Jesus’ Unique Glory

One of our little girls continually impresses me with her insightful questions. These days of social distancing as a family have provided more opportunities to hear our children’s candid remarks.

We have been enjoying our Sunday mornings together immensely. In terms of personal growth in God’s Word, as a family, these Sundays have been as enriching, if not more so than, our usual Sundays out at the local assembly. We have been live streaming our service and, with the kids, catching up on the latest Superbook episodes. After each episode, one of the kids retrieves the bibles and distributes them, and we open to the Superbook story featured that day.

We recently watched a miracle episode of Jesus turning the water into wine and feeding the five thousand. My little girl inquires, so “Was Jesus as powerful as God?”

To which I clarify that “Jesus is God.”

Another question followed, “How can Jesus be human and God at the same time?” Days later, the same line of thinking had been enchanting her, “Was Jesus more human or more God?”

I follow with the standard explanation I give all my undergraduate students, Jesus is “fully human and fully God. . . 100% human and 100% God.”

She stared back at me with a perplexing look, “How can that be?”

I assured her, “It’s okay because God is God. His ways always exceed our own.”

Part of God’s unique glory is that His ways surpass the grasp of the human imagination. This does not mean that we are to think less about God—simply since we can’t completely understand him. In fact, God’s hidden glory ought to provoke even further thinking, enchanting our imagination. At each new horizon, we are beholden to consider the inexhaustible storehouse of God’s mind, which keeps us wondering:

Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out! (Rom 11:33, NIV).

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John’s Gospel is rich with allusions to the deity of Jesus, particularly His identity with the Father as the only begotten Son—His “Glory as of a father’s only Son” (1:14, NRSV). These claims are even more remarkable when we consider that Jesus was also fully human. He walked among us, empathized with the hurting, embraced the broken, and restored the sinner.

Jesus’ divinity—His fully “God-ness”—is the more incredible because he is also fully human. How can a being that walked among us—one that wept, empathized, prayed, and rejoiced, that the disciples touched and conversed with and the people embraced—also be fully God? This, I tell my daughter, is part of God’s unique glory—His ways exceed our own, enchanting our imagination to consider him again and again. Let us relish the power and divinity of our Savior, hastening the day of His return, even more as we weather the uncertainty of the days we live in.

Published by Paul J. Palma

Paul J. Palma is a professor of Christian history and theology at Regent University. He is the author of the books "Embracing Our Roots: Rediscovering the Value of Faith, Family, and Tradition," "Italian American Pentecostalism and the Struggle for Religious Identity" (Routledge Studies in Religion series), and "Grassroots Pentecostalism in Brazil and the United States: Migrations, Missions, and Mobility" (Palgrave Macmillan). He is also a contributing writer for Paul enjoys spending quality time with his family on walks together, going to the beach, fishing, and doing work around the yard.

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