I don’t have any problems at all understanding that Jesus was a man. I can picture someone who walks, talks, breathes, thinks, remembers, laughs, cries, tells stories, and suffers, just like any other human being. The problem, for me, is trying to work out the way in which Jesus was uniquely God.
From the perspective of my own panentheism, we are all expressions of God. Nothing is separate from God, including every cell of our bodies. God creates and sustains us. So there is a way in which I am God in human form, and you are too. I have no problem imagining the same was true of Jesus, but this doesn’t explain the way in which Christians perceive Jesus as unique.
In what other ways did the earthly Jesus express his unique connection to God? Jesus famously said “Before Abraham was, I am” (John 8:58) which is often taken to be evidence that Jesus was aware that he had existed eternally. But I would equally say, “Before Abraham was, I am” about myself. I believe the consciousness of all human beings exists eternally. So Jesus is no different in this respect.
Let us look at a couple of other scriptures that Christians use as evidence for the uniqueness of Christ. There is John 10:30 “I and the father are one” and John 7:29 “I know him, for I come from him, and he sent me”. But again, I would say the same things about myself, or about any other human being. We are all one with God, and God has sent us all, in the sense that He created us and sustains us and directs our lives.
Once again, I feel the need to ask how was Jesus different? We could look at the miracles of Jesus and say that they make him unique. But miracles are attributed to countless other figures in history, including some of the apostles, which shows that God can work through anyone He chooses to make miracles happen. So miracles do not make Jesus any more God than anyone else.
What about the resurrection? I rarely hear Christians say that Jesus raised himself from the dead, they tend to say that God raised Jesus from the dead. I believe that God has infinite power, so I don’t find it hard to imagine that God could bring someone back to life after three days, if this did indeed happen. But does the resurrection make Jesus any different from the other Biblical figures who were raised from dead (there are many)? I don’t see how.
Having read the New Testament and reflected on Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection, I am left with the feeling that Jesus lived a life that was very human, but was not divine in any unique way. This leads me to the conclusion that Jesus was a man of great influence, who lived a colourful and difficult life, but I do not see that Jesus was God any more than we are all sons and daughters of God.
The above article is a modified extract from my book Ultimate Truth: God Beyond Religion, which is currently available for free. To find out more and get your copy, visit the Books page.
6 responses to “Jesus is God and So Are You”
For one in mk 2 Jesus forgives sins, something which the scribes respOnd “who can forgive sins but God alone”. The implied connection being that Jesus, who can forgive sins, is God. Of course you could claim that you believe you can forgive sins and therefore Jesus is not unique in this way.
Many thanks for your comment. The Christian idea of sin is problematic for me, because I don’t believe in free will or separateness from God. So in my mind it is not clear what sin is (sin implies freedom). All will is God’s will. Best wishes, Steven
RESPONSES TO ‘JESUS IS GOD and SO ARE YOU’
Firstly, I totally agree with the comment above from: ALIENINTHISLAND and so gently put.
We all have free will until we finally CHOOSE to dedicate our lives totally to Jesus Christ, when we give up our own will to Him/ put ourselves entirely in his hands. It is difficult to let go entirely and perhaps what you; personally really struggled with before leaving Christianity behind.
Unbearable personal loss at an early age most often results in the need for total control over all things from then on and into and throughout adulthood. A perceived safety net that actually often restricts us in finding true contentment.
I find it interesting that an evil element (Old Nick downstairs!))does not figure in your philosophy when satanism is so clearly on the increase in a major and extremely destructive way. Lack of faith in ‘God as the Father of Jesus Christ’ creates atheists. God who loves you more than His own life is not perverse because He is not capable of sin of any kind.God’s will for mankind is that we all turn to Him, if any choose not to, that is up to them as individuals. So we do have free will as individuals. I believe you are still searching for the whole truth. I admit to struggling myself with certain aspects of His Word; hard to completely let go; more especially when prayers go unanswered.
Hi Steven, I generally share your view. I still embrace what I wrote about this topic a couple years ago in “Identifying with Christ”.
As for Jesus’s uniqueness—and continued presence today—this is a mystery I continue to confront, both based on my personal experiences and my continued participation in church and its doctrines.
I think of Jesus and his tremendous breadth of consciousness when I read things like this (just this morning):
I think primarily of Jesus when I read that. Jesus and Dr. Who. 😉
Hi Evan, many thanks for your comment. I visited your blog and read your article ‘Identifying with Christ’. I like your writing style and I could relate to much of the content and am familiar with most of the scripture you quoted.
I have to admit I get a bit uncomfortable with talk of “psychic” and “consciousness” matters, mainly because I spent some difficult times exploring Eastern philosophy which I found very destabilising. This blog post explains more.
I’m now going to return to your blog and read some more. Thanks again! Steven 🙂
[…] is fascinating to explore what exactly it is about Jesus that makes Him unique. In a previous blog post, which I wrote several years ago, I suggested that Jesus was very human but not divine in any […]