Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Jesus the Christ

It has been pointed out to me that some Christians have adopted the practice of using the name "Jesus" and avoiding the title "Christ" out of concern for offending those who recognize the existence of the historical man and do not share the faith we have in his identity as Messiah. This came up when a visitor recently wished one of the brothers, "The peace of Jesus."

I suppose....The big question I have is, "Why ask this man for peace? Why honor this man at all, if He is not the Christ?" He Himself taught it, at least according to Mark (Mk 14: 61-62) and John (while there are no direct references, the allusions to His identity in His teaching are abundantly clear). Jesus took it upon Himself to legislate new commandments going beyond Moses and issuing them on His own authority. A great teacher He undoubtedly was, but this is because He understood on some level that He was the Messiah (N.T. Wright's Christology on this self-understanding of Jesus as the Christ is the best I have read).

Personally, it feels improper (at least in a forum such as this) to refer to our Lord simply as 'Jesus'. I have a personal relationship with Him, and I speak to Him daily. However, I am just an imperfect disciple, and He, after all, is my Lord and my God. My intimacy with Christ always has a great deal of depth to go, no matter how close we become. Calling the Son of God 'Jesus' feels to me normally like calling the President of the United States, "George." At official state functions, not even his friends call him that. I am an official representative of Christ and His Church. One on one, we might be on first-name basis, but publicly (no less than in my heart), I confess that He is Lord, Jesus the Christ.

No comments:


This blog is published with ecclesiastical approval.

If I, who seem to be your right hand and am called Presbyter and seem to
preach the Word of God, If I do something against the discipline of the Church
and the Rule of the Gospel so that I become a scandal to you, The Church, then
may the whole Church, in unanimous resolve, cut me, its right hand, off, and
throw me away.

Origen of Alexandria
Locations of visitors to this page