Grace to you!
There is a Christian pop song in many countries in West Africa. It grew out of the vibrancy of faith of the local believers. Many involved in the ministry of prayer and healing sing it. Sometimes, it is chanted from the pulpits as a dynamic priest teaches the faith to the local population concerning the identity of Jesus.
The song is a question, and an answer, with an "Alleluia" reframe punctuating the Q&A: What kind of man is Jesus? Alleluia! He makes the deaf to hear. Alleluia! He raises the dead. Alleluia. On and on as the cantor recalls the numerous miracles attributed to Jesus as Lord in Scripture.
Sometimes, those who have personal testimonies of what Jesus has done in their lives add them to the list. It becomes a personal testimony of the working power of Jesus in the life of those believers.
It is a freestyle song; rather, a two-tonal song, with a simple rhythm. Yet, it is an affirmation of a less systematic but valid claim to the singer’s belief in the power of Jesus not merely as man, but a man with the otherness beyond human.
He was a man that walked the earth, to be sure. Scripture tells us he is truly human and was, in terms of humanness, like us in all things except sin (Heb 4:15). He is the Nazarene who lived like any other Jew of his time. This humanity, or should I say humanness of Jesus, could be confusing to some. Hence the true believer needed to profess the kind of man Jesus was and is to them.
Some theologians, especially many of the so-called adoptionists, such as the more contemporary Roger Heights, see Jesus as one elevated to Christ's status. They claim the identity of Jesus is that he was adopted by God to become Christ and elevated to a sort of ideal of the perfect man in the Christness.
Jesus was not adopted and elevated to become Christ. He is Christ, the Son of God, God the Son before he became the son of David, son of man.
Many who lived in the time of Jesus mistook him as a mere man as many do today. Jesus did all things right, to the amazement of the people. They testified to this (Mk 7:37). Yet they saw him as one who is simply a man with incredible talents, not who he claims he was. They tested him with questions as many of us do from time to time, struggling with accepting the audacity of our faith in him as Lord. From a question about life in general to the resurrection to the Law, etc., he wowed them with breathtaking answers since he is the Word of God.
But he has to clear the mind of doubters. He has to categorical disabuse them and anyone of the kind of man he was. He draws them and us to the Book of Psalms, one of the Psalms of David. Jesus was not a nice Jew. Neither was he a good prophet or a motivational speaker. He was far from being an activist or a prophet of a new religious movement.
He is who David, the king, called Lord. He was not simply the son of David, as the audience expected the Messiah to be. This kind of Messiah is more than the son of David. Son of David emphasizes the humanity and humanness of the Messiah. If he were simply the son of David, he would be a messiah but only a human messiah.
David, through the eye of faith, could see the Messiah was much more. He was and is Lord, Adonai. “The Lord said to my Lord, sit at my right hand, till I put thy enemies under thy feet’ (Mk 12:36). It was a testimony of a conversation between God, the Father, and God the Son.
The Lord Jesus concludes, he, Jesus, isn't simply the son of man, the son of David. He is equally the Son of God, a technical name used in Christian context for God the Son.
What kind of man is Jesus? He is Lord. When we embrace him as human, we become the best of humans. When we welcome him as Lord, he reigns in our hearts and entire being and makes all things new as God. We have life in abundance (Jn 10:10) because glorious life is in him as Lord.
Lord, may I know and love you more, truly human, truly divine. Amen.
God love you. God bless you.
Fr. Maurice Emelu.
[Friday Week 9: 2 Timothy 3:10-17; Mark 12:35-37]
Author and Goal
Father Maurice Emelu PhD., provides a daily blog of reflections based on the Scriptural readings of the day from the Catholic liturgical calendar. The goal is to teach, inspire, encourage, and foster healing through the grace of God's word. They are written in a language that is appropriate for a general audience. You will find these reflections helpful for your spiritual growth, inspiration, and developing your thoughts. They may also be useful for ministers in preparing their sermons for liturgical celebrations.