The Living, Breathing Word

In Jesus we see all we can see of God in a man.

by Derrel Emmerson

This is the one who came by water and blood – Jesus Christ. He did not come by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth. For there are three that testify: the three are in agreement. We accept man’s testimony, but God’s testimony is greater because it is the testimony of God, which he has given us about his son. 1 John 5:6-9

We may remember that there are those who wish to make Jesus Christ a spectral figure. They even go on searching for the historical Jesus as if the lives and testimonies of believers through the ages are not enough. They debate on whether or not God did visit the earth in the flesh. They ignore the impact of Jesus by His Spirit in the affairs of the church and of men.

The Gnostics are still with us in spirit. And, it is to them that John is speaking here. What he said was that there are two observable witnesses, water and blood, and one witness we can experience.

First, there was a testimony of water to Jesus at his birth. As with any person, when he was born he emerged from the womb in a flood of water. Later, there was a testimony of God’s favor upon Him at his baptism in water. He was human. He was divine. Water is represents the beginning of a new life – his birth as a man and his life mission as the son of God.

Second, blood coursed through the veins of Jesus because he was truly human. He also shed His blood on the cross. In that act, he validated the truth and make atonement for the sins of humankind. In other words, he gave His pure life to satisfy justice. All who believe in Him and His work may enter the presence of God without condemnation. In this case, blood represents the last word in the balancing of justice with love.

So, what we have here is John’s summary of the proof of Jesus’ humanity and his divinity summarized in three witnesses. Those witnesses are: the water, the blood and the Spirit.

Jesus was no heavenly “other.” He was no mere human. He was human and divine to which we have three witnesses. Because Jesus was here as a man, it has been made possible for us to have him here, in us, as the Spirit. He came to show us that even though we are flesh and blood, we can have the Spirit of God within and among us. He came to show God’s immanence. He left sending the Holy Spirit to inspire and empower us to transcend our mortal curse and flaws.

In Jesus we see all we can see of God in a man. And, we see all of a man God intended to be in a man. He was a repeat. He was the character example of the original prototype – Adam. He was the original model God copied in making man. Jesus is the model of the highest to which we could rise. All others are imitations. All others are failed copies, at best. There are non higher than He in the universe and certainly no creature that rises to His stature.

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