The Manly Son of Man

Pax Christi, everybody!

When you contemplate the humanity of Christos, what conclusions do you come to? Did he get frustrated when he hit his thumb with a nail? Did he know how old the Earth is? Could his temptation to sin have lead to sin? No judgements whatsoever; just give me your thoughts.

It would have to be a big nail. He knew what a Jewish provincial chippie knew two thousand years ago. His divinity was qualitative. So no, He couldn’t sin, abuse power or rebel against it. Prince trumps toad.

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That’s what I was thinking. I don’t see how God could even potentially sin, unless He was The Demiurge.

I will be a bit blunt but that is because I am passionate about this issue.

If earthly Jesus was omni-Jesus and couldn’t sin, knew everything etc., then Christian doctrine of the incarnation is the biggest sham ever. Infinite Hercules on the Cross means nothing to me in terms of a sacrifice. You can’t really jump on a grenade to save your friends if you are omniscient and immortal. I mean you can certainly save them but not in the context of a life-giving sacrifice. Superman has zero risk in standing in front of a bullet for someone. You can’t be tempted if you can’t sin. Its like asking if red can not be a color. God became man in this scenario? God appeared as a man is what this means. He did the same when he wrestled with Jacob in scripture. Big whoop. God allowed himself to be taunted and spit upon while being omniscient/omnipotent? People still do that to God everyday anyways. Without the FULL humanity of Jesus, the full condescension of a member of the triune Godhead (which I have all sorts of issues with tbh), Christianity is just another religion.

Jesus was really tested (See Gethsemane). Jesus was not omnipotent (couldn’t work some miracles), Jesus was not omniscient (didn’t know the day or hour, didn’t know who touched his robe, had to grow in wisdom). To deny that God could become man is to deny the sovereignty of God, it is to deny him of his Divinity. It is atheism. To not admit John is recasting the synoptic Jesus from up on high is just bad exegesis.

This is why the church has the wildly problematic doctrine of the duel nature of Christ. He was human. The record PLAINLY and undisputable shows this. The earliest Christians also came to understand him as God’s Son and God incarnate. So we believe he was God as well. The theologians and philosophers with their fancy babble like to put God in a box and claim he could not incarnate himself into a completely human form that would be capable of sin or lacking his divinity. If you accept the incarnation which is already wildly fantastic, I can’t for the life of me see why the buck would stop there. At any rate we are stuck with a very problematic ideology many call a “divine ineffable mystery.” But if you just dismiss the philosophical word games, stemming from theologians looking in a mirror dimly lit, that claim to tell God what he can and can’t do, this goes away.

Vinnie

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Superb, very brave, most honest. I agree with everything except the conclusion that He could sin. Whatever was meant by sin.

‘I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to desire her has already committed adultery with her in his heart’

So He either didn’t. Or He never said that. Or meant something in between. Minimally, He looked away. Avoided looking. The Greek says looking upon a woman in order to lust after her. And the looking doesn’t have to be literal does it chaps?

So, apart from that, how else could He have sinned? As a two year old? Twelve year old? Twenty, thirty two year old? How could He, why would He? Why would any of us? In the letter or the spirit? What would He have to lie about at any age? What was there to steal? How could He have rebelled, been violent, hurtful? We make so much of sin.

I find Jesus the most complex entity imaginable, more so than God as ground of being. The living paradox.

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It is given in Matthew in the context of building a fence around the torah and intensifying some rules while disbanding others. The idea is to not see how close you can come to the edge of the cliff before falling but to simply stay a good distance away. Keep sin away is the meaning. Don’t give it a foothold.

Jesus said “you heard it said not to murder, well don’t even get angry.” Jesus was angry plenty of times. You have heard it said not to commit adultery, don’t even lust after a woman. Lust is a calculated act in this scenario, not a fleeting glance or something biologically impossible to stop. We are biologically built to procreate. Be fruitful and multiply. Thoughts will come into our head and urges we can’t control. That is human. Acting, dwelling, thinking, those are the problems. There is a difference between thoughts and urges which come naturally and a subscription to a porn site. You turned on the computer, you opened the browser you made the choice to search the web, you pulled out the credit card, you put in the information etc. etc. You can be envious jealous and can desire another man’s wife (property?) or you can have natural biological urges and thoughts you don’t allow to get a foothold in your life. These are different IMHO.

Understanding this in the modern sense of a Christian praying for forgiveness after he fleetingly became aroused by having a peek at a dirty image is probably not what Jesus had in mind. Putting yourself into an area where you could sin is a bad idea. I think this saying has a deeper context. But I don’t recall all the apostles or an army of Christian boys (and girls) walking around with one hand today.

If Jesus din’t have to deal with sexual temptation he wasn’t fully human.

Vinnie

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I agree with much you wrote. Jesus was a human, no doubt. Being a human includes facing many kind of temptations. I heard once a saying: you cannot prevent a swallow flying over your head but you can prevent the building of a nest on your head.

Humans have many kind of temptations and our tendency to wrestle with them varies a lot. Some persons are asexual, yet fully human. I assume that they struggle with other kind of temptations.

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I agree. Jesus was fully human, but all humans are special in some sense. What made Jesus special was his faith and familiarity with God because he came from God and somehow was God (in the place called heaven, which is outside our understanding of time or other dimensions).

During his temporary sojourn as a human, Jesus showed himself to be closer and more intimate with God than everyone else on earth, and this gave him a faith and ability to use the power of the Holy Spirit, as a human, that the rest of us find hard to utilize.

Jesus clearly said that faith, if strong enough, could “move mountains”, or allow you to walk on water or do other things. Jesus had this kind of faith, because, as he told us, he came from heaven and came from the Father. So, while he walked the Holy Land he was human, a very different human, and a very powerful human because of his faith, but he showed us he was human by constantly praying to God. You wouldn’t think God would have to pray to God, so he must have been human, though a special one. I also believe he could and did suffer temptation, and this was a necessary perspective for Jesus to forgive our sins, to be our intercessor, and our Savior.

And yes, in a way impossible for us to quantify he was also God, and he returned to heaven, sending us the Spirit, for those who believe.

How could he be God and also not be God? I don’t know, but it makes sense to me because I believe what he said. Jesus clearly told us he existed before the world existed, yet one day he was born on this earth as a human being; a tiny wet, squalling baby, here to grow up, suffer and die like the rest of us, but not like the rest of us because he came from heaven.

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So hopefully, presumably He fell hopelessly, helplessly in love too, more than once, including love at first sight. Now that’s no sin.

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I believe that Jesus was a human, and not a god in human form. I don’t think god like wiped his memory and so on. I think that the Holy Spirit, the word made flesh, became flesh. I don’t think the father became flesh and I believe the father is god. Yahweh. Jesus is his son, just like it says.

I think Jesus had limited knowledge and only knew what he experienced, what the word said and what Gos revealed to him. I think he could have sinned because he was tempted. The fact he could have been bit did not is why he was able to fulfill it.

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Yes, for two reason.

  1. I think most of our knee jerk emotional reactions are biological.
  2. We see Jesus get frustrated a number of times in His ministry.

Did He know that the sum of the reciprocals of twin primes converges to 1.902160583104?
LOL
Not if He didn’t even ask the question.

There is nothing in Jesus’ words to suggest that Jesus did think to ask such a question about how old the Earth is. Therefore, there is no reason to think He knew the answer.

The problem with this is that I don’t even agree with the implied idea of what sin consists of. This implies that sin consists of mistakes in obeying a set of rules. I do not agree with this. I think sin consists of self-destructive habits. So I think Jesus learned from His mistakes and none of them became bad habits – so He was without sin. This is one of the thing that comes from having a full relationship with the Father.

Jesus set aside the omni attributes of God to become human. It is being God which doesn’t depend on these attributes – that would back you into the irrational corner of listing a bunch of things which God cannot do. Jesus was 100% God because He was exactly what He chose to be, 100% human from birth to death. Obviously this is not true of any of us since being born as human beings is not something we have chosen.

Where I part ways with Vinnie is on this magical human sacrifice rhetoric and on this idea of Jesus not only being human but also being an average joe who would whine about having to die for the sake of other people. I know too many people who did not hesitate to give their lives for far far less than this.

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So what would have happened if He’d sinned? What are the odds? On a trillion worlds in our insignificant universe alone?

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I think if Jesus would have sinned he would have been like all the previous prophets who played a messiah like role and that another man would have eventually came along and fulfilled it.

However, I think Gods prophecies are based off of his all know long knowledge and not off of enforced destinies and so before Christ was born Yahweh his father already knew he would fulfill it and so the previous prophecies were written because of that foreknowledge .

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This story from Matthew 21 certainly appears to show a frustrated Jesus:

17 He left them, went out of the city to Bethany, and spent the night there.

18 In the morning, when he returned to the city, he was hungry.

19 And seeing a fig tree by the side of the road, he went to it and found nothing at all on it but leaves. Then he said to it, “May no fruit ever come from you again!” And the fig tree withered at once.

20 When the disciples saw it, they were amazed, saying, “How did the fig tree wither at once?”

21 Jesus answered them, "Truly I tell you, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only will you do what has been done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, "Be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ it will be done.

22 Whatever you ask for in prayer with faith, you will receive."

But perhaps He did this to the fig tree only to make a point about the power of faith.

And in more than one gospel Jesus is described as amazed:

Matthew 8:10 NRSA

10 When Jesus heard him, he was amazed and said to those who followed him, "Truly I tell you, in no one in Israel have I found such faith.

And Jesus wept at the wake of Lazarus.

So we have many examples of Jesus exhibiting the emotions of humans who do not have control over all events.

I suspect, but I do not know, that He knew the age of the earth — but it is very clear that Jesus was not here to teach science or history.

Could He have sinned? One could argue that His potential to sin, without doing so, is an important part of His work for us.

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I do believe this type of question was roundly answered in church history over the nature of Christ’s incarnation. The full application of this is found in the NT book of Hebrews.

Perge benedictus

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