This article is part of a series looking at the Oxymoronic names of God and how understanding them helps us live as Christians in a fallen world. Please click here to read the introductory article and to find links to other articles in the series.
It’s easy to think that Jesus was some sort of hybrid. A one-of-a-kind blend of divinity and humanity, like mixing blue and yellow to make green. As if he were an utterly different colour to us.
But no, he was fully human and fully divine—Blue and yellow.
God in human form is not unique to Christianity. Other religions celebrate gods who take on mortality; they make god in our image, rather than the other way round. I live in Nepal, so I’m familiar with Hindu gods. Greek and Roman myths contain many more examples too.
Yet, in these stories, the gods become human to maximise their physicality. They put on a body so they can wage war against humans. Or, they want to indulge in human sensuality, and a human body permits them to sleep with whomever they desire.
Jesus was utterly different.
He took on a human form to empathise with our weaknesses and know what it is like to be tempted. He learnt obedience and made himself completely vulnerable as a baby. To begin with, He couldn’t feed himself, talk or control any aspect of His life. Furthermore, He didn’t choose to be born to a wealthy family but arrived in obscurity.
A helpless God is unique.
You couldn’t make it up. Only God could have come up with such a strategy to be with us. What an incredible friend we have in Jesus.
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathise with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. Hebrews 4:15- 16
He learned obedience from what he suffered. Hebrews 5:8
One of the most powerful and memorable meditations I have done was a sensory imagining of what Jesus went through in the wilderness following his baptism.
At once the Spirit sent him out into the wilderness, and he was in the wilderness forty days, being tempted by Satan. He was with the wild animals, and angels attended him. Mark 1:12 – 13
It was cold at night; Jesus would have had goosebumps.
He would have sweated during the day; soon, he would have been able to smell Himself.
The glare of the sun across the bare earth would have hurt His eyes.
He would have missed the voices of His family, and at night, He might have felt scared by the sound of desert animals.
Of course, He would have felt ravenous too.
He endured so much more, and I encourage you to meditate on everything He went through. All of his sufferings were voluntary.
Jesus was a divine-human; it will take me more than a lifetime to get my head around it.
To return to the Oxymoronic God series of articles, please click here.
DislocatedChristians exists to create and support a community of like-minded people. My prayer is that you’ll find some echoes of your dilemmas with church and culture in these pieces, and it will encourage you to know others have the same struggles. Please like, comment on or share my articles if you’ve found them helpful. I’d be immensely grateful if you could follow me; click towards the bottom of the page.
If you’d like to support my writing, please consider buying one of my books.
Just as we are each a work in progress, so too is DislocatedChristians. Sometimes I’ll get things wrong, and I hope you’ll forgive me and continue to stick around when that happens.