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                                                                 The Mystery of the Incarnation
                                                                                             By Brother Mike 

The incarnation is wrought in a lot of mystery. God became a man. This means that Jesus was not only eternal God, but that He was a man in every respect. How can that be? It was said of Jesus that He grew in wisdom and stature (Lk. 2:52); that He grew tired (Jn. 4:6); that He slept (Mt. 8:24); that He hungered (Lk. 4:2); that He was tempted in all things as we are (Heb. 4:15); and even that God, the Father, was greater than He (Jn. 14:28).These are all things which could be said of any man. But how could these things be said of God Himself? God does not grow in wisdom and stature, for He is infinite in wisdom and stature; God does not grow tired and need sleep, for He never grows tired and needs sleep; God does not grow hungry and need to eat, for He is completely self-sufficient; God cannot be tempted, for He cannot be tempted (Ja. 1:13); and God is certainly not something less than the Father, for God is the Father and infinitely greater than all. Indeed, the mystery of the God-man is very great, and the many apparent contradictions are clearly evident.

It is this mystery of the incarnation which helps us to better understand a passage such as Mark 13:32: " But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father." In this passage it states that the Son did not know the day and the hour, but how can this be? Jesus was God and God knows all things. So how can it be that Jesus did not know the day and the hour? Due to reasoning along this line, some have concluded that the Son in this passage cannot possibly be Jesus, but this is simply due to an unyielding understanding to the mystery of the incarnation (scripture strongly supports "the Son" as being Jesus - see " Neither the Son" of Mark 13:32 ). Yes, it is true that Jesus was God, and, therefore, in that sense it must be recognized that Jesus knew all things including the day and the hour, but it is also true that Jesus was a man, and, therefore, in that sense of being a man, He could say of Himself that He did not know the day and the hour just as it could be said of any man. An apparent contradiction? Yes! But so is it is a contradiction to say that Jesus was God; nevertheless, He grew in wisdom and stature, or, for instance, that He grew hungry and tired (God does not grow hungry and tired), or that He was tempted as we (God cannot be tempted), or that He was somehow something less than the Father (God by definition cannot be less than anyone or anything) . The apparent contradictions of the incarnation abound. This is simply because our limited minds cannot comprehend how the eternal and infinite God became at the same time a temporal and finite man. It is a huge mystery; nevertheless, it is true! Jesus was both God and a man, and, as such, He could be described as having all the attributes of God with no limitations while He could also be described as having the attributes of a man with limitations. Both perspectives are true, and the Bible speaks of Jesus from both perspectives!

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