How Can Jesus Be God?
In an enlightening discussion with Jeff Morgan, Dr. Michael Brown delves deep into the question, “How can Jesus be God?” A prominent Messianic Jewish scholar, Dr. Brown unravels profound insights drawn from both Hebrew and Christian scriptures, offering a balanced and captivating viewpoint.
The Most Important One
‘Now one of the scribes had come up and heard their debate. Noticing how well Jesus had answered them, he asked Him, “Which commandment is the most important of all?” Jesus replied, “This is the most important: ‘Hear O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One.” Mark 12:28-29
One God, Multiple Forms
Dr. Brown emphasizes the oneness of God, countering the argument often put forth by Jewish detractors that believing in Jesus implies a belief in multiple gods. The essence of this understanding lies in the interpretation of the Hebrew word ‘echad,’ which means ‘one’. This word, as Brown points out, does not explicitly imply singularity. He illustrates his point by using biblical examples where ‘echad’ signifies a harmonious unity of multiple elements rather than one single entity.
Dr. Brown relates this concept to the Trinitarian doctrine, which talks of God as the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. This aligns with the Biblical view of God as being enthroned in heaven, omnipresent in the universe, and working among humans via His spirit. This understanding allows us to reconcile the paradox of God being infinite yet manifesting in finite human form.
Messiah as God Incarnate
When challenged with the statement that the Messiah will be a man, not divine, Dr. Brown draws on the Hebrew Bible to highlight verses that point towards a divine Messiah. Verses in Isaiah and Psalms have been interpreted as titles and epithets for the divine Messiah, signifying His heavenly stature.
Dr. Michael Brown mentions two specific scripture passages in the Hebrew Bible when discussing the concept of the Messiah as a divine figure:
- Isaiah 9:6 – This verse, well-known in both Christian and Jewish circles, contains a prophecy about a future child who will hold divine titles. It reads, “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
- Psalm 45:6-7 – While Dr. Brown points out that this Psalm is considered a wedding song for the king, he also suggests that it offers a foreshadowing of the Messiah. The verses read, “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever. The scepter of your kingdom is a scepter of uprightness; you have loved righteousness and hated wickedness. Therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness beyond your companions.”
However, he also acknowledges the belief that Jesus, the Messiah, is one of us – a notion that signifies God’s remarkable ability to dwell among us in human form. This divine embodiment does not, however, detract from the fact that God remains enthroned in heaven.
Openness to Understanding
Dr. Brown implores the audience, particularly those of Jewish faith, to be open and explorative. By visiting the website realmessiah.com, individuals can engage with debates, answers to questions, and testimonies. He encourages seeking the divine, understanding one’s Jewish roots, and discovering the answers to life’s most profound questions.
Dr. Brown’s engaging discourse provides a nuanced understanding of how Jesus can be God, a perspective that harmoniously blends the tenets of Judaism and Christianity. He invites everyone to embark on a spiritual journey to discover the divine truth for themselves.
Romans 11: An In-Depth Exploration the Jew and the Gentile Believer
Romans 11 offers a complex perspective on the relationship between Jews and Gentiles in the faith community, the divine election, and the ultimate plan of God for His people. Here, Paul addresses some of the most profound mysteries of God’s relationship with humanity.
The Remnant of Israel
The chapter begins with Paul making a powerful affirmation: God has not rejected His people (Romans 11:1-2). He illustrates this with the story of Elijah, emphasizing that there is always a remnant chosen by grace (Romans 11:4-5). The principle of grace being freely given rather than earned is a cornerstone of Paul’s teachings (Romans 11:6).
The Hardening of Hearts
Verses 7-10 explore the spiritual hardening of those who reject God’s grace. Despite their earnest search, some Israelites did not obtain righteousness due to their hardened hearts. This theme of spiritual blindness is an echo of Old Testament passages (Romans 11:8).
The Ingrafting of Gentiles
Paul transitions to discussing the Gentiles’ position in Romans 11:11-24. In their transgression, Israel has opened a door for the Gentiles to receive salvation. Paul uses the analogy of olive branches, both natural and wild, to describe the relationship between Jewish and Gentile believers. Jewish believers are the natural branches, some of which were broken off due to unbelief, while Gentile believers are the wild branches grafted in. Paul warns Gentile believers not to boast over the broken branches, as they stand by faith, not by superiority (Romans 11:18-21).
The Salvation of All Israel
Finally, Paul unveils the mystery that all Israel will be saved (Romans 11:25-27). He explains that Israel’s hardening is temporary and will only last until the “full number of the Gentiles has come in.” The deliverer will turn godlessness away from Jacob, signifying a time of redemption and restoration.
Paul reiterates that even if they are considered enemies according to the gospel due to their disobedience, they are still beloved because of God’s promises to the patriarchs. God’s gifts and call are irrevocable, demonstrating the permanence of God’s covenant with Israel (Romans 11:28-29).
Conclusion: The Mercy of God
Romans 11 ends with a powerful statement on God’s mercy, reminding both Jews and Gentiles of their mutual disobedience and the equal mercy they received (Romans 11:30-32). This chapter upholds the theme of unity among believers – Jew and Gentile alike – as they are all recipients of God’s mercy. This dovetails with Ephesians 2:15-16, where Paul explains that Jesus has made both groups into one and has broken down the dividing wall of hostility, creating peace.