As a general rule I do not use this column for Bible questions. A question like this, “Was Christ born divine or did He gradually grow into the office of being our Savior?” This query is like the one, “Where did Cain get his wife?” or “How many angels can stand on the sharp end of a pin?” Most facts of the Word of God are accepted on the principle of FAITH. Here are some ideas that might point the way to a beginning answer to the question about Christ divinity.
The fact that there are more than 300 prophecies about the coming Messiah would help as a foundation stone. The question remains was Jesus born with the wisdom of God or did he develop it slowly as it does for other humans? Remember Simeon, praised God for allowing him to live long enough to see the newborn Messiah. “He was righteous and devout . . . he was waiting for the consolation of Israel . . . Simeon took his (Christ child) in his arms and praised God saying, ‘Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you now dismiss your servant in peace for mine eyes have seen your salvation . . a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel” (Luke 2:25-32).
A host of stories about the childhood of Jesus suggest that he had miraculous powers. The parents recovered Jesus in the Temple when he was twelve years old, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions . . . everyone that heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers (Luke 2:41-52). We know of some twelve year-olds who can raise difficult questions and give answers showing great wisdom. His parents were somewhat troubled knowing that no one had been his tutor.
We know, that, when at 30, Jesus went to John for baptism (immersion). God in a voice from heaven and a descending dove, made it clear that Jesus was his SPECIAL SON AND MADE IT CLEAR THAT AUTHENTIC AUTHORITY IN ALL THINGS WOULD BE HIS. “And straightway, coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. And a voice came from heaven; you are my son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased” (Mark 1:9-11).
Jesus told Nicodemus, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only (begotten) son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). If we are “Sons of God” how can Jesus be the “only begotten son”? He was the only one, the unique one, the special one, the God man himself, the Alpha and the Omega, the Lord of the lampstands, the savior, the High Priest, the water of life, the door, the way, the truth, and the life, the one foretold by prophecies, the bread of life. We are sons, but He is that “Only begotten” Son of God. How can that be?
The apostle John begins his gospel with these words, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was the God in the beginning. Through him all things were made and without him, nothing was made that has been made. In Him was life and the life was the light of men. . . the Word BECAME FLESH AND MADE HIS DWELLING AMONG US. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:1-14). If Jesus was not born in the flesh and lived in it perfectly, how could he understand we who are tempted and often fall? Without himself as a sacrifice, how could he be our high priest? Without him as a sacrifice, how could he be our Apostle?
It is my personal belief, that all divinity was innate in Jesus. While he lived his first 30 years in the household of Joseph and Mary, and was nurtured by his parents and in the synagogue, the word says “The people were astonished for he spoke as one having authority, not as the scribes”. He chose twelve apostles. One betrayed him, one denied him, and all but John were not found at the cross. Thomas doubted until he felt the wounds marks in his hands and side. Jesus spent 3 days and nights in a new tomb and was resurrected. For forty days he appeared to hundreds in his resurrected body (I Corinthians 15:1-8).
The apostle Paul summed it up when he wrote, “I tell you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we will all be changed – in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet, and we will be changed. For the trumpet will sound and the dead will be raised imperishable . . . when the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true; “Death has been swallowed up in victory” . . . but thanks be to God; He gives us the victory though our Lord Jesus Christ ( I Corinthians 16:50-58 ).
Anyone can ask questions, but wise men give no clear answer when no clear answer is given. “For we live by faith, not by sight” (II Corinthians 5:7).