If Jesus is not God, who is He?
Thomas touched His wounds and said, "My Lord and my God!" Is this idol worship? I understand that it is a non-issue for non-Christians. What do professing Christians say?
Most Christians are Trinitarians. That has been so since the early church's differing views about who Jesus was were effectively settled with the adoption of the Biblical Codex and a single, basic institutional doctrine during the fourth century. To be Trinitarian is to accept the concept of the divine nature of Christ. There has been little open dispute on the point since.
That is not to say all Christians personally believe it. Some claim it is impossible otherwise to be Christian at all, but many of the first three hundred years of the church did not, and so that is merely an official position, not necessarily true. The fact is Christianity is a remarkably diverse religious faith, with a few famous (or infamous) exceptions unusually tolerant of dissent, and even quite a few people who stand to say the Nicene Creed in church services do not take it literally.
Over the last two millenia, there have been some recurring ideas about who Jesus is. Most of His closest followers at the time, or at least those who later spoke widely or wrote about their experience and whose legacy has survived to the present, believed He was God come to earth. Many Christians of the first generation were Jews who thought He was their Messiah who would return to throw off the yoke of foreign oppression and restore Israel to independence and greatness. Many, perhaps most, Christians of the next few generations following that believed He was a divinely inspired, adopted and guided man who was not God Himself but His representative to mankind. To them, that is what the phrase "Son of God" meant. Others saw Him as a great prophet or teacher but no more than that, not as a divine figure. That is a view common among today's Jews and Muslims.
I will not offer any argument for what the right view may be. I have no monopoly on the truth, and so my personal opinion of it is of no importance to others. I do think it useful to know the outline of the issue, though, and so that is what I have attempted to summarize here in the hope it may help clarify the question. From there each has to reach his own conclusions.
This just shows us that even though Thomas was a disciples that up to that point when he saw Jesus, Thomas was a carnal minded person. Carnal minded meaning what you can identify through your 5 senses. Once he saw and realize it was in fact Jesus in spirit and seen his wounds, then he believed. The doubt went away. Thomas wanted proof and Jesus gave it to him. Thomas never doubted again.
Jesus said these words in Matthew 20: 29 (NKJV) Jesus said to him; Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed, blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe.
What Jesus was trying to do here was to make us aware that faith is trusting and believing in Him without the quirement of proof. That true faith does come from God through the spirit. And that the carnal mind will never have faith in God and in His son.
I don't believe this was a situation where Thomas was idol worshiping because Thomas had made it known in earlier verses that he would not believe it ( His resurrection) until he actualy seen Jesus for himself and could touch Him. And as we all know that Thomas, along with the rest of the disciples in that room, later became Aposltes.
As christian we all must be aware that doubt will always be our greatest problem.
Hi Marcus! So where does He figure in the concept and worship of God?
The concept is really simple, the Father needed someone to come, He asked Jesus, who refused but later changed His mind and came! Christ always spoke on being sent! Now if He was sent there must be Greater, which is the FATHER! And He pleases GOD!
So Marcus where does He fit into the concept of worship. Is he supernatural? Is he an angel? Where was He sent from?
You can call Him supernatural, because in human form He did things that in nature no one can do! He is not an angel! He fits into worship, because the FATHER commended all things into His hands, and when He is rejected, there is no help!
I'm not sure what Thomas meant, but Jesus is an enlightened son of God. He made this clear time and again.
Could Thomas instead merely have been talking to Jesus and to God separately? Could a different translation clarify this?
Jesus is our spiritual brother, and we are all children of God. Jesus merely came back to Earth to help in the rescue.
Interesting lone77star! Can you explain "enlightened son?" I have thought about Thomas' statement as an exclamation; however, that wouldn't explain other passages like the Son's part in creation and My Father and I are one. Came back to earth?
If Jesus is not God, he is a revolutionary philosopher who transformed the thinking of the Old Testament based on ideas of revenge and retribution ("an eye for an eye") to the concepts of peace, self-sacrifice, love, and forgiveness. He is one of the most influential thinkers of all time who promoted a philosophy based on the understanding of each other and a humanistic view of behaving toward one another, which theoretically could have eliminated war, classism, and poverty. It's a shame so few Christians espouse to his ideas and ideals, as evidenced by the behavior of "believers" who call social justice "entitlements," who don't bother to evaluate which wars might be just and which might be unjust, who fail to work for non-miliaristic solutions in our interactions with other countries or to press our leaders to do so, and who worship at the altar of greed and unfettered capitalism, causing much suffering in this world. It's interesting to note that many secular humanists, atheists, and skeptics seem to have a better grasp of these principles than those who assume to be "saved."
Revolutionary philosopher? So would that mean He was not born of a virgin and had a finite exists? Thank you for your perspective Billie.
You're very gracious Diane. This is a GREAT question, and I love the words of Jesus, but of course, I'm a lover of words. The rest is superfluous to me.
Thank you Billie! I must admit I'm trying to come up with a question that will have people talking for a while. I've seen some threads go on for months. I mean "existence" not exists. I'm sorry my motive is self serving. Is it obvious? :-(
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