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So then, just what is one to make of this Jesus of Nazareth? Who was He? What was He? Part man, part God? All man? Perfect? Is it possible for a man, since the fall of Adam, to be flawless, and thereby live a sinless existence? Did not his failure prove that the human "design" was defective? Was this Nazarene a Christ having (actively), as it were (if the evangelical/fundamentalist ‘worldview’ holds water), a sort of dual or, “split-personality”: a kind of “Clark Kent” by day, a cosmic superman, by night? Was He a kind of Divine “Dr. Jekel” one minute, and a benign “Mr. Hyde”, the next? These and related issues this study proposes to tackle and settle once and for all, the Lord willing.
The Mystery: Christ Jesus Introduction 1 A Handbook on the Man from Galilee The Mystery: Christ Jesus Introduction 2 Introduction God is justly pleased and thrilled with the whole of His Creation. Everything He has done was, in its original state, good in every sense of the word. There are those aspects of the created order, however, which stand out as pinnacles, head and shoulders above the rest, even in His Holy Mind. It was not intended that everything should be either the same or on the same level. Strangely, in a universe that virtually "smells" and smacks of a certain "sameness", our God does in fact savor diversity. Hence, we see the Protective Cherub of Ezekiel (now the rebel Satan), created originally the capstone of all the angelic spirit beings and others of the "heavenly host". Then came man. Although on a rung in the chain of command slightly lower than that of the angels, he was—being fashioned in the "image" of his Maker—no less marvelous and, therefore, the capstone of all God's earth bound, physical creatures. Then, there came that juncture, where God merged eternity and time so as to present, for all to behold, a Capstone which was to be (and remains, as it will ever remain) pinnacle to all capstones. Human (fully), yet through procreation not birthed, "converted" or “morphed” (transformed), He was not created—the mystery of all ages was guided to fruition, as God….became Man. But, does anyone really understand this? Does anybody out there know, perceive, and appreciate this "Capstone" the way God presents Him in His written word? The scriptures show this to be a matter upper most, paramount in the Mind of God. While many write, preach, teach and/or speak on the subjects of God or the Holy Spirit, when it comes to the Christ, most, if not all (even among those who justifiably might be considered the best and brightest!), seem to have missed the point. Anyone grappling with the subject of Jesus and His humanity, tend to do so in general from the point of view of someone else (the so-called “evangelical worldview”, for instance; who himself or themselves ultimately may well have been clueless!)—or he is just plain wrong, regardless of how he draws his conclusions—thereby indicating that perhaps his walk with the Lord must, at best, have been "from some distance". In terms of the whole, far too many of today's preachers and teachers operate on a plateau not much higher than that of, in some cases, celebrated and distinguished, problems in God's solution (they are like the proverbial flies, in His ointment). The Mystery of all the Ages is to them just that, a "mystery"! Few are truly prepared (or concerned) to lead their congregations in circles indicative of everything God wishes His people to know on the subject. Their respective denominations have set themselves up and are looked to as authorities for the people within them, but, for the most part all indicators suggest they too are altogether careless and clueless. Shortsighted Bible studies and/or Sunday school programs leave new converts virtually as blind and backwards, theologically, as before their professions of faith. A Handbook on the Man from Galilee The Mystery: Christ Jesus Introduction 3 The chief stumbling block for most folks seems to be a willingness (or, a determination) to see the Christ (during His earthly days) as a mix, i.e., a God/man. They simply cannot (or will not) envision Him as all man. This fact really came home to "roost" earlier this year, while listening to a well-known, popular author and host of a widely circulated "Christian" talk show, as he tackled a question having to do in general with the humanity of the Messiah, as presented to him by a caller from New Jersey. The most appalling thing about the teacher‟s approach to the "Jesus" question lay in how he spoke freely and eloquently, without giving the slightest deference to the Word of God in support of his conclusions. He showed no grasp, not even a simple awareness that the Bible (NT) is replete with scriptures, which speak quite well to the issue of Jesus and His humanity from at least three points of view: 1) man's (what people in general and the apostles saw when they looked and considered Him), 2) God's (how God defined the "big picture") and, 3) Christ's own view (what He knew, in spite of how He presented Himself and wished to be perceived by men). 4) a bonus view, one might say, is that of the demonic world. For the first 30 years of His life, no one recognized Him; not even the demons. From the time He was indwelt by the Holy Spirit of God the Father, His humanity never seemed to hide the fact of His roots in Deity (from the demons; wherever and whenever He encountered them, they immediately knew Him; the presence of the Holy Spirit within Him was their beacon.). As His desire was to remain anonymous, He always demanded that the demons keep quiet, in light of what they saw, so as to not make Him known. Neither of the above views is negligible. All are necessary to fully understand and appreciate Him and His mission. At no time should, nor can any good teacher under any circumstance afford to attempt to do justice to a discussion of the subject of our Lord's humanity without giving full consideration to these views and the scriptures surrounding them. Nonetheless, this well-respected teacher, whose ministry I have supported, did just that! So then, just what is one to make of this Jesus of Nazareth? Who was He? What was He? Part man, part God? All man? Perfect? Is it possible for a man, since the fall of Adam, to be flawless, and thereby live a sinless existence? Did not his failure prove that the human "design" was defective? Was this Nazarene a Christ having (actively), as it were (if the evangelical/fundamentalist „worldview‟ holds water), a sort of dual or, “split-personality”: a kind of “Clark Kent” by day, a cosmic superman, by night? Was He a kind of Divine “Dr. Jekel” one minute, and a benign “Mr. Hyde”, the next? These and related issues this study proposes to tackle and settle once and for all, the Lord willing. It is my solemn conviction that, given the fact that so many—often well meaning—have fallen so far short of the mark in the treatment of the subject of Jesus and His humanity, God has therefore chosen to drop the mantle upon my lowly, humble shoulders, so that now, it is my turn and task to go the distance. Let us pray, then, that God will bless this undertaking to the edification and enlightenment of all who will read and hear. Amen! A Handbook on the Man from Galilee The Mystery: Christ Jesus Introduction 4 A Handbook on the Man from Galilee
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