BY PROSPER TINGINI
In Mathew 16:13-20, it is written: Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesare’a Phillippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do men say that the Son of Man is?” And they said, “Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others say Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the son of the living God.” And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jona! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” Then he strictly charged the disciples to tell no one that he was the Christ.
Jesus’ first question was, “Who do men say that the Son of Man is?” Note that the question asks about the Son of Man, yet St Peter’s answer as the who Christ is refers to him as Son of God. Christ’s birth, life and death was all man. However, there was some Divine spirit within him.
The very first chapter of the Gospel according to St Mathew starts by recounting the genealogy of Jesus Christ, to indicate that just like all of us, he was born of man. Mathew 1:1-17 starts and finishes like this: “The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham. Abraham was the father of Isaac, and Isaac the father of Jacob, and Jacob father of Judah and his brothers and Judah the father of Perez… Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom Jesus was born, who is called Christ. So all the generations from Abraham to David were fourteen generations, and from David to the deportation to Babylon fourteen generations and from the deportation to Babylon to the Christ 14 generations.”
Jesus Christ’s reference about being the Son of Man was to align with the scriptures. He was thus indicating he was of the flesh and blood. St Peter was able to reveal the truth, that Christ although born of the flesh was the Son of the living God. The most important question to then ask is; “What is Jesus Christ’ purpose?
Before we dwell on his purpose, let me highlight what some of us have already concluded on the matter. The most common theory is that because Jesus Christ was born of God, he is thus God. We go on to quote some verses of the New Testament in an attempt to align this line of thinking. Some have gone further to say that Christ’s birth, life and death was an act of God mutating into a human being, who then lived among us, in the flesh. In that theory, it is concluded that Jesus Christ and God are one. Others then preach that Jesus Christ created the heavens, earth, all living things and the waters of the seas and oceans. This based on the doctrine that says God and Jesus are one. A clique of preachers may separate the two, but preach that God and Christ already co-existed at the time of creation, as Father and Son. They quote and cling to some verses of the Bible to support this theory as well, based on next paragraph.
Genesis 1:26 reads: Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness…” Genesis 11 also talks of the time when humanity spoke one language and sought to compete with God by trying to build towers reaching into the heavens. Of this, God speaks in verse 9, “Come, let us go down, and there confuse their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech”. They then interpret this to imply that God was in fact talking with Jesus Christ on these two matters, hence the notion that the Father and the Son were already co-existing at the time of creation. However, let us be reminded that all our scriptures talk about angels, who most likely predated humanity. Isaiah 14:12-21 carries the story of an angel who rebelled against God (some named that angel as Lucifer) to compete against the Lord. He is commonly referred to as Satan. There are other angels who remained loyal, like the angel Gabriel, who also acted as messengers of God for whatever errands. Please do not then discount this very high probability that God was in fact communicating with His angels. We know God always wants to communicate His intent and wishes to those closest to Him, in this case the angels. It’s His humble way of doing things; communicating first with those around Him.
We also say Jesus Christ is part of a trilogy, of a three persons Godhead comprising of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit, as per the Holy Trinity doctrine. We know God is not of the flesh but of the Spirit. So how do we also come up with a separation of God and the Holy Spirit?
Like everywhere else in any society, there is always a hierarchy to distinguish one level of authority from the other. Likewise, in the Heavens there should be an order that starts with the Creator at the very top then going down, just like in our social systems. The delegation of authority cascades to selected individuals across the diversions.
I concur with St Peter, that ‘Christ is the Son of the living God”, and that we should put a clear distinction between Father and Son. Having established the Father and Son relationship, we should then show and validate the real purpose of the Messiah. The Jews assumed that the Messiah should be a divine political and military hero, sent by God to rescue them from their captivities and recover all their annexed lands or territories. His purpose however was spiritual. He was to rescue the souls of man; but how? By carrying the cross, he was in fact carrying all the sins of mankind. By dying on the cross, Christ was thus sacrificing his life and blood for the forgiveness of all the sins of humanity.
In the same way that God substituted Abraham’s offering of his only beloved son, Isaac, with a ram (Genesis 22); the Lord our God raised up a Son, so that the son would become His substitute for all the ritual offerings required for the forgiveness of our sins. It is the blood of Christ, God’s only begotten Son, that was sacrificed for the atonement of our sins. That is his this purpose. He is our redeemer, our Saviour.
- Prosper Tingini is the Scribe of the Children of God Missionary Assembly — God’s messengers. Contact details: Mobile and WhatsApp: 0771 260 195. Email address: email@example.com