#65 Who is Jesus Christ?
Who is Jesus Christ? He's the God-man, the eternal Son of God who, in the fullness of time, took on flesh and became fully human--while remaining fully God. This is so important because of what it means for our salvation. If we understand who Christ really is, we can understand who we really are.
As you watch the episode, consider:
1. Christ is the center of our Orthodox Christian Faith but who is He? What is He? Is it important?
2. Christ humbled Himself in His incarnation and very humble birth. The King of Kings became a vulnerable baby and took on human nature for our sake. What can this teach us about humility?
3. How is Jesus Christ both Theophany, the revelation of God, and Anthrophany, the revelation of Man?
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Hey everybody this is Steve, and if we're going to talk about the basics of Christianity we should talk about Jesus Christ. Not only is Christ the figure that's central to the Christian Faith, He's respected by other traditions as well. But there's disagreements about who Christ really is. Some say that He was a prophet. Others think that He was a holy man that was somehow chosen and raised up to be the Son of God. So, who is Jesus Christ?
Well, that's a question that even challenged the disciples. Even when they gathered for Christ's Ascension, even after seeing all the miracles, even after seeing Christ die on the Cross and then rise again, they still weren't quite sure what to make of it. "When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some doubted." On the surface, Christ looked like just another guy; someone that a lot of people dismissed as nothing more than the poor son of a poor carpenter. Yet after Pentecost, after the Holy Spirit came down upon the disciples, their doubts vanished and they saw Christ with a new clarity. By the grace of God, they could see that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. Though the New Testament as a whole makes this clear, maybe the clearest statement comes right at the beginning of the Gospel according to Saint John. "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."
If you watched our episode on the Holy Trinity you remember that we believe in one God, three Divine Persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, in one Divine Nature. The Son of God, the Second Person of the Holy Trinity is the Word that John writes about. The Word that was with God the Father from the very beginning, from before the beginning, from before the creation of the world. Remember, persons are relational, there's no me without you. The Person of the Son is divine, begotten of the Father, in a personal relationship with God the Father. And in the fullness of time, this Divine Person of the Son, took on flesh and became a human. The Divine Son of God, assumed full humanity; a human body, a human soul, a human mind, a human will, everything it means to be a full human. Before the incarnation the Son of God didn't have a body, He wasn't human. So when we talk about God the Father and God the Son from before all ages, we're not talking about a human fatherhood, or a human sonship. There are words that Christ himself gave us to try and express the inexpressible, the loving relationship between God the Father and His only begotten Son. And if anything these words prepare us for the beauty of the incarnation, the Son of God begotten of the Father before all ages, becomes the Son of the Theotokos, born in a manger 2,000 years ago.
And He did that while remaining divine. The Son didn't change with the incarnation. As Saint Peter writes, this was God's plan all along, "foreordained before the foundation of the world". The Son continues to have a divine nature to be a divine person in relationship with God the Father. One person, two natures. In 451 AD the Church assembled in Chalcedon for the Fourth Ecumenical Council and proclaimed that we believe that Christ is a single, undivided person, one and the same son, perfect in Godhead and perfect in humanity, truly God and truly human, acknowledged in two natures without confusion, without change, without division, without separation." In other words, Christ is the God-man fully divine fully human. To see Christ's human face is to see the face of God.
This is so important to keep in mind when we talk about salvation next week. And it's an incredible mystery to consider, that the Son of God, all-powerful, all-knowing, totally self sufficient, emptied Himself. He emptied Himself and humbled Himself and became a weak, vulnerable baby. Though the King of Kings, He became a slave, subject to weakness, and sickness, and death. By doing so He showed us two things: On the one hand, in Christ we have Theophany, the Revelation of God. As Saint Paul says Christ is the image of God the Father, who is invisible. Yet in Christ we also have what we may call Anthropophany, the Revelation of Humanity. In the one person of Christ we find the amazing union of humanity and divinity. In that union we find, for the first time ever, true humanity, because we cannot fully exist without true communion with God. It's not the broken humanity of sin and separation from God. As Metropolitan John of Pergamon "Man exists truly in unbroken relationship with God." And that's really why the question of who Christ is, is so important. It's not just theoretical, abstract theology. As we'll see next week, the person of Christ is critical for our salvation. Understanding who Christ really is, allows us to understand who we really are. So let's be the bee, and see Christ for who he really is, fully human and fully divine. Be the bee and live Orthodoxy. Remember to like and subscribe. I'll see you all, next week.
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What is "Be the Bee?" Check out this episode!
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Here are some episodes we're working on:
We're currently working on an introduction to the basics of Orthodox Christianity. Here are some episodes we're working on:
1. What are Vestments?
2. Why You Matter
3. Talents and Temptations