Do we miss so much of Jesus living by making him God? Jesus came to have a human experience. Is it God becoming human and remaining God while being human? Many say Jesus is fully human and fully God, which is a mystery we cannot understand, something to be taken on faith.
But what if we allow ourselves to see Jesus fully human and leave the God aspect out of his life? There is a teaching from Jesus about birds having all they need and lilies in the field dressed more eloquently than even the great King Solomon. We read, “Look at the birds in the sky; they do not sow or reap, they gather nothing into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are not you more important than they?” (Matthew 6:26) Birds being less important than humans is a very human judgement. Who among us would choose a birds life over a human life? No one. But would God judge as humans’ judge?
If we accept God has created everything, then it would be easy to imagine all creation has equal importance to God. The lives of people and birds have equivalency in the heart of God. I think this judgement from Jesus is one he makes because he knows those he is speaking to will understand the correlation, and in this moment he isn’t necessarily acting like God. There are other examples where value judgement, criticism and emotion seem to be evident in Jesus speaking and acting. Is this who God becomes? God is emotional, feeling more than love, also feeling hated? It is impossible to know but our human experiences with emotion lead us to doing things at times we would not want to do if we think something through.
Jesus came to have a human experience, which means not being fully aware all the time. He has emotions, which exist for his human experience, as he grows toward becoming fully aware. Emotions exist in humans, but unless we live them without judging we cannot grow or benefit from the human experience. When we are happy we like the feeling and so we always want to be happy. When we are sad, we want to eliminate this feeling, it is not anything we enjoy. But we will more likely grow from sadness and not from happiness. When I think of growth in this sense, I am thinking of moving toward the full spiritual being we hope to become.
Looking at the life of Jesus with an eye toward learning and knowledge we can better understand who he was, and use this understanding to become more like him. Naturally he suffered, recall the moment he feeds five thousand and then because he says certain words they all leave him, how could that not have an impact on him, making him question his own ideals. But he doesn’t recant his words, he lives with the change in popularity and perhaps later expresses himself differently.
Jesus’ humanity is full. He is a being moving toward enlightenment. We don’t know anything of the early years of his life because there is nothing we can learn from him during his formative years. Those early years he is learning how to become a fully awake human being. It is when he knows his life can be an example to others and he is closest to enlightenment that we see his public ministry, filled with stories and details of his life, allowing us to model him and move toward enlightenment ourselves. He became Christ through death and is born anew, fully enlightened and awake. This is our path as well. Those of us who need a model like Jesus are called into the stories of his life. We call ourselves Christians, little anointed ones, who are to become fully anointed and enlightened like Jesus the first Christ.
In prayer I often ask “who am I?” Am I my body, my mind, my thoughts, am I who others say I am? Today I hear that “I am the bread of life.” I am food for others to live, as Jesus is food for my life and my journey to enlightenment, I am called to be the same. I exist for others. This is the message of Jesus human life.