Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Jesus: Not a Poached Egg

I think folks mean well when they say something like 'Jesus was a wise person, but not God.'

The problem is that Jesus said 'I'm God.' Wise men don't do that.

I see three basic options for categorizing someone who says "I am God." The person is:
  • Crazy
  • A liar
    • Or worse
  • God

God and Damp Realities

It's possible to downplay the divine nature of Jesus and emphasize my Lord's humanity. It's also possible to discretely ignore the humanness of Jesus, presenting the Son of God as a 'pure' spiritual person - without the icky, sticky, physical stuff.

Both are mistakes: heresies that showed up early, and get new names and a fresh coat of paint fairly regularly.

Although I've run into 'Jesus was just a man' now and again for decades, I suspect that American culture's problem is more accepting the idea that the Son of God could have also been human. The 'spiritual' side of my native culture seems to be have a problem with believing that God really intended to create biology. (April 12, 2011)

I think I understand why folks don't like the damp aspects of physical existence: but I think denying the physical is a mistake. Happily, that's a belief I could hang on to when I became a Catholic. (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 285, 465)

Jesus Says He's Who?!

My Lord was quite clear about being God. I've been over this before. (March 11, 2012)
"So the Jews said to him, 'You are not yet fifty years old and you have seen Abraham?' 23

"24 Jesus said to them, 'Amen, amen, I say to you, before Abraham came to be, I AM.' "
(John 8:57-58)

"Jesus said to him, 'Have I been with you for so long a time and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, "Show us the Father"?"
(John 14:9)

'Great Human Teacher?' No Way

C. S. Lewis didn't have much time for "patronizing nonsense" about Jesus:
"...I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: 'I'm ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don't accept his claim to be God.' That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic - on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg - or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronising nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.[62]..."
(C. S. Lewis, "Mere Christianity" (1952); via Wikipedia)
Parts of that excerpt get quoted fairly often. I agree with Lewis' assertion that my Lord's claim to be God makes it impossible to see him as a wise man, and nothing more.

Jesus, Briefly

Jesus of Nazareth:
  • Born a Jew
    • Of a daughter of Israel
    • At
      • Bethlehem
      • The time of
        • King Herod the Great
        • The emperor Caesar Augustus
  • A carpenter by trade
  • Who died
    • Crucified
    • In Jerusalem
    • Under the procurator Pontius Pilate
    • During the reign of the emperor Tiberius
  • The eternal Son of God made man
  • He
    • Came from God
    • Descended from heaven
    • Came in the flesh
      • The Word
        • Became flesh
        • Dwelt among us
          • Full of grace and truth
  • He is the
    • Christ
    • Son of the living God
    • Rock of faith
    (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 423-424)
"And a voice came from the heavens, 'You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.' "
(Mark 1:11)

"And the Word became flesh 9 and made his dwelling among us, and we saw his glory, the glory as of the Father's only Son, full of grace and truth....

"...From his fullness we have all received, grace in place of grace, 11"
(John 1:14, 16)

"No one has gone up to heaven except the one who has come down from heaven, the Son of Man. "
(John 3:13)

"fully aware that the Father had put everything into his power and that he had come from God and was returning to God,"
(John 13:3)

"This is how you can know the Spirit of God: every spirit that acknowledges Jesus Christ come in the flesh belongs to God,"
(1 John 4:2)
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Marian Apparition: Champion, Wisconsin

Background:Posts in this blog: In the news:

What's That Doing in a Nice Catholic Blog?

From time to time, a service that I use will display links to - odd - services and retailers.

I block a few of the more obvious dubious advertisers.

For example: psychic anything, numerology, mediums, and related practices are on the no-no list for Catholics. It has to do with the Church's stand on divination. I try to block those ads.

Sometime regrettable advertisements get through, anyway.

Bottom line? What that service displays reflects the local culture's norms, - not Catholic teaching.