We’ll all affirm, no doubt, that Jesus Christ is fully human as well as being fully God. Scripture speaks of Jesus’ humanity clearly, our creeds and confessions teach this carefully, and we sing of the incarnation in our hymns.
But what exactly does this mean? How did Jesus, as a man, have to rely upon the power of the Holy Spirit in his ministry? How are we to understand scripture when it tells us that the creator of all things “increased in wisdom and in stature and in favour with God?” What did Jesus mean when, speaking of his second coming, he said that no one knows when this will occur, “not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only?” Now that Christ is exalted in heaven, is he still fully human, and if so, how does that matter?
These aren’t trivial questions, and Dr. Mark Jones acknowledges that his twenty-six chapter devotional book, Knowing Christ, cannot address all there is to say about the humanity of our prophet, priest, and king. What it can do, however, is awaken in us a hunger to know more about Jesus, and knowing more about him, to love and honour him better.
Knowing Christ might have been written as a “book for God’s people, not the academy,” as the author states, but it is also not a book to pick up when one’s eyelids are droopy with sleep, or to turn to in order to kill some time on a noisy train or in a crowded waiting room. Although the chapters are short, there is meat in here that requires concentration and contemplation to grasp and appreciate. The effort, however, is worth it.
Sound interesting? The good news is that if someone beats you to taking Knowing Christ out from the church library, the author will be here at Woodgreen on Friday, April 15th and Saturday, April 16th, speaking on this same topic. For further information visit www.calgaryreformedconference.com.
Reviewed by Eric Stobbart