articles of chapter 2

Jesus – the Righteous Servant of God

The following verses 11 and 12 from chapter 53 are familiar descriptions of Jesus Christ.

11 He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by the knowledge of himself shall my righteous servant justify many; and he shall bear their iniquities.

12 Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he poured out his soul to death, and was numbered with the transgressors: yet he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

Isaiah wrote this description about Christ which he had received from God about 700 years before Jesus’ birth. In verse 11 my attention is attached to the description of Christ as the righteous servant of God. Jesus is not described as God, not as a Son of God, but as a servant of God. Equally significant is the characterization of Jesus’ reward in verse 12.

When examining different translations of verse 12, one cannot help but wonder how differently it has been interpreted and translated.

This can not be the case of Christ’s rewarding the mighty rulers of the earth who would divide the booty of Christ’s victory. No, Christ will not come to earth for the second time to make war and get spoil. Christ is rewarded because he abandoned his life for death due to an unfair judgment. It is, in my opinion, a reward and a position, not of spoil as a result of successful warfare. Luther is right in that sense that Christ’s “catch” is the people who have received salvation. Christ will divide the booty with the strong; Christ comes to the earth with God’s angelic army and with his saints and attacks Satan’s forces. ‘Catch’ is obtained, for example a so-called great multitude, consisting of humans who have repented, and this multitude of people is so great that it cannot be counted.

What is meant by “giving a portion (bârabbı̄m) with the great” is clearly seen from such passages as Isaiah 52:15; Isaiah 49:7, according to which the great rulers of the earth will be brought to do homage and worship Him.

There are interpretations of this kind in which ‘portion with the great ones’ are seen only as respect and homage of the great rulers of the world. But Jesus will not come back for the glory of the kings of the earth! He will be the King of Kings himself and submit all kingdoms and kings under his power.

So what it is meant by ‘portion with the great’? Who are these great ones? Of course, God himself decides for it, but I can imagine that among them is his friend Abraham, also King David, who was a man a man after God’s heart, etc. The righteous servant of God, his Son born a man, receives his share in this company. Christ establishes the Millennium kingdom of peace and rules it together with the saints.

In fact, I see the role of Jesus includes not only the kingship but also priesthood. When the Millennial kingdom is over, death has been overthrown and Satan and the unrighteous have been thrown into the lake of fire, only the righteous servants of God are left and Jesus is their high priest according to Melchizedek.

 

Jesus Christ – the Mediator

For God is one, also there is one Mediator of God and of men, the Man Christ Jesus (1 Tim 2:5)

How do we analyze this Bible verse? It begins in the same way as 1 Corinthians 8:6, which says: for us there is only one God, the Father… And there is only one Lord, Jesus Christ…

Both verses are, in my opinion, unambiguous. Our God is one and only. Him we can call the Father – he is our Creator Rom 8:15 …”you have received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, Abba!” 16 The Spirit Himself witnesses with our spirit that we are children of God. The verse in the letter to Timothy continues with the statement: there is one Mediator of God and of men, the Man Christ Jesus. In Timothy’s letter Paul speaks about the mediator, in his letter to the Corinthians, he assures us that we have one Lord. So, we have one God the Father AND one Lord Jesus Christ. God the Father and Lord Jesus Christ are therefore separate persons. God is the Father and Jesus Christ is the Lord; two different persons and two different dignities.

In Paul’s letter to Timothy, Christ is assigned a new task; he is the mediator between people and God. The actual bomb will come at the very end; Jesus Christ is a man! He was a human on earth, we all know and believe it. Does Paul mean that Jesus would have remained a human being after his death, after his resurrection and even after his ascending into heaven?

Does that mean the Bible is saying that Jesus was the mediator only while on earth? However, I cannot accept such a time limit for his role as an intermediary. On the contrary, I firmly believe that Jesus speaks for us also in heaven. So assures to you 1 Joh 2:1 My little children, I write these things to you so that you do not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.

This letter of Paul was written at the turn of the 50s and 60s, about three decades after Christ’s ascension. Paul, like the rest of the apostles, had at this stage formed a common understanding about the future role of Jesus. Jesus was on the earth forty days before his ascension, and during this time he certainly gave his disciples, effective guidance of their duties. It is inconceivable that the apostles would be sent to carry to the world the gospel that would include false information about Jesus.

Was Jesus then recognized as God? Apostle Thomas said to Jesus, “My Lord and my God” (John 20:28). Why does Paul then explain that Jesus Christ is a human being? Did not the Apostles have become clear about the divinity of Jesus? Although Paul was not an actual Apostle, he had, however, received the task from Jesus himself on the way to Damascus. Paul was an apostle of the gentiles; …”I have made you a light to the Gentiles to be the means of salvation to the very ends of the earth” (Act 13:47). Jesus would not have allowed Paul to convey false information, such as that Jesus is only a man, though he is the mediator between people and God.

Second, from this statement of Jesus acting as a mediator between people and God, we can draw the conclusion; the Mother of Jesus, Virgin Mary and the saints of the Church, who have been raised by the Catholic Church as mediators, are false mediators. All of these are dead and “the dead do not know anything” (Ecc 9:5).

There is an old doctrine of two natures of Jesus developed by the Catholic church fathers. According to this, Jesus is both God and man. If so, I could understand the idea that Jesus was a man on earth and turned back to God as he ascended into heaven. However, I do not support this doctrine.

Jesus said in Matthew 12:50: “For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.” Some may comment on this encouraging statement, saying that Jesus was talking as a human. And now that Jesus is in heaven? If he is God, does he acknowledge, according to his promise, that the people fulfilling the will of God are his brothers? Or is Jesus in heaven a man, albeit in the spirit body?

1 Joh 3:2 Dear friends, we are now God’s children, but what we will be like has not been revealed yet. We know that when Christ is revealed we will be like him, because we will see him as he is.

 

image_pdfimage_print