The divinity of the Messiah

This blog is about the divinity of the Messiah. I am attempting to discuss this matter without getting into the subject on the tri-unity of G-d in which I will address at a future time.

When discussing about the nature of G-d I think we have about as much of a grasp on this concept as an ant does with nuclear science.

We can formulate and indoctrinate conceptual ideas as related to G-d and still be found lacking concerning the preeminence of His being.

Many of us don’t even understand some of the complexities of life let alone the one who is the author of creation.

In looking at Isaiah 9:6-7 this scripture is clearly seen as being Messianic in nature even among Jewish sources.

If you look at the simplicity of the text it is interesting to note both a human and a divine element to His mysterious being which supports the concept of the incarnation whereby G-d himself inhabits flesh and blood. Even though G-d is not merely a man His person is not limited or confined to merely a heavenly existence and being. Many times in the scripture we see descriptions of G-d as he revealed himself personally such as when the L-rd appears to Abraham in the form of a man  as described in Genesis 18. Many times these short term encounters are referred to as theophanies where G-d appears in an intermediate form or as a physical sign whereby he intercepts mankind in a veiled sense where the fullness of G-d’s glory is inhibited.

In Exodus 33:20 Moses is told that a man can not see G-d and live and Moses was only allowed to peer at His hind parts. G-d’s voice was permitted to be heard yet He would not allow for Himself to be fully viewed. Even in apocalyptic literature G-d is described to a limited point. One of the reasons G-d prohibits His identity to be seen is so that His form cannot be copied as an idol to be viewed and worshipped.

G-d’s presence was resident within the camp of Israel yet He still maintained His exclusivity. The Cherubim in the inner portion of the temple was to hide or conceal G-d’s person. God had limited mankind’s approach towards Him based on proximities due to the holiness of His nature. Mankind because of sin was not able to approach G-d except by blood and even then the worshipper was still not granted free access to His presence whereby his faith was partitioned off by the temple precincts or by the boundaries of a mountain.

You may be asking yourselves at this point which is it then, can G-d  be seen or not and my response to this question would be both. It may appear that I am vacillating in my viewpoints on this  and what I have proposed may appear to be incomprehensible at best and contradictory at worst by stating that G-d can not be viewed and yet be seen. Again this concept makes a little more sense when we consider the complex nature of G-d as displayed in His triune existence whereby in one person He is hidden while the other He is revealed or disclosed.

Even though G-d would not allow for the intimacy of viewing Him face to face He did provide other means of mediation. One of these ways  G-d’s presence was displayed was through the shekinah glory where  G-d’s presence is visibly seen while eluding full human view.

Also we see many examples where we see a strong identify with G-d and the angel of the L-rd. Jewish commentators have struggled with this concept and when there is a difficult passage to interpret they either refer to the Shekinah or a powerful angel called Metatron meaning ”Whose name is as his Masters”  the likes of whom is not found in the bible.

We see several scriptures that allows for people to view G-d and yet live. Genesis 32:24-30 describes Jacob wrestling with a man who was actually an angel ( Hosea 12:4) yet He claims to seeing G-d face to face.  In Judges 13: 19-23 Manoah sees the angel of the L-rd by exclaiming that He has seen G-d.  In Exodus 3:1-6 we see an association of the angel of the L-rd with God stating that Moses was afraid to look at G-d. In Judges 6:11-23 Gideon is distressed in seeing the angel of the L-rd face to face and then the text refers to the L-rd Himself speaking to Him.

We must remember too that the word angel means messenger in the Hebrew and this messenger wasn’t just any emissary but rather it appears to be the L-rd Himself.  G-d of course is not merely an angelic being or a man yet mysteriously G-d reveals Himself in the form of a man and as a messenger who could be visibly seen.

Also you might find it interesting to study the messianic figure in Daniel 7:13-14 who is portrayed as the “son of man” and yet is given worship.

These scriptures may not answer all of our questions but perhaps it opens you up to see other possibilities that perhaps you have never considered before.

Here are some scriptural references taken from the Jewish New Testament that may shed further light on this problem.

Hebrews 1:1-3 The Son is the radiance of G-d’s glory and the exact representation of his being.

Colossians 1:15-19, 2:9 He (Jesus) is the image of the invisible G-d. For G-d was pleased to have the fullness dwell in him…For in the Messiah all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form.

Philippians 2:5-11 Who, being in very nature G-d, did not consider equality with G-d something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness and being found in appearance as a man.

Jesus or Yeshua the Messiah was literally a walking Shekinah .

Now having said all this then perhaps we can begin to catch a glimpse of the exalted and divine nature of the one who is described in Isaiah 9:6-7

6For to us a child is born,

to us a son is given,

and the government will be on his shoulders.

And he will be called

Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,

Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

7Of the increase of his government and peace

there will be no end.

He will reign on David’s throne

and over his kingdom,

establishing and upholding it

with justice and righteousness

from that time on and forever.

The zeal of the Lord Almighty

This child was to be born and He is a son who is given bearing the exalted name and title as being a Wonderful Counselor, Mighty G-d, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Another thing that sets apart the Messiah as being more than just a man is his eternality or previous existence.  One scripture that describes the eternal aspect of the Messiah is seen in Micah 5:2 which according to Rashi depicts the preexistence of the Messiah or at least his name as describing the Messiah’s origin as being “from of old”

Can you think of anyone else who was born in Bethlehem that was a messianic figure? It would  nearly be an impossibility for the  the Messiah to be born in Bethlehem today unless he was a  Palestinian.

Anyway Jesus speaks  of his previous existence stating before Abraham was I am and that He had come down from heaven in making his abode with man.

I said all that to say this that Jesus is divine and yet He was viewed in a real and tangible way. These scriptures help depict the nature of the messianic figure as being more than merely human. We have seen a glimpse of the nature of the  Messiah in the Tanakh which strongly correlates divinity with his being whether through  “Title” or “Homage”.

Is it possible that you have overlooked the significance of Yeshua as the Messiah because you didn’t have a full understanding or a limited view of the scriptures? Perhaps your vision was blurred by the traditions of your people and the rabbis who through their nearsightedness struggled with some of these same scriptures.

Jesus is L-rd and is fully divine whereby He has tabernacled among us in a real and tangible way. He is both the unique “son of G-d” as in Psalms 2 and yet the “son of man” in Daniel 7 as well as being the “mighty G-d” in Isaiah 9.

This concept may seem bewildering yet we must remember that G-d’s divine person is mysterious. Mankind can not ultimately understand every facet and angle to his nature and being because on one hand  G-d has determined not to disclose it fully and also it goes beyond our human capacity and experience in which we fail to fully comprehend. For instance we get a sense of this just from reading apocalyptic materials. If the nature of G-d could so easily be apprehended then why the need for all the extra-biblical sources from Jewish commentators including the mystical writings about G-d.

Lastly G-d can manifest himself in what ever form or being He so desires. If we limit ourselves to making a God that fits our understanding or values  then what we have done is committed idolatry in our hearts by making an image that misrepresents His being.

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