The Humanity and Divinity of Jesus
Oct 12, 2022Blog by Gem Fadling
Lately I've been reading the First Nations version of the New Testament. I enjoy its unique and refreshed language. In particular, I’d like to share a couple phrases from John 18 that I think profoundly depict both the humanity and the divinity of Jesus.
The first phrase is from John 18:1: “When he finished sending up his prayers, he and the ones who walked the road with him walked across the Valley of Darkness (Kidron) and entered a garden with many olive trees.”
Jesus and his disciples have left the upper room and are now entering the Garden of Gethsemane. However, I want to focus on this phrase: “the ones who walked the road with him.” This is, of course, describing the disciples of Jesus. But when I first read this phrase I was struck by Jesus’s humanity. I felt the relational connection he and his disciples must have had as they traveled everywhere together at walking pace.
Even though Alan and I have gotten behind in watching new episodes of The Chosen, we have really been enjoying this TV series. The show does a great job showing us the in-between aspects of the Gospel stories. When we read the Gospels events are compressed and follow in rapid succession in brief paragraphs.
But what about the backstory of all the people? The day-to-day aspect of their suffering. The desperation that built up over years. It has been wonderful to see a dramatization of what might have occurred between Jesus’s miracles. And that has put me in touch with the humanity of Jesus.
The second phrase is from John 18:5-6: “The betrayer, Speaks Well Of (Judas), was standing there with the lodge soldiers when Creator Sets Free (Jesus) answered, ‘I am he!’ At the sound of his voice they all moved back and fell to the ground.”
This, of course, depicts the garden scene where Judas identifies Jesus for the soldiers. Jesus spoke three words and the force of his voice caused a physical reaction: they fell to the ground. I wonder what was happening in that moment? Was Jesus’s voice augmented in some way? Were the soldiers simply blown away by his presence? What must that have sounded like? How would that have felt?
This is Jesus’s divinity on display. His power and authority are unmatched. His declaration “I am he!” is so potent it causes strong, grown men to collapse.
There is a stark contrast in the way these two groups encountered Jesus. The disciples had the pleasure of his company as they journeyed together. The soldiers were blown back by his power.
But here and now, in the present, we have the amazing gift of being able to experience both aspects of Jesus at once in their fullness. His gracious, loving, healing presence AND his powerful, mighty presence. We live in the reality of this verse:
The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. (Romans 8:11 NLT)
The gracious, loving, healing, powerful, mighty presence of Jesus accompanies you today. I pray you experience the fullness of this in your particular circumstances.
Which aspect of Jesus seems most present to you today? Gracious, loving, and healing OR powerful and mighty?
What prayer emerges from your heart as you consider his presence with you?
Let this energize your day.