Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Jesus:the maker of all things

In his commentary on Genesis, Hamilton makes this observation on Gen. 1.3:  "One observes that the only item in Gen. 1 that is created by fiat, strictly speaking , is light: : 'And God said, "Let there be light," and there was light.'  Everything else is created, or emerges, in Gen. 1 by fiat plus some subsequent activity that is divinely instigated.  Thus, there is not ' "let there be a vault," and there was a vault,' nor any '"let there be lights/animals/man," and there were [was] lights/animals/man.'  So, after the 'Let there be' of day 2 (v. 6a) comes 'And God made the vault' " (Hamilton, p. 119).  Did God command something to be and then do the work Himself?  As Hamilton observes above, yes, that is what we read in Genesis. 1.  We are puzzled by that though.  We are used to thinking that God commands some thing to be and it happens, but the only time this happened was with the creation of light.

To further complicate our thinking is Gen. 1.26 "Then God said ' Let us make man in our image, in our likeness...."  And even though you won't read it in an English translation Ecc. 12.1 "Remember you Creators in the days of your youth...."  Our translators, helpfully, changed the plural "creators" to the singular "creator," because it is so obviously wrong.  Here and there in the Old Testament we see hints of someone with God the Father, someone referred to as God, but different from our Father.  Ever though Christians sometimes shy away from referring to Jesus as God, the New Testament writers joyfully proclaimed that message.

In John 1.2-3 John wrote "He was with God in the beginning.  Through him all thing were made; without him nothing was made that has been made."  Verse two is kind of oddly phrased, it read more like "he is the one that was with God in the beginning."  It is as if there was someone who was with God, when the world was made, and we should be wondering who he was.  John says that was Jesus.  He is the one who made the world at God's command.

John isn't the only one who wrote that Jesus made the world.  Paul wrote in 1Cor. 8.6 "yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live."  Also, Col. 1.16 "For by him all things were created: things in heaven and one earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him."  The writer of Hebrews also wrote "...he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through who he made the universe" (Heb. 1.2).  It is a clear teaching in the New Testament that Jesus was the power by which the world and the universe was made.

John freely refers to Jesus as God in his gospel account, in fact he does it in the first verse of the first chapter: "In the beginning was the Word, and Word was with God, and the Word was God."  He does it again in John 1.18 "No one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only, who is at the Father's side, and has made him known."  Jesus has the very nature of God, and "did not consider equality with God something to be grasped" (Phil. 2.6).  Jesus is the express image of God (Col. 1.15-20), in him is the fullness of the Godhead (Col. 2.9).  What can be said about God the Father, can be said about Jesus.  When we accept this concept about Jesus some of the odd things we read about God, such as what we discussed in the first paragraph make more sense.

An odd thing about God in the Old Testament is the word most often translated "God," it is plural.  Elohiym is used to refer to God some 2310 times (Girdlestone, p. 30).  There is a singular form, but it is only used about 57 times.  Why would God choose to be referred to by a plural term when there is a singular form?  Perhaps it is because the plural form is the more accurate one to use.  So, when we read "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness..." (Gen 1.26) it accurately describes the relationship of the Father and Son.  Also, Deu. 6.4 "Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one."  It doesn't say there is one LORD, but that He is one.  It is like saying "we are one."  That doesn't mean we are a single person, it means we are united.

I don't claim to truly understand the concept of the the Father and the Son being God, but the bible teaches us that it is so.  I don't understand gravity, but doesn't make it any less real.  One of the last things that Jesus prayed about was that we might share in this oneness: "My prayer is not for them alone.  I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one , Father, just as your are in me and I am in you.  May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me" (John 17;20-21).


Girdlestone RB (1983).  Girldlestone's Synonyms of the Old Testament, 3rd edition, Baker.

Hamilton VP (1990).  The Book Of Genesis, New International Commentary On The Old Testament, Eerdmans.

No comments:

Post a Comment