Rev. Dr. Duke Jeyaraj
K. L. Rahul, one of the stars of the recently concluded IPL has an explosive combination of “speed” and “style”. He bats in a classy style yet he scores so briskly. Arjen Robben’s 2014 World Cup Goal versus Spain for the Netherlands wedded two rare qualities that hardly come together: speed and skill (watch it on Youtube). But no one has the out-of-the-world unique combination of diametrically opposite characters which Jesus alone has. I call Jesus the “The Combination Champion”!
The Christmas season provides us with yet another occasion to proclaim, defend the uniqueness of Christ and present him as the Ultimate Combination Champion.
Jesus Is PURE as much as He is POWERFUL
While there are so-called god-men – many of who are hit by sex scandals – in our planet who claim to do miracles, only Jesus has this unique combination: he is pure as well as powerful.
We live in an impure world. We hear of scandals every day. The Bible says every one of us have sinned. In the Old Testament the wise King Solomon his prayer this way: “When they sin against you…” (I Kings 8:46). Notice he did not say, “If they sin against you…” He takes it for granted that the human race – every one – sins. Apostle Paul declares in the New Testament, “all have sinned” (Rom. 3:23).
Only God-in-flesh Jesus is sinless while the rest of the human-race are sinners. The Christmas angel called Jesus, “the holy one” (Luke 1:35). John wrote this about Jesus: “There is no sin in him, and sin is not part of his program” (I John 3:5 MSG).
Jesus has done miracles for me. As a 20-year old student of B. Tech. Agricultural Engineering of Allahabad Agricultural Institute, I was admitted in a hospital for wheezing (in 1996). I prayed, “Jesus heal me of wheezing!” I have not had another wheezing attack till now (2020). Jesus healed me! My daughter was declared dead when she was in her mother’s womb after a medical scan. The doctor said that her dead cells will be evicted from wife’s body through a natural process. But we knelt down and prayed to the Lord Jesus. He did a miracle. He gave her life back. The next time we went for a scan, the scan report said that my daughter’s heart-beat was normal. Today, she is a normal 13-year old who give us all so much alloyed joy.
Even the miracles of Jesus have a stamp of uniqueness. While he multiplied bread for the hungry who came to hear him preach, he did not do the same when he was hungry after fasting for 40 straight days in the wilderness. His pure character of unselfishness was reflected in his power demonstration! Yes, no one has had this combination of “purity” and “power” like Jesus! No one has this combination of “flawlessness” in character as well as the “prowess” in miracle-working power like Jesus has!
Jesus is DIVINE, yet MINE
Surely there is a God! One thousand monkeys cannot produce a book if they randomly and furiously typed on one different computers. But a Shashi Tharoor or a Barack Obama could come-up with page-turning books with ease if you just gave them a mere week to write it! What is the lesson here? It is this: greater the design, the greater the designer! The breath-taking mountains, the beautiful flowers, the vivid valleys – all these point to the ultimate master designer. And that Master Designer is God.
Jesus is the only who with this rare, rocking combination: humanity and divinity. He is the only who is 100% human even as he is 100% God.
That fact that Jesus became thirsty, angry, excited – all pointed to the fact that he was human (as he was God). When I observe from my reading of the Gospel narratives that Jesus enjoyed his sleep amidst the splashing waves, it reminds me that Jesus was human (as he was God). The fact that Jesus knew what was in a human (John 2:24-25), underlines his identity as God who by definition knows everything. When Jesus mouthed, “Before Abraham (who lived long before Jesus’ incarnation) was, I am”, he was claiming to be God, for God by definition has Eternal existence! When the resurrected Jesus accepted Thomas’ worship, he was claiming to be God who alone is worthy of our worship!
The details the Bible provides about Jesus’ birth tells us he has this out-of-the-world combination of divinity and humanity. Yes, Jesus is both divine and mine (part of my human tribe!). Paul wrote thus: “But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law” (Galatians 4:4). Every human is born of a woman – even Jesus was. Every human is conceived post a sexual relationship between a man and a woman. But Jesus was not. Matthew narrates this about Jesus’ birth: “This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit” (Mathew 1:18). So, Jesus was as much God as he was Human!
Jesus travelled the last mile to show he was human when he chose to die on the Cross. Yet when he bowed his head and died (John 19:30) he showed he was God (as he got to choose the exact second he would die – something no human could).
As members of the human race, we look for a true friend. The Airtel Advertisement of yesteryears went this way: “Har ek friend, zaroori hota hai (every friend is important – Hindi)… chat room friend….koi classroom friend….shopping mall wala friend….shopping friend….koi exam hall wala friend….copying friend….movie buddy…groovy buddy…hi buddy…bye buddy….joke buddy…poke buddy…every body…sab body…ovvaru friendum theva machan (every kind of friend is needed, friend – Tamil).” To the friend-seeking generation Jesus who is 100% divine yet 100% human is the perfect friend: a friend who sticks closer than a brother (as the book of Proverbs presents Jesus as).
Jesus LOVED AND LASHED-OUT!
We live in a world without love. One tragic day, Devan Kalathat (an Indian living in the USA), shot his 34-year-old wife, their son, Akhil Dev, 11 years, daughter (just 4 years of age), his wife’s brother and his wife, and their 11 month baby girl. He did when they were all in the kitchen. The police later found served food on the dining table. Then Devan walked up the stairs of his duplex house and shot himself dead. He was so empty that he emptied bullets onto others and onto himself. ‘Silk’ Smitha, who was known in Kollywood and Tollywood for her erotic dance performances in movies, had a lot of fans. But the number of fans did not stop her from hanging herself from a fan! The emptiness of our loveless human existence is almost palpable.
The words and actions of Jesus comes as a healing-balm to our loveless world. He touched lepers during his earthly ministry, lepers who are shunted out of the residences they lived in, lepers who now lived in ear-marked colonies outside the city limits. When others would shout, ‘unclean, unclean’, at the sight of lepers, and run away, Jesus buried lepers onto his bosom in love! He demonstrated his love for us in this while we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Rom. 5:8, Paul’s words).
Yet the same Jesus also lashed-out. He preached: “Unless you repent, you too will perish” (Luke 13:1-5). Perish is the Bible-word for eternal hell – a place of ever on-going torment. “Stop sinning so that something worse doesn’t happen to you” – so said Jesus to a paralytic, whom he healed (John 5:14, GWT). When he spoke to a woman who was caught in adultery, Jesus said, “Neither do I throw stones at you (words of love), but leave your live of sin (words of lashing out).”
This Christmas will you use every opportunity you get to talk about Jesus, the Ultimate combination champion? For the rest of your life, will you commit to talking about Jesus’ uniqueness by talking about divergently opposite qualities he brought together like no one else?
(This article was published by Aim Magazine – Dec 2020 issue. Aim is published by the Evangelical Fellowship of India. The author of this article Duke Jeyaraj is the founder of Grabbing the Google Generation from Gehenna Mission, G4 Mission. This is a reader-supported ministry. Find out more at http://www.dukev.org and http://www.dukewords.com).