Saturday 5 April 2014

Response to Annelise on Hebrews 2:17

This article takes a look at a number of points raised by Annelise of about Hebrews 2:17.

Annelise is one the writers for the site and has written various articles commenting on various issues, including as to whom we should be devoted to.

Let's take a look

Annelise on Hebrews 2:17

In the Christian scriptures, Hebrews chapter 2 discusses why Jesus needed to be human. The author wrote that a human, not angels, will rule over the world to come. He also speculated that it is fitting for humanity’s ‘saviour’ to suffer as we do. Verse 17 specifically describes Jesus becoming “like his brothers in every respect.”

The worshipers of Jesus read this as a reference to “God taking on human nature,” but a huge question arises from such a reading. This is not theological hairsplitting, by the way, but an important question of loyalty to worship our Creator alone.

Hebrews 2:17 does refer to Christ's deity. In fact Hebrews as a whole does speak on his deity, but this is a long story which time doesn't permit me to go into. So far there isn't too much for me to say here.

There are two ways of looking at it.

If Jesus ‘took on’ this human nature when he was conceived with a human body and human will, then his human nature was created at that time. As part of creation, Jesus’ human nature owed worship to God. Also, we don’t owe worship to it.
On the other hand, if Jesus’ human nature was uncreated then it was different from ours: not ‘human’ at all, as the Christian scriptures say he was.

Jesus as a man worshipped the Father as his God. It wasn't the human nature owing worship to God, but rather the God-Man worshipping one member of the Trinity. But I agree, one doesn't owe worship to a human nature. Christians worship Christ as God, but do not worship his flesh. John 1:14 speaks on the Word taking on flesh and dwelling among us, or "The Word became flesh and tabernacled or pitched his tent among us", and drawing on the tabernacle as an example of God being among his people.

Still, no question the flesh is created, not eternal and uncreated.

Perhaps a third option is to call it a mystery of faith. This can’t be. Israel’s covenant with God clearly describes the relationship that all created beings have with their Creator alone. So, to see Jesus being indistinguishable from his created human nature really answers the question of whether to direct worship toward him.

Faithfulness to God takes this seriously, while faithfulness more to Jesus-as-God pushes against it. No amount of Christology or heresy-avoidance can merge together the worship of Jesus and belief in the Christian scriptures with the loyalty to worship God alone.

What Annelise's point comes down to is whether the worship of Jesus detracts from the worship of God and God alone. If Jesus was a separate deity, I can understand the point here, that would be rank idolatry. If Ha Shem is triune in his eternal nature and if Jesus was who claimed to be, Then loyalty to Ha Shem is not negated by giving the honour, praise and glory to Jesus that due to God alone. There is reconciliation for the worship and belief in Jesus and loyalty to God alone, considering it is the Christian claim that Jesus is Ha Shem, though he is not the Father. If the Christian claim is false, then I am deep trouble with God and need to repent. If it is true, Jesus can be worshipped as Ha Shem with a clear conscience.

Worship to God alone is a true statement that Jews and Christians will agree on. The question is, Who is the God revealed in scripture? A Triune One, or Unitarian One?

Answering Judaism.

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