The Lord Jesus Christ is not
simply a man who thinks that He is God, for He is God manifest in the
flesh, as St. Paul the Apostle says: “Great is the mystery of godliness”
(1 Tim. 3: 16).
God is a simple spirit Who fills heaven and earth and Whom we cannot see
with out eyes because they are material and limited. That is why He had
to take a tangible body free from sin so that we could see Him. This is
just like the waves that are sent via radio and television which are
diffused everywhere but are invisible. We can only see them if they are
“embodied’ in a voice or image. The same is true of the electrical
current which is present in the electrical outlet but which is only
visible when it is connected to a lamp, and if we are foolhardy enough
to touch it, we feel a tremor through our bodies which could kill us
without our even seeing it.
Incarnation, therefore, is necessary for us to see God and does not
1. The Power
On the contrary, the
Incarnation is a proof of God’s power for He is omnipotent and can do
all things. He can remain a simple spirit or be visibly manifest as man,
fire, or a voice.
Holiness of God
The incarnation does not
conflict with the holiness of God as some people imagine. God can dwell
as a body, for He dwells everywhere and in everything, no matter how
simple, or even no matter how impure. He is like a purifying sun that
pervades piles of rubbish to purify them without Himself being
contaminated by them.
3. The Love
If God were not love, He
would have been satisfied to remain high in the tower of heaven, leaving
us in the mire of the earth. But thanks be to the loving God who
descended to us to carry us in His arms and rise with us to heaven so
that we live with Him there for ever. Was it possible for Him to look
down on us and say: “Come to Me, I am waiting for you in heaven”? How
were we to ascend to Him with our weak and fallen natures? That is why
He condescended to come to us to carry us in His arms and to take us
where He is. This is the only logical and possible way. “I carried you
on the wings of the eagle and brought you to Me.”
Comparisons of the Incarnation by St. Athanasius:
Comparison to a King
If we imagine a king choosing
a city in a kingdom to live in, this city will become the capital and
will have special honor. The residence of the king in one of the houses
is the same as his residence in all the houses.
If we assume that the citizens of this city neglected its defense and
security, and that the enemies surmounted the walls and attacked the
citizens, will the king allow this saying: “They are responsible”? Or
will he rise to save them and to defend the kingdom, considering that
any harm that befalls one of them befalls him personally?
This is exactly what happened in the Incarnation. When God dwelt in the
womb of the Virgin Mary, He accepted to live in all men. This is natural
because God is omnipresent and is limited by nothing.
Although the sons of men neglected the defense of their human nature and
allowed Satan to overcome it, this did not make God abandon us, but on
the contrary, He arose to our defense and came to save us.
Comparison to an Artist.
Let us visualize a father who
has an only son and that this son is to go on a long journey. The father
calls an artist and asks him to paint a beautiful picture of his son so
that he can see him in it during his absence. This happened but after a
while, things fell on this picture that spoilt it completely. What will
the father do since the son has actually gone? He calls the artist and
asks him to restore the picture, but the artist asks that the son come
back so that he can repaint the picture. When the son returned, the
artist wanted to tear up the distorted image and to paint a new one, but
the father strongly objected to this saying: “Restore the old picture
and do not tear it up because in it I see the image of my beloved son
every day.” And that is how the gifted artist repainted the picture on
the same old canvas
God created us in His own
image but when we distorted that image, He came down Himself and
restored it to its original condition without destroying humanity and
creating a new humanity. How great is the wisdom and love of God for
Comparison to a Straw and Asbestos
St. Athanasius compared human
nature to a straw that can be burnt because of “sin and condemnation”.
However, if we envelop this straw in asbestos, which is not inflammable,
we can preserve this straw from fire. In the same way, when man “puts on
the Lord Jesus”, He protects us from the fire of condemnation and
everlasting perdition, and God preserves him for a happy eternity with
Was the Lord Jesus able
during His life on earth to prove that He is truly God? Of course He
did. He did many works that are impossible for an ordinary human, or
even a prophet, to do. They had to be done by God. Some examples of
these works are:
The Lord Jesus Christ proved
His absolute holiness that nobody could deny. It is He Who said: “Which
of you can accuse me of sin?” Mouths were stopped and tongues tied
because of His great and amazing holiness. Everybody believes this for
He is the only one who was not touched by Satan for the simple reason
that He is not an ordinary human. He is God manifest in man.
The Lord had absolute
authority over all creatures and living things, and even over thoughts,
the future, and sin.
a. Authority over matter: The feeding of the multitudes (Mt. 14:
b. Authority over plants: He cursed the fig tree (Mt. 21: 18-22).
c. Authority over animals: The pigs (Mk. 5: 1-20), and catching fish
(Lk. 5: 1-11).
d. Authority over man: In illness (innumerable miracles).
In death: the raising of Jarius’ daughter (Mk. 5: 35-43), and of the son
of the widow of Nain (Lk. 7: 11-17), and of Lazarus (Jn. 11: 1-44). Then
there was His raising of Himself from death (Jn. 20, 21).
e. Authority of spirits: He cast out spirits with one word
(Mk. 5: 1-20), (Mk. 9: 25).
f. Authority over sin: He forgave the sins of the paralytic
(Mk. 2: 6-8).
g. Authority over thoughts: He knew the thoughts of men without their
saying anything (Mk. 8: 16,17), (Mk. 2: 6-8).
h. Authority over the future: He prophesied about the destruction of
Jerusalem (Mt. 24: 1-51), about Peter’s denial (Mt. 26: 34), and about
His death (Jn. 21: 18,19).
The Lord Jesus was able to
discern hearts with surpassing gentleness, and thus Christianity spread
quickly all over the known world by means of a group of simple men and
fishermen filled with the Holy Spirit.
One session alone with the Lord Jesus Christ is enough to shake the
fortress of evil in man and to make him repent. And through constant
fellowship, the sinner can change into a saint. Who can bring this about
unless he is God, Who created man in the first place and Who alone is
able to change him?
Come therefore, my young friend, let us get to know this Wonderful
Savior, this Mighty God, this Loving Father, for “Nor is there salvation
in any other.” (Acts 4: 12).