This is such an interesting - and touching - article. It's called: An Inquisitive Christian's guide to reconciling Jesus as God by Rabbi Marc Gellman. Yes. you read it right - a Christian sent a question to the Rabbi about reconciling the belief that Jesus was both God and man. Our blog on that subject begins below...but first:
I was touched by the sympathetic and inclusive manner in which the rabbi answered this inquiry. Among other things, he wrote:
"For Christians, Jesus must be God because only God could die to atone for the sins of humanity. The task of a prophet is to speak God's words of moral caution to a sinful world. The task of a Messiah is to redeem those sins and that world. The death and resurrection of Jesus accomplishes that salvific task.
"God is invisible and cannot appear in human form so, according to Christian belief, God assumes human form in order to die and live again. This offers to humanity a path to salvation that is simply impossible through unaided acts of human atonement and forgiveness.
He goes on to say:
"I don't want to be spooky or incomprehensible here, and as I said, there is a limit of how close I can get you to responding to this mystery. What I want you to try to understand is that there is no easy way to comprehend Jesus as God but to be a Christian you just have to get there.
"You need to believe that Jesus is God. The notion that God created the Earth is a good belief but it is not good enough to make you a Christian.
"I hope you can get to the place where believing that Jesus is God is not such a stretch. However — if it does not work out, just remember that Rosh Hashanah is Oct. 3."
The rabbi has a great sense of humor, too! I recommend reading this article, if only to witness the rabbi's wonderful, unifying tone with this Christian seeker, even though he himself is not a believer.
Click to read the entire article
Jesus' Dual Nature
Setting aside the additional issue of the atonement doctrine, which is also addressed in the article above, coming to grips with the fact of the dual nature of Jesus is a stretch for anyone. Even the revelators admit that they do not understand, and cannot explain this mystery; in truth, no one can, nor will anyone EVER be able to explain it:
119:7.5 Joshua ben Joseph, the Jewish baby, was conceived and was born into the world just as all other babies before and since except that this particular baby was the incarnation of Michael of Nebadon, a divine Son of Paradise and the creator of all this local universe of things and beings. And this mystery of the incarnation of Deity within the human form of Jesus, otherwise of natural origin on the world, will forever remain unsolved. Even in eternity you will never know the technique and method of the incarnation of the Creator in the form and likeness of his creatures. Such mysteries are the exclusive possession of those divine Sons who have passed through the bestowal experience.
And from "The Incarnation - Making Two One", we read the following:
But make no mistake; Christ Michael, while truly a dual-origin being, was not a double personality. He was not God in association with man but, rather, God incarnate in man. And he was always just that combined being. The only progressive factor in such a nonunderstandable relationship was the progressive self-conscious realization and recognition (by the human mind) of this fact of being God and man.
Jesus was God and man—always and even forevermore. And this God and this man were, and now are, one, even as the Paradise Trinity of three beings is in reality one Deity.
Never lose sight of the fact that the supreme spiritual purpose of the Michael bestowal was to enhance the revelation of God.
Urantia mortals have varying concepts of the miraculous, but to us who live as citizens of the local universe there are few miracles, and of these by far the most intriguing are the incarnational bestowals of the Paradise Sons. The appearance in and on your world, by apparently natural processes, of a divine Son, we regard as a miracle—the operation of universal laws beyond our understanding. Jesus of Nazareth was a miraculous person.
In and through all this extraordinary experience, God the Father chose to manifest himself as he always does—in the usual way—in the normal, natural, and dependable way of divine acting.
How is Michael connected to Jesus?
You'll notice that I've supplied a link to our topical study on Michael of Nebadon above, which explains who Jesus really was before he incarnated here on earth. "Christ Michael" is a title - a very special title for a very special Creator Son of God. From our study:
"Michael Sons are on the order of a Creator Son, which is actually a Son of the second person of the Trinity, God the Son. It is an accepted theory that Jesus is the "only-begotten" Son of God, but this is not the case; instead, Jesus is one of many Michael Sons, personalities of the Eternal, or Original Son, who creates as does the Father, as did Michael in the creation of this universe in which Urantia (Earth) exists."
Having said that, the revelators also explain that for us, Jesus IS the only "only-begotten" Son, and the only one we will ever know, for it is he who created this universe and forever will he be Sovereign over it.
33:1.1 Our Creator Son is the personification of the 611,121st original concept of infinite identity of simultaneous origin in the Universal Father and the Eternal Son. The Michael of Nebadon is the "only-begotten Son" personalizing this 611,121st universal concept of divinity and infinity. His headquarters is in the threefold mansion of light on Salvington. And this dwelling is so ordered because Michael has experienced the living of all three phases of intelligent creature existence: spiritual, morontial, and material. Because of the name associated with his seventh and final bestowal on Urantia, he is sometimes spoken of as Christ Michael.
When we open our minds to receive the details of this new revelation of God to mankind that is contained in The Urantia Book, we understand Jesus and his dual human and divine nature so much better, we understand the Divine plan so much better, we understand Jesus' mission to our world so much better, and we understand why our little, lowly world has become a "sentimental shrine" for countless celestial personalities who watched and marveled and mourned at the incarnation so long ago.
Part IV of The Urantia Book then goes on to give us the complete story - the true story - of Jesus' life here on earth and shows us in detail how this God/man grew through infancy, childhood, adolescence, youth, and manhood to accept his role as savior to the world and revealer of the Father's love and will to humanity and the whole universe of his making.
Want to know more about Jesus? More about how he gradually became aware of who he was? More about how he carefully crafted his mission to the world? More about how he really lived his daily life? More about his true mission? Click the link!
And you might also like to see an informative timeline of the Master's life here
Why Don't the Jews Accept Jesus' Dual Nature?
As an aside, but an important aside...here is a passage from The Urantia Book that might help explain why the rabbi in the article above - and possibly all Jews then and now - find the concept of Jesus' dual nature even harder to grasp than most:
136:1.6 There was one feature of the bestowal of Michael which was utterly foreign to the Jewish conception of the Messiah, and that was the union of the two natures, the human and the divine. The Jews had variously conceived of the Messiah as perfected human, superhuman, and even as divine, but they never entertained the concept of the union of the human and the divine. And this was the great stumbling block of Jesus' early disciples. They grasped the human concept of the Messiah as the son of David, as presented by the earlier prophets; as the Son of Man, the superhuman idea of Daniel and some of the later prophets; and even as the Son of God, as depicted by the author of the Book of Enoch and by certain of his contemporaries; but never had they for a single moment entertained the true concept of the union in one earth personality of the two natures, the human and the divine. The incarnation of the Creator in the form of the creature had not been revealed beforehand. It was revealed only in Jesus; the world knew nothing of such things until the Creator Son was made flesh and dwelt among the mortals of the realm.
The Urantia Book is a revelation - a true, modern-day revelation of God to mankind. It is for you...but you have to read it to believe it!