that iterate these ideas like being a joint-heir with Jesus.
Jesus even spoke of this in some of His last words before the crucifixion.
I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word, that they may all be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You. May they also be one in Us, that the world may believe that You have sent Me. I have given them the glory which You gave Me, that they may be one even as We are one: I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfect in unity, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.John 17:20–23— Modern English Version (Thinline Edition.; Lake Mary, FL: Passio, 2014)
I don’t think we can even begin to ponder what is in store for each of us who loves Jesus.