Jesus, Becoming One of Us, But . . .
The other day my friend told me about an incident she had with her cat who has asthma. That morning she happened to glance out the window while doing some chores and saw him lying under the bushes. The form of his body sent her running outside to see if he was okay. She picked him up limp and lifeless . . . running back into the house she got the inhaler and saved his life.
As she reiterated this heart breaking story on the phone, she said, “What I would give if for just 10 minutes I could communicate with him as he understands and tell him he needs to come to me when he feels this coming on so I can help him!”
Instantly I thought this is what God did for us in Jesus. In a way that we could understand, He showed us His care and love. He saw how much we suffered on our own and told us the way to an abundant life here on earth. He told us to come to Him because He is there to help us, He is the way to life and without Him we will die.
Though my friend wanted to become like a cat to clearly communicate to him, she wanted him to know that she was much greater and more powerful than any cat friend he might have to help, provide and care for him.
The human image of Jesus helps us to connect to God. The book, The Shack, did a great job of conveying God’s desire to be close and personal with us. God wants to dwell with us in a bond of love and intimacy and this image helps us to relate.
But . . . we have to be careful about this perspective. The problem with focusing on the man Jesus is we think of Him too much in terms of a human. When we are flippant in Christ being our Lord, lackadaisical in our approach to His Word, careless in our relationship with Him, or lack a fear of God, I think it is in part because we are humanizing Him too much in our lives. When we do our mind automatically puts limits on Him and therefore His power and all that He diminishes in our lives.
Christ came to earth in the flesh as a man, but that is no longer how He is or how we are to know and relate to Him. 2 Corinthians 5:16 He came as a human to die as one of us carrying all our sin so He could take our place in judgment, and He also came to communicate a message. Like my friend, His desire was to tell and show us that His presence in our lives changes everything. He is the way to life. God is our caretaker, teacher, deliverer, provider, protector, lover of our souls, comforter, healer, and so on not ourselves and not others. If we trust Him we will have a life far beyond what we are capable of on our own. Another cat can’t give a cat an inhaler, not to mention everything else we cat lovers do and give our furry friends. No human can do what God can do for us. He came to tell and show us in a way we could understand, but He isn’t a superior version of us. (None of us would say this that He is, but we all often act like it.) We need to get to know, live and worship Him as He is, God Almighty. Romans 1:25