It really is weird to think about God walking around on earth.
The Roman Caesars assumed that they were divine. The Egyptians kings- the Pharaohs, I hear, pretty much figured the same thing. If you think about King Tut’s palace or Mel Brooks’ great philosophical statement “It’s good to be the king,” it would be hard not to believe you are at least a little bit divine. I mean, after all, getting everything you want the moment you ask for it can do a number on your head. You get all the trappings of being king of kings and after a while, I would guess you would start believing your own hype too. I know I would.
In the times right after Jesus, there was a philosophy known as “Docetism.” If you want a real technical introduction to Docetism, ask a first-year bible student. They love to fill you in on stuff like that.
Well, the starting point of Docetism is pretty much that all matter is evil. When God comes down in the person of Jesus, then, he really cannot be flesh and blood. It makes sense, right? If God really is holy, righteous, just and good then he cannot be bound by flesh and blood. How can the holy inhabit the filthy, right?
And so it goes that God cannot really be one of us, The whole idea of a God-Man, goes out the window and Jesus was only posing to be man. He did not have flesh, blood, sweat, tears or pain. Not if he didn’t have a body he didn’t.
As little sense as it would make for Jesus to sort-of-die, it be even more pointless for him to live. If Jesus did not experience loneliness, how can he possibly bear my burdens? If he was not capable of sinning, what comfort can we get from saying he was tempted in every way we are, yet was without sin? We need God in the flesh if we want to have any hope in this world.
The hope that Jesus’ life offers us is far better than a play-acted display. God has become flesh for us. God chose to show himself as a man- somebody just like us. The difference would not be that he had less substance than us but that he had more. Jesus was more of a man than any one of us- more a man than Chuck Norris or the Most Interesting Man in the World. In Jesus, we can finally see what we were made to be.
A man like this makes us stand up and take notice.
Long ago, Martin Luther said “You should look upon the whole man, Jesus, and say, That is God!” Wow. God revealed as man. Jesus was so much perfect man we are confronted by the fact that he is the way we were made. What a strange way for God to reveal himself, right?
And for all the self-proclaimed “deified” schmucks throughout time, here is a man who simply says “I and the Father are one.” Jesus did not rise to the power of Godhood- he came down. Jesus did not achieve perfection- he owns it.
Believe it or not there are still some Docetics around to this day. I would bet that you have been a Docetic from time to time. I know I have. We lose sight of the fact that, as difficult as life can be, God himself has been there. He knows pain. He knows the seeds of bitterness. He knows rejection. He knows betrayal. He knows homelessness. He knows unemployment. He knows public humiliation. And he knows frustration.
He knows all these emotions the way that matters. From experience.
Jesus, the GodMan has been there for you. And he sits beside the Father even now and prays for you, for me and for us.