Posted by: pmarkrobb | October 20, 2013

the immeasurable value of our humanness

Take a few minutes with me to consider the immeasurable value of our humanness.

But before we start, how does that statement sit with you?  Are you unaffected and ready to simply read past it?  Are you generally agreeable, or curious and eager to read on?  Or does that statement cause you to stop and think, “did I read that right?”  I think for some, and maybe even many, that statement will fall somewhere along the sliding scale from unsettling to blasphemous.  Growing up in the church, I don’t remember many Sunday School lessons or sermons on the immeasurable value of our humanness.  But if you’ll allow me a few paragraphs and minutes of your time, I believe there is biblical evidence that supports this consideration.

Consider first, that in the story of creation, and the specific account of God creating man, He says, “Let us make human beings in our image, to be like us.” Genesis 1:26 (NLT)

I believe this is a bold statement in defense of the immeasurable value of our humanness.  In creating us, God did not photocopy Himself.  We were not born into divinity, but were purposefully made human.  What’s more, being human does not carry with it inherent flaw; that was not a product of creation, that was a product of original sin.  Our humanity distinguishes us, but it does not condemn us.  That again, is the product of sin.  That God created us human; this could stand alone in defense of immeasurable value, but there’s more.

A second consideration is God’s redemptive plan.  In making a way of salvation and restoration, God chose for the divine to take on full humanity.  Jesus Christ entered our fallen world fully God and fully man.  He delivered us, and made a way for us, but He also became one of us, and lived among us.  This was far from necessary understanding God’s omnipotence, but it was His choice … fully human to be acquainted with our grief (Isaiah 53:3), and fully human to be the one and only Passover Lamb for the sins of all for all time.  This could stand alone, but I believe there’s more.

A third consideration is the temptation of Christ in the desert.  At the onset of Jesus’ earthly ministry, He is baptized and immediately led by the Spirit to the desert to be tempted by Satan himself.  What does Satan attack and desire for Jesus to deny?  It’s not His divinity, it’s his humanness … it’s the desires of the flesh, it’s pride, and it’s the lust for power.  In his attempts to tempt Jesus to sin, Satan attacks Jesus’ humanity and offers His divinity as the “way out.”  In response, Jesus empties himself and points to the Father.  He answers each temptation as we should.  He is fully one of us.  “Man shall not live by bread alone…” (Matthew 4:4), He says, not “I” or “I and man” … just “Man.”  This could stand alone, but there is more.

For final consideration are the words of Paul in Philippians 2:6…

…who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped,  (ESV)

There is perhaps no better definitive declarative of the immeasurable value of our humanness than those words appearing in the midst of Paul’s description of the humility of Christ.  Jesus Christ became fully human, and in that “form of God,” was purely and perfectly content.

Why is this important?  What is the point of “proving” the immeasurable value of our humanness?  My simple and direct answer would be found in backing up to the words at the beginning of Philippians 2:6 and that directly precede those noted above…

Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,

Do the words “equality with God,” stir any thoughts in you?  When I read them I was immediately transported to the scene of original sin.  Equality with God as a thing to be grasped … this was the desire that Satan, in the form of a serpent, threw fuel on the flames of, in the hearts and minds of the first man and woman.  We know their response, and in contrast, we know Christ’s.  “Have this mind among yourselves” … this is why it is important to consider the immeasurable value of our humanness.

We are God’s sacred creation … fully human.  Christ was purely and perfectly content in that.  Let’s have this mind among ourselves.

yeam2012


Responses

  1. Good food for thought, Thanks

  2. Thanks Mark! I enjoyed reading this! “God saw all that He had made, and it was very good.” – Genesis 1:31 How valuable is that which is made/created in the image of That which has endless value!?! Any creation from that which has value holds a certain value because of it’s relationship to the creator. Now add that in this case the Creator is all-powerful, all-knowing, everywhere-present, etc., and has created “in His own image” – wow, what does that do to/for the value of the created!?! 🙂

    I think a problem arises, and perhaps caused some readers to initially have those unsettled and blasphemous thoughts to your claim, when we try to separate the creations value from the Creator and make it stand alone. Separation brings/is death. Relationship brings/is LIFE- value!

    I enjoyed (am enjoying) the thoughts around your claim to human value. Continue to observe, examine, think………and share. 🙂


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