29 May 2013

Fortress of Faith- Pillars of Faith: Study Four

Pillar Two- God the Son
Four pillars hold up our Faith.  The first pillar, God the Creator who is God our Father, is not alone in upholding the Faith we hold dear.  The second pillar is God the Son who is also God our Savior.  This week, we will learn more about God the Son. 
For thousands of years after God created all that we know to exist, after He proved Himself to be actively interested in the lives of His people, God realized it was time to fulfill His promise of salvation. 

We all know the Christmas story.  A virgin girl found herself pregnant.  During a period and in a culture where being pregnant out of wedlock meant being cast out or worse, that young woman and her skeptical fiancee were visited by angels and directed on what was truly happening.  Into their humble lives, they were about to welcome the Son of God made into human flesh with the promise that He would be the Savior their people had been waiting for.

From the very beginning of His life on earth, Angels first declared Him to be the Son of God.  Throughout His life among us, people gathered around Him, at first skeptical, but later admitting they too knew Him to be the Son of God, for no other man could have done or said what He did.

In Luke 2 verses 41 to 50, Jesus was a young boy on the cusp of becoming a teenager.  He found Himself in Jerusalem for the Passover Feast along with Mary and Joseph.  When it was time to go home, His earthly family left him behind without realizing it.  When they did realize He was missing and turned back to search for Him, they found Him in the Temple where He was learning from and sharing His thoughts with the teachers there.  Of course, as a distraught mother, Mary rebuked Him for the worry she felt over His disappearance.  In reply, Jesus said to her,"...Didn't you know I had to be in my Father's house?"  This was Jesus' first recorded admission that He was the Son of God.

Later, as an adult, Jesus visited with John the Baptist.  John instead wanted to be baptized by Jesus, but finally relented and baptised Jesus.  As Jesus came out of the water, God Himself declared,"This is my Son, whom I love; with Him I am well pleased."  Matthew 3 v 13-17

What is the significance of Jesus being the Son of God?   

Why does it matter that Jesus Himself, God the Father, Jesus' disciples, new believers, and even the unbelievers acknowledged Him to be the Son of God?

As Christians, we believe in right and wrong, heaven and hell, good and evil.   We believe that there is life after death.  What many of us struggle with is the reality of a place we have not seen, and the reality of salvation.  All doubts in our Faith stem from society's take on our God, our Savior, our Spirit, and our Word.  Because of these society induced doubts, the significance of Jesus as the Son of God is amplified.  If He is not the Son of God, then He truly is just a fantastic teacher, prophet, and one heck of a magician and illusionist. 

However, when you weigh all His words, all His actions, and all his teachings, we find that He never sought to uplift Himself.  He never asked for anything more from His followers except that they listen, believe, and follow.  He did not ask them for their earthly possessions.  On the contrary, He asked them to leave those things behind.  He did not ask anyone to fight for Him.  On the contrary, He healed the man Peter injured in the attempt to resist arrest.  He did not provoke His followers to riot as He hung on the cross.  On the contrary, He prayed to GOD, His Father, to forgive us.

If Jesus were simply human, the miracles He performed time and again throughout His short life among us are nothing more than coincidental chances of luck.   But because He is the Son of God, He has the power to not just heal, but to CURE.  He has the power to not just preserve life, but GIVE life.  He has the power to not just look over our sins, but to FORGIVE them.  Most importantly, He has the power to love us, like His Father, completely without condition and without expectations.

So if its so important to keep in mind that Jesus truly was the Son of God, why must we also acknowledge His humanity?

Many of us, as parents or child care workers, realize on a daily basis how hard it is to relate to children of any age.  From infant, to toddler, to child, to tween, to teen, we adults forget what it is like to walk through certain struggles.  Even as adults, as we move from one chapter of life to another, we forget the struggles we walked through and then have a hard time understanding what our neighbors are going through even as they walk through something similar.  In a perfect world, we would retain all that knowledge and experience and treat our fellow man better and raise our children with more patience and unconditional love.

In that way, Jesus, as the Son of God, was a perfect being.  However, how does God save His children if He has a hard time understanding the struggles they face?  When Jesus became human, even in His perfection, He felt the emotions we feel.   He was tempted by wealth, by power, by earthly things.  He struggled to do what He knew was expected of Him by His Father.  He even felt anger when He saw His faith being watered down and marketed.   His time among us drew Him closer to us, drew His empathy, drew His compassion, and committed Him to His role as Savior.

His humanity and His deity in combination are what make all  He accomplished so completely perfect.  His actions, His character, His words, and His faithfulness were so incredible that even the soldiers who crucified Him admitted."Surely he was the Son of God!" Matthew 27 v 50-54

Do you have a hard time imagining a perfect human being?   Take a few minutes to imagine what the perfect person would be like.  What attributes would they have?  Would they be someone well liked?  Or would they be someone met with criticism?

Do you find it hard to imagine how Jesus could balance His divinity and His humanity?  Take a moment to compare the struggles we face as humans to live a life free from sin.   Do you think Jesus had it easier or harder than we do?

Read the following passages to learn more about Jesus as the Son of God:
Matthew 14 v 29-37
Matthew 16 v 13-17
Matthew 17 v 1-7
John 3 v 16
Hebrews 1 v 1-3
Phil 2 v 6-11

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