After Joshua had crossed the Jordan River at Jericho, he saw a man “standing opposite him with his sword drawn in his hand, and Joshua went to him and said to him, ‘Are you for us or for our adversaries?’” The man answered, “No, rather I indeed come now as captain of the host of the Lord.” Profound! When given a choice between two ideas, we may need to pause and consider whether there are other choices.
The human race has grappled with the idea of god, gods, or no god from the beginning. The Bible reveals God is One in Three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Some believe this and some don’t. At Christmas some celebrate the human birth of Jesus the Son of the Father who has always existed in eternity with the other two members of the Godhead. The Bible says Jesus is 100% God from the Father, and 100% human from Mary his human mother, the same way every child born is 100% child of both his or her father and mother. The difference is Jesus became a man at a point in time, but has always been in eternity.
Humans fight and disagree over just about everything. It’s in our nature to disagree and fight with each other. Sometimes we claim “god” is on our side whether we are arguing about religious matters, political matters, or other matters. There are all kinds of matters.
Jesus did not become a man in order to fight or disagree over matters, though humans certainly challenged Him to the point of death during His incarnation. In fact, Jesus was crucified after He said He Is the great I AM. Jesus’ persecutors called for His execution because they said he had blasphemed by claiming to be God! Well, there you go! Is Jesus God, or was he a liar or a lunatic, the only other reasonable choices as C. S. Lewis explained.
Many religions teach different ways to appeal to a god or gods, or to please a god or gods. The Bible declares in both Old and New Testaments that religion is futile because humans are incapable of seeking or pleasing God: “There is none righteous, not even one; there is none who understands, there is none who seeks for God; all have turned aside, together they have become useless; there is none who does good, there is not even one.”
If that’s the case then why did Jesus come? Well, that’s the point of Christmas! Jesus said He came to seek and to save that which is lost, i.e. humans. Is God able to save humans who are terminally flawed? Though none of us has sought God, Jesus has sought us with the purpose of reconciling us with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. So, Jesus became a human to proclaim to fellow humans who are completely locked into a world without hope that God is calling us back into relationship with Him not based on our goodness or merits, but based wholly on His promise and His gift of Jesus to all humans.
Regardless what we fight or disagree about, God is neither for nor against our petty quibbles. We would be wise to respond to God’s call and accept Jesus’ indescribable gift to us.
Daniel L. Gardner is a syndicated columnist who lives in Starkville, MS. You may contact him at PJandMe2@gmail.com.