Today's reading Luke 3:15-22
In Luke’s very first introduction to Jesus as an adult he makes it completely clear that there is something very special about Jesus. John, Jesus’ earthly cousin, although very important to the story of salvation, is not the Messiah.
Jesus is baptised by John along with lots of other people in the crowd and then God comes along, propels a heavenly dove out from the clouds in some kind of Monty Python-ish montage and tells everyone that Jesus is actually His son. Jesus is divine. It always reminds me of those cringe-worthy moments as a teenager when my parents whooped too loudly in a crowd for me or embarrassed me in front of my friends when I was trying to play it ‘cool’. I wonder how Jesus felt about this display of love!
But how can Jesus be both human and divine? Surely it defies all reason and logic. It’s a paradox that through the years I’ve learned to let sit with me and come to appreciate.
Jesus is fully human. I love the fact that he was born, told off, grew up, felt pain, wept, laughed, knew about human relationships, got angry, scared. He suffered pain and died. Have you ever told a friend about a situation you find yourself in and they say “I know exactly how you feel, I’ve been there”? When I am experiencing tough times, I find it so comforting to know that Jesus has been there in human form too. But sometimes these situations stump even the kindest or most helpful of our friends.
Enter Jesus who is God, specifically the Son of God. Fully Divine. He has been there from The Beginning; an everlasting fountain of life, love and energy; capable of more that we humans could ever conceive in our limited earthly sight. But if that is just it, if Jesus just pretended to be human but was actually God in disguise, it surely doesn’t demonstrate the depth of love and sacrifice God has for humanity, the value which we know He places on His creation by truly rolling up his sleeves and ‘getting his hands dirty’.
In these strange times that we are living through, in the places of pain and heartbreak in our lives, who better to be beside us that Jesus the man. But when human power ends, when all our earthly reserves run dry, let Jesus who is God take the reins, and be more to us in his awesome love, tenderness and salvation.
- Let the paradox of Jesus who is fully human and fully God sit with you today however uncomfortable or unlikely it feels to you.
- Allow yourself to explore how you feel about this part of your faith. Maybe it’s something you prefer not to think about. Invite God into those feelings of uneasiness, doubt, discomfort.
Lord Jesus, you visited your people
and in human fragility
revealed the face of divinity.
Gather into your arms all the peoples of the world,
so that in your embrace we may find blessing, peace,
and the fullness of our inheritance
as your daughters and sons.