The Christening of Jesus of Nazareth Shines His Temporal Humanity

There are some parts of Holy Scripture that, when read by the average Christian, cause one to briefly pause over what sounds like a wrong note in the music of the orchestra. One such instance in Acts 4:24-29 where King David and Jesus are both referred to as “Servants” or “children” (παιδός) of God: “For truly against Your holy Servant Jesus, whom You anointed.. (etc, etc). In the King James Version, both David and Jesus are said to be God’s “child,” but other translations say “servant”. One could easily argue that since both David and Jesus are “kings”, they are sons of God in a unique way. In any case, it is apparent that, on first reading, one is caught by the necessity of humanizing our reading of Jesus.

When I first read through St. Luke’s Acts over 15 years ago, I read the Bible with so much of an emphasis on the deity of Jesus that it took a pause to humanize him in order to understand Scripture. I think it had something to do my door-to-door evangelizing encounters where disassembling the theology of the “Jehovah’s Witnesses” (modern day Arians) took up a large habit. In any case, one word that some folks also don’t realize requires a keen awareness of Jesus’ humanity is “Christ”. We say Jesus Christ, and sometimes we overlook that this very word requires the humanity of Jesus.

As you know, “Christ” is another way of saying “Messiah,” and both mean “one who is anointed”. But this absolutely shines the temporal humanity of Jesus. For all Christs or Messiahs are persons who are elevated or “anointed” from a common and mundane status to a special office or function. Human beings are annointed! Priests, Prophets, and Kings were anointed, because they were taken from a common life and elevated to a special status and function.

The human Jesus was “Christened” through his mission beginning with His incarnation, his ministry from the baptism of St. John the Forerunner, and ultimately by His violent death by the hands of men. Through this process, Jesus defeated death and was elevated to everlasting glory and dominion over all of creation, and was then ascended on high to be enthroned at God’s right hand. What is so interesting about this is that we, as those who are baptized *into* Christ, and thereby become “Christians,” are also anointed to share in the priesthood, prophetic office, and kingship of Jesus. The sacraments of Baptism and Christmation engraft us into the Christening of Jesus.

Ultimately, we will see the full fruit of our Christening when we rise from death and are fully enthroned alongside Jesus. So next time you say or hear Jesus “Christ”, take a moment and medidate on how this shines the humanity of Jesus, because it signifies His descent into the incarnation and the transition that could only happen to a temopral human being, namley, from flesh to Glorified-Flesh, a transition that He offers to share with all who believe and are baptized. His Christening becomes our christening, because we, with Jesus, partake of the fallen order and are annointed/elevated to the high status of being Sons of God in the only Begotten.

1 thought on “The Christening of Jesus of Nazareth Shines His Temporal Humanity

  1. So the first thing this makes me wonder about is what does it mean for the Human Christ to be seated at the right hand of the Father? Is he seated in the heights of the Aevum? Or is he related to the divine essence in a way that surpasses understanding? What’s the relationship of the glorified humanity to the “right hand of the father?”

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