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Friday, February 22, 2013

Was Jesus A Real Human?

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Was Jesus A Real Human? -  Michael J. S. Austin, Ph.D.


There are a whole pile of amazing ideas about Jesus, that he was somehow so weird and different, he was paranormal. How do we sort this out and discover what he was really like? Is it possible, so long after - perhaps we are just day dreaming? Surely, the only reliable way is to ask people who spent time with him, and who watched him closely. At least, let's try that.
1. CALL WITNESSES
We want to get to the bottom of this. Was Jesus like a heavenly phantom, a sort of other-worldly alien; or a real human who was also something higher, mysterious and intangible? The people who watched him closely, or knew others who did are the best witnesses. We had better ask them!
Luke was familiar with the details of Jesus birth and wrote that Mary 'gave birth to her firstborn son' (Luke 2:7). While some of the events of Jesus' birth were unique, his mother had a normal delivery. Jesus' childhood development was also described by Luke: 'the child grew and became strong' (Luke2:40). Later, when Jesus was crossing a lake in a small fishing boat, he became so tired, 'he fell asleep' (Luke 8:23).
2. NO-NONSENSE TYPES
On a personal level, Jesus commanded the high allegiance of no-nonsense types - fishermen who, when he called them, immediately 'left everything and followed him' (Luke 5:11). Jesus experienced highs of elation, when 'he rejoiced in the Holy Spirit' (Luke 10:21), but he also suffered great grief over the much-loved city of Jerusalem, and the things that would befall its people, for when he 'saw the city, he wept over it' (Luke 19:41). All of these instances reveal Jesus to be a healthy, highly motivated person, unlikely to have a deranged mind.
3. A HIGHER AUTHORITY
However, there is another side to Jesus that may support the more bizarre ideas, and we need to review these. Jesus encountered many evil spirits - 'demons also came out of many, crying "You are the Son of God!" But he rebuked them and would not allow them to speak, because they knew he was the Christ' (Luke 4:41). From all four Gospels, Jesus shows his supreme authority over the fallen spirits. However, he never needs their witness to confirm his own claims.
John knew Jesus very well, and had listened to his many claims, such as 'I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life' (John 8:12).Usually, someone who says such things either has an inflated ego, who thinks the whole world is going to flock to him, or else there is some evidence to back up his claim. As it is, there are hundreds of millions of people, for whom Jesus has become their light of life.
He also made a clear distinction between himself and others, 'You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world' (John 8:23).
4. THE GREAT 'I AM'!
Perhaps it is this sort of saying that suggests Jesus is an alien from another world. Does he clarify this? Once, he calmly said 'before Abraham was, I am' (John 8:58), and immediately faced people who intended to stone him as his words 'I am' translate one of God's names, as the ever-existing, great I AM, and the people who heard Jesus knew this. Jesus also claimed direct equality with God, 'I and the Father are one' (John 10:30). Eventually the religious authorities had Jesus crucified, but even that was central to his plan 'because I lay down my life that I may take it up again' (John 10:17). After his death, still on the cross, 'one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once there came our blood and water. He who saw it has borne witness... ' (John 19:34-35). But that was not the end, for we also learn 'that in him there is no sin' (1 John 3:5) - in stark contrast to the rest of us, Jesus alone is sinless, but that after dying for others' sins, 'God raised him from the dead' (Acts 13:30).
Where does this sample of Jesus' words and witnesses to him leave our enquiry? We find that Jesus was born of a young Jewish woman, had an active life reaching out to large numbers of people, and that he died from severe blood-loss and trauma resulting from crucifixion - all pretty conclusive of genuine humanity.
5. A HIGHER LOVE
For people at that time, these claims were mind-blowing, and yet so many saw in Jesus a higher love, a deeper purpose, a gracious lowliness and genuine friendship, that in a few short years they were even prepared to die for their belief that Jesus was Lord supreme, born into our human family, who was none less than the eternal God, the Son, through whom 'All things were made' (John 1:3), and that he had rescued them from sin's darkness and condemnation.
Despite coming in such lowly circumstances, now in his ascended glory the Lord Jesus is pre-eminent, for 'in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross' (Colossians 1:20).
Jesus, the God-Man is not a hybrid, not a bizarre phantom-like alien, but a truly sensitive and compassionate man, who is God, the eternal Son, one Person forever united in two perfectly integrated natures, who came to be our Saviour - for 'everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved' (Romans 10:13). No time like today!
Michael J. S. Austin, Ph.D. - PRESENTING CHRIST Hello, my big goal is to show that biblical Christianity appeals to careful thinking, and is powerfully relevant today. So, I aim to share the good news of Christ crucified, risen and ascended - a Saviour who is worthy of your full confidence. And I write to help you find faith or to strengthen your faith, so that you may be SURE. I share Evangelical and Reformed convictions and have a Ph.D. from Reformation International Theological Seminary for work on the validity of reason. Use this link to my very latest Amazon Kindle e-book: 'FOR SURE! - Assurance and Evangelicalism' http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00AG0WK84 Read and enjoy, and please recommend to others - Thank you! Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Michael_J._S._Austin,_Ph.D.  Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/7434109

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