Is Jesus Divine?
We want to believe Jesus was (and is) divine (close to God, godlike, having the same spirit). This fundamental tenet of Christian theology was created by early church theologians to assure Jesus had a status that would be superior to kings and emperors. For them, Jesus was God by virtue of being the son of God (expressed as God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Ghost). But apparently Jesus never considered himself to be divine. So does this mean he was not divine?
We know Jesus was a human male with all of the natural characteristics of a human male. He did not have any superpowers. He did not have any unusual physical characteristics. However, he was a very intelligent man, possessed a very charismatic persona, and exhibited two unique distinctions: he could summon the power of God to perform miracles, and he had the ability to connect with the conscious thoughts of the people he met. These are not externally observable physical attributes; they are a function of the human mind. Jesus demonstrated a profound awareness of spiritual energy. It is this heightened sensitivity to the flow of conscious activity that also enabled him to communicate with the divine consciousness of the Cosmos.
Yes: Jesus was, and is; divine because he is able to connect with the Holy Unity of consciousness and awareness. Also known as God.
How Did Jesus Become Divine?
There are two possible ways Jesus could have achieved divinity. One postulates Jesus was adopted by God during his later life, perhaps after age 27, because of the purity of his faith. The alternative, which I actually like better, is that God participated in a natural birth. Let’s look at both alternatives.
Divine by Adoption
When God wants to establish a spiritual relationship with us, it is through the activity of our core consciousness. When God the Holy Father created his relationship with Jesus, he established a connection the depth of which surpasses anything any other human has ever experienced. On a core conscious level, God and Jesus were in constant communication. In effect, Jesus became God’s persona on earth.
From Summa 21.
We can choose to believe God created
a consciousness connection with Jesus,
and made him divine.
We may also choose to believe
God nurtured this connection
with the man he wanted to call his Son.
Divine By Birth
From my novel.
Joseph is concerned. Will I be the father of Jesus? “Is he to be from my seed? Are we being asked to raise an infant created by God?”
Micah (the angel of God’s plan) understood Joseph’s distress. Every man was proud of his seed. In this culture, it was an integral part of his manhood. A woman was only expected to provide the fertile womb that would nourish the growth of a man’s seed (a complete fetus) until the baby was born. Micah put his hand on Joseph’s shoulder. “You will provide the seed for your son. Mary will also make her contribution to the creation and growth of a baby you will both love. God will help by making sure your seed and Mary’s contribution are perfect. Your son will be of the house of David, just as you expect. He will also be a descendant of King David through Mary.”
Thus he encouraged Mary and Joseph to have a baby, which he knew would be a boy, would be a natural result of their love for each other, and would be made perfect by God’s will. Jesus is thus the son of man and the perfection of God.
During the time the New Testament was written and the early Church was developing (30 – 451 AD.), it was generally believed that a woman contributed nothing to the creation of a baby. It was believed a man planted his “seed” (a complete human) into a woman’s body and if she was fertile, the seed would grow into a baby. The idea a woman could be infertile (or barren) and hence incapable of providing the “soil” for the seed persisted into the 20th century.
The discovery of how conception works had to wait for the invention of the microscope, attributed to Antonie van Leeuwenhoek 1632–1723. By the late seventeenth century, both key components of fertilization — the egg and sperm — had been postulated, yet the contribution of the human male and female remained a matter of theory. Oscar Hertwig (1875) showed how the sperm head fused with the female genetic material in sea urchins, giving a conceptual basis for genetic inheritance. The discovery of how the human female egg is fertilized would not be confirmed until the 1900s (by Edgar Allen 1928).
Thus for Joseph it was an either or proposition. Either he would be the father or God would be the father. His seed or God’s seed. But of course God knew all about chromosomes, DNA, a woman’s egg, and the role of a man’s sperm in the act of conception. He did not have to prevent the natural creation of a zygote and the natural growth of a fetus. In order to make Jesus his son, he merely needed to examine the naturally created fetus, and adjust or replace elements of the DNA. The result is the son of man and the perfection of God. Jesus was the natural son of man and God.
It’s time we revisited the birth of Jesus and revised it to reflect our 21st Century understanding of biology and medical technology. There is no biological reason why Jesus could not have DNA from two fathers. There is no biological reason why Mary’s egg could not have contributed the female attributes God wanted in a son. After conception, God selectively modified the DNA to create the baby he would call his son.
The Basic Question
We should also consider a basic question: What did God want to accomplish?
The answer is easy: God wanted to deliver a message to humanity. From Summa 21:
1. God would want Jesus to be thoroughly familiar with Jewish law and religious customs. Jesus would need this knowledge if he was to defend his theology against the challenges of his critics and effectively bring God’s message to those who followed him. Both Mary and Joseph heeded God’s counsel by making sure Jesus was well versed in contemporary Jewish beliefs. By age 12 or 13, he understood the law well enough to engage in a discussion of considerable depth with temple priests in Jerusalem. This episode also reveals an independent and remarkably mature Jesus.
2. God would want Jesus to be passionate about his mission. In addition to having an intellectual understanding of theology and the law, Jesus must also have the innate ability to deliver a powerful message. If he is to minister with a voice that resonates with his contemporaries, then Jesus must live the compassion of love and experience the suffering of hatred. The obvious solution: Jesus would live and experience human life with all its joys, sorrows, triumphs, and tragedies. Jesus would acquire his credibility, and his passion, by taking his place among the men of his community. His life, and his life style, would be influenced by the cultural norms of his community.
If God is compassionate and loving, would he not want Jesus to be the same? Would he want Jesus to experience human life with all its joys, sorrows, challenges, and triumphs? One can acquire an intellectual understanding of theology through study, but in order to value the deeply emotional significance of theological concepts one must live them. This experience would round out Jesus the man and Jesus the teacher. After all, how can one teach about life if one has not experienced it?
He created Jesus to communicate His message with instruction and inspiration. Jesus would seek to convey God’s values to humanity, reinforce our belief in God’s existence, teach us about God’s love, inspire us to love God, encourage us to love one another, and show us the way to the Kingdom of Heaven. God wanted to confirm to us that immortality is possible if we adopt His code of conduct.
Jesus did not exhibit super human God like powers. He did have the human attributes necessary deliver God’s message and a conscious connection with God that essentially made him divine.
Medical science has rendered the early church’s concern, and constant argument, about the creation and lineage of Jesus obsolete. Jesus was (and is) God’s son and divine by God’s will.
It’s all very natural.