“I can’t get Jesus Christ out of my mind,” he said. “If I dismiss him as an idea he haunts me as a person. If I dismiss him as a person he haunts me as an idea.” (1)
Whether realizing it or not, the fellow is speaking for more than just himself. He illustrates that group of folk who, for whatever reason, “can’t” come to recognize or accept that Jesus existed/exists as a person. But, they wish He had.
“The wonder of the idea of a man like Jesus haunts even those who might not be willing to say that he was the Son of God. Atheists, in considering Jesus, become aware of a kind of longing for such a man.” (2)
Unfortunately, such folk have allowed themselves to think it has to be one or the other. They are holding to a fruitless “either-or” dilemma. They are caught in a trap of their own making. Here is one of the ways this “dilemma” is addressed by an early follower of Jesus, a fellow named John the Beloved:
In the beginning the Word already existed; the Word was with God, and the Word was God. From the very beginning the Word was with God. Through him God made all things; not one thing in all creation was made without him. The Word was the source of life, and this life brought light to humanity. . . . The Word became a human being and, full of grace and truth, lived among us. (3)
The Incarnation, admittedly, is strange; but that is common for unique things and incidents. But, the Incarnation solves more unknowns than it creates.
(1) Earl Palmer, The 24 hour Christian. InterVarsity Press, 1987, p. 25.
(2) Calvin Miller, The Book of Jesus. p. 74. Simon and Schuster, 1996.
(3) “The Gospel of John”, chapter 1. 1-4, 14 (taken from the Good News Bible version)
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