We did the remaining of John’s Prologue in bible study. And truth be told, I was not as prepared as I wish I was for this lesson. I had my plate so full for the week that by the time I sent out the last of the reports, it was already 8.00pm. Calvin and I went for a quick dinner and made it just in time for bible study at 8.30pm. I had to depend on the morsel of readings I had here and there over the week.
Therefore, my strategy was to discuss more on the theological themes of the passage, and discuss them we did. It was a profitable discussion.
After giving a sum-up of our last lesson, we went through the verses generally. Soon the focus was on v.10-14, with questions in the line of: what does “Word became flesh” mean? Why did God has to become flesh?
One of us was in the impression that even though Jesus was man, he still had the full essence and attributes of God: omnipresence, omniscience and omnipotence. When Jesus took on the body of a man, shouldn’t he still have those powers because he is still God, and his “quality” of being God should not be diminished. We discussed this quite at length. Philippians 2:5-8 was brought up.
Philippians 2:5-8 (NASB)
5 Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. 8 Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
We concluded that Jesus in his obedience to the Father gave up what he had, emptied himself and became in the likeness of man. We began to wonder at our Lord Jesus who was so willing to give up his Godly attributes to become man. He had to do that in order for his ultimate act of love on the cross. But after resurrection, though he remained in bodily form, some of the Gospels indicate that he regained his Godly attributes.
Pastor brought up the fact that we need not worry about the "reduction" of Jesus' being when he became man. He was in the very essence still fully God, though now fully Man. He was still within the Trinitarian unity of one God.
We also discussed a bit about the ultimate sin of mankind – it is not only disobedience or even the collective of bad things we have done – at its very core, it is idolatry. This word, idolatry needs some explanation here in this part of the world, where idol worshipping is practiced at large by Taoists and Hindus. One of us asked if idolatry mean plainly that. But it is more than that, it is not merely choosing the God that we want to worship, it is the choosing of God that fits our bill, it is as what Carson has termed it to be: the de-godding of God, the thingemefying of God. Or as C.S. Lewis has termed it: “putting God in the dock”.
We must never take God for granted. As such, we must also not put too much emphasis on God’s love for us that we become the more important one. As much as God loved us so much that he gave us his son, it was for the glory of God, according to His purpose and will.