Anytime I study the gospels, and especially the words attributed to Jesus Christ, I try to differentiate the words spoken by the man Jesus, and the words spoken through the man Jesus.
The words that were spoken by the man, Jesus.
The man Jesus was born just like every one of us and has a body and a mind like every one of us. The man Jesus has the same human nature as everyone else, and this nature talks, speaks, responds to the environment, and does what every other human does. Hence, it’s perfectly normal for the man Jesus to speak, live, and behave like everyone else, and his word was spoken out of his own volition. The words of a man could, of course, contain wisdom just like any other man. But the critical point here is that they are born of human nature.
The words that were spoken through the man, Jesus.
How do I mean by the words spoken through the man Jesus? What makes Jesus Christ the anointed one isn’t because he was born into the lineage of King David, or because he had a virgin birth, or because he could do signs and wonders or whatever we may think. What made Jesus the anointed one was the nature of Christ within him. This nature is also called the nature of God. In other words, the Nature of God, as well as the nature of man, lived in the body of the man, we all know as Jesus.
We’d live in an illusion if we thought that throughout Jesus Christ’s time on earth, everything he did or said was done through the Nature of Christ. That’s not true. The mere fact that he ate food like everyone else means that his human nature also had a say in this world. However, he had his priorities right which was proved through his temptations when he answered the devil by saying that “it is written that man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God (Matt. 4:4).” Jesus wasn’t saying that man shouldn’t eat bread, but he instead reinforced the fact that there’s something of greater importance than “food,” and that our lives ought not to be dictated by the natural things but rather by Spiritual things (word of God).
Jesus was man, while the nature of Christ made him God. Hence, when we say Jesus the Christ is both God and man, this statement is true. However, the man Jesus was no God. The nature of Christ is God and made him so. We may wonder, what does it mean to be a God? God holds a different meaning to different people. The words that were spoken through the man Jesus, i.e., the words spoken by the Nature of Christ through him could point us in the right direction of what God truly means.
Why is this important?
We live in times where a word has different meanings. What love means to you may not necessarily be what it means to be. Gary Chapman has written extensively on the Five Love Languages.
We have differences in this world because our understanding of this world, in general, differs significantly. We are unable to see things from a single perspective because our sense of judgment is flawed. This flaw is an inherent attribute of human nature.
With that said, one of the problems of Christianity today is our inability to separate the person of Jesus from the nature of Christ. Most denominations worship the person rather than taking the time to understand the mystery of the essence that made him unique. It is the Spirit that gives life, not the flesh. Jesus is a name given to a human, while the Spirit of God made him a whole different being. That mystery of this Spirit is what we ought to unravel.
The Spirit unites, while the flesh separates. It’s no surprise that the Christendom is much divided today, and the divide is only widening day by day. The earlier we go back to the roots of our faith; to understanding the mystery of Christ, the earlier it’ll be for us all. Human nature can make mistakes. The human nature is the nature of sin, but whoever is born of the Spirit of God; of the essence of Christ would also be like Jesus the Christ and would even surpass him in this world (John 14:12).
Think about this. Christ isn’t meant for Jesus alone. Christ is intended for us all. Christ is what unifies the whole human race and the world. It’s Christ that holds all things together (Col. 1:17). Christ was there at the beginning of the world; Christ was with God, and Christ was God. Christ is the word of God. Christ is the nature that would set us all free. Let’s endeavor to know Christ, and I pray that the eyes of our understanding be enlightened. Amen.