Jesus is the one and only God-Man, having been born both fully God and fully man, and His favorite names for Himself were Son of God that was meant to picture His deity and heavenly origin; and Son of Man that centered on His humanity. Jesus took it upon Himself to lay His deity aside, leave heaven He shared with the Father and the Spirit, and take on the cloak of humanness (Php 2:6-7). And He did so for our sakes and because of His great love for us. Jesus left the Father's side to fully share our humanity but He still ruled as God. There are religious groups out there that teach Jesus is not God. That He was never God. An exalted angel maybe, but not God. But does the Bible support this thought? Let's look at some who recognized His divine nature.
Luke 1:26-35, shows us that the angel Gabriel knew of His divinity when he told Mary she would conceive a child by the power of the Holy Spirit and she was to give him the name of Jesus.
Matthew 3:17, tells us that God the Father publicly acknowledged His deity by saying, "This is my Son whom I love."
Matthew 17:5, shows Peter, James, and John enveloped in a cloud and hearing God's voice again say Jesus was the Son of God and He instructed them to "listen to [Jesus]."
Luke 4:1-41 tells us that the devil and his demons knew Christ was God's Son and challenged Him to use His own supernatural qualities to thwart God's plan. Also, when the demons saw Jesus approaching they shrieked that He was the Son of God.
At Matthew 14:25-33 the disciples, seeing Jesus in the midst of the storm, worshiped Him and concluded He was the Son of God.
And later at Matthew 16:16 Peter confessed, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."
And when Jesus called Lazarus out of the tomb, (John 11:27) Martha said, "I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who was to come into the world."
Jehovah's Witnesses do not believe in the divinity of Christ and they are not unaware of the Scriptures cited above. They would whole-heartedly agree that Jesus was the Son of God. They fully recognized He was the Son of God only to them these Scriptures mean that Jesus was the Son and not God. They believe that God created Jesus. They believe Jesus to have been the first creation and to them these verses clearly prove that He wasn't God. But they fail to realize what these verses meant to the first-century believers to whom most of the New Testament was written. A dog fathers a dog and not a cat. And a cat fathers a cat and not a rabbit or squirrel. And therefore, logically, a God father's a God. By His nature He was very God. That is what bothered the religious leaders in Jesus' day. That's what galled the Pharisees ... that Jesus called Himself God. "Blasphemy!" they shouted for all to hear. Yet Jesus calls Himself Son of Man too because it was equally important for Jesus to be recognized as fully human too. But beware. There are people out there who will use these very same Scriptures to try and prove that He was God's Son, the created being! They will say these verses teach Jesus is 0% God and 100% Man. But what they miss in their darkened hearts is that Jesus Christ was 100% God and 100% human. They miss that the entire Bible has an undercurrent of the Trinity running through it. From Genesis to Revelation, the Trinity is widely taught and understood to be what Christ taught. (See Colossians 1:15-20.) Jesus is one of a kind, the one and only God-Man. In fact, the Greek word originally translated as "firstborn" in Colossians 1:15 is the same Greek word from which we get our word "prototype," meaning the first person or thing of its kind; original; a person or thing looked to as a model." Jesus was the first and only person who was given as a model for us in our times to look up to on how to live a life pleasing to God. He was the first to receive a glorified body. We look to Christ as our prototype, the only one of His kind. And one day we will have a glorified body just as He does. He's our model in a physical sense as well as in a spiritual sense.
Well Kayla has a birthday party scheduled for noon today at the pizza parlor. We'll go to that and pick up Michael's prescriptions on the way home. Then we'll swing by my pharmacy and pick up my prescriptions, then to the post office and then on home. With the cost of gas these days we try to group as many things together in an outing as we possibly can to try to conserve on our gasoline usage as much as we can. Pretty soon we aren't going to be able to go anywhere if the cost of gas keeps rising. We'll be up to $4.00 a gallon before this is over with I'm afraid. Europe has always had high gas prices but they don't have the long distances to drive that we do over here, or most of us do anyway.
I need to get back down into the yard this afternoon and get the leaves raked again. I know, I know, I just did that but the ground is completely covered again. First I'll go down and see if I can pick up Pepper pooders so hopefully I won't step in any and get it all over my shoes. Then I'll rake them and haul them out to the burn pile with all the leaves from the last time I raked. I have no other plans for the day except to get caught up on my reading. I didn't get yesterday's chapter read so I'll read it before I read today's chapter. I don't like doing just one chapter a day but really it's the only way to read this book. The Purpose Driven Life is divided up into 40 chapters and you're supposed to read a chapter a day. I don't like doing it that way but you almost have to spread it out to grasp all that he's saying. You have to do a selah (which is a short pause in Hebrew music) in order to let all that he writes penetrate and sink in. Almost every sentence is packed with something that needs to be digested before going on to the next sentence. I don't agree with everything Rick Warren writes but for the most part, he's right on. I just make notations in the margin that I disagree and let it ride.
That's what I like about true Christianity: you can disagree with someone. With Jehovah's Witnesses you have to take every word they publish as gospel and you can't disagree with their teachings and still be a JW. I am so grateful to be out from under that heavy cover of legalism and error. As a Witness, I was so totally wrong about true Christianity. I just took what the Society said and went with it. I didn't really have anything else to base my opinions on. I hadn't been involved with church since I was about 8 years old and what does an 8 year old know about beliefs? Not much I can assure you. Now that I have fully investigated what the Bible has to say about faith and knowledge, Christianity makes so much sense. I know the Society made sense too but that was before I really knew what it all meant. Once I took a Bible and read it, really read it on my own, without reading with prejudice, it won hands down! True Christianity makes so much sense where the Witnesses would leave me scratching my head. Not that they didn't have an answer for everything (because if there's one thing the Witnesses have, it's answers). It's just that their answers are so wrong in light of the entire Bible. I can't believe I missed so much while I was a Witness. It's amazing what the Bible can teach you when you read it without preconceived ideas.
Guess I better start getting ready for the pizza party. I'm still here in my pjs. And I don't have my chores done either. Rats! I hate being behind! I better go so until tomorrow ...