Did Jesus Understand Himself as God?

Western orthodoxy, not least within what calls itself “evangelicalism,” has had for too long an overly lofty and detached view of God. It has always tended to approach the christological question by assuming this view of God and then by fitting Jesus into it. Hardly surprisingly, the result has been a docetic Jesus. This in turn generated the protest of the eighteenth century (‘Jesus can’t have been like that, therefore the whole thing is based on a mistake’) and of much subsequent historical scholarship, not least because of the social and cultural arrangements that the combination of semi-Deism and docetism generated and sustained. That combination remains powerful, not least in parts of my own church, and it still needs a powerful challenge. My proposal is not that we know what the word god means and manage somehow to fit Jesus into that. Instead, I suggest that we think historically about a young Jew possessed of a desperately risky, indeed apparently crazy, vocation, riding into Jerusalem in tears, denouncing the Temple and dying on a Roman cross – and that we somehow allow our meaning for the word god to be recentered around that point. (NT Wright – The Challenge of Jesus)

About Jono Hall

Disciple of Jesus, Husband and Father, Intercessory Missionary, Senior Leader at International House of Prayer and Teacher at IHOPU
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