What Would God Look Like If He Came To Earth?
by Tom Gilson
Admittedly hindsight is better than foresight, and I would not have been able to make that up if there were no record of Jesus’ life. Here’s why I bring it up, though. I’ve been asking myself, Why Jesus? Why would God show up here as that one man in that one place in that one time? The answer, it seems to me, is that nothing else makes sense.
If I had tried to invent the idea of God coming to earth, I wouldn’t have imagined him as a Jew. Yes, the Jews had a history of knowing God as loving, merciful, forgiving, powerful, holy, righteous, and jealous for the good. They had a tradition telling them to expect a great leader and prophet, a messiah, to come from God. They never thought that this person would actually be God. So this is hardly an exercise in re-inventing Jesus, on the assumption that the original Jesus was a human invention, too. He couldn’t have been invented as a Jew. Besides, we know from history that he really lived.
I try to think of other ways God could have manifested himself as a visitor among us. He could have come far more impressively, if that had been his purpose, by showing up out of nowhere as a full adult. He could have appeared in multiple locations all at the same time. He could have been fifteen feet tall. He could have had Superman powers like invulnerability or the ability to fly. He could have come with mind-control powers so that no one would have a choice about believing in him…
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