Yes, you read that right! What was the nature of the second member of the trinity before he was the God/Man Jesus? (By the way, only we Christians, not the Bible call him “the second member of the Trinity”.)
At Christmas, we celebrate the birth of Jesus, but it’s important we remember that the God-part of Jesus pre-existed his putting on of flesh as the Incarnate Jesus. Because he was and is God, Jesus the Spirit is eternal and pre-existed everything. So, what was he like back then? That raises all kinds of questions for me:
At the time of creation, or even before that, did Jesus call The Father, his father? Of course, when Mary conceived, Jesus’ father was God, but was he the father of the pre-incarnate Jesus?
When Jesus was in the womb, was he thinking God-like thoughts? Was he still communicating with the Father and Holy Spirit? Was he planning his ministry from the womb and thinking adult, mature, all-knowing thoughts or were his brain functions and thoughts much like most babies in the womb?
After Jesus’ birth, as an infant, when he laid in the cradle, or was held by Mary, was he fully aware of his Godness? Did he know his mother’s every thought, what the weather was going to be tomorrow, the name of the Emperor, or think about the cross in his future? Or was he just a “normal baby,” thinking baby thoughts, growing in wisdom and understanding until his appointed time and public ministry?
I think of these questions at Christmas because while we know so much about Jesus, there are so many things we don’t know and we’ll never know.
We only need to know what’s important for us to know. But, here’s what we do know; Jesus left the majesty and security of heaven and the joy of running the universe to become a baby. He did so not only to be our sacrifice 33 years later, but to be our spiritual mentor. He demonstrated how flesh and blood people could actually live out the will of God on earth, if the Spirit of the Living God empowered them. In effect, he was showing us, “Here’s how to turn the other cheek. Here’s how to pray. Here’s how to forgive. My Father told you through Moses and the prophets. Now, I’m God-in-the-flesh showing you how the kingdom works in real life. Come follow me!”
So, in this season, I’m content not to answer the questions I posed earlier, but with child-like faith simply take the angels at their word, “Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.” Luke 2:11 And, I take God at his word when he said of Jesus at his baptism, “This is my son in whom I am well pleased.” Faith is accepting God at his word, without fully understanding. It’s a mystery. And, I’m fine with that.
So, on Christmas evening when everyone is asleep, get a mug of hot chocolate, read the Christmas story in Luke 2; slowly. Just simply believe, and be thankful. I’m confident, that if you do, Jesus will get the presents he most wants from you – his gratitude and adoration.
A merry and peaceful Christmas to you from the De Graaf’s!
Following Jesus in Real Life