In Jesus and the Victory of God (p. 458) N.T. Wright has an interesting discussion on the temptation Jesus likely felt to be the type of messianic figure that was expected by his culture. He writes the following:
When, therefore, we ask how Jesus conceived of the battle which he claimed to have fought as an initially decisive one, the evangelist offer us a suggestion which we cannot lightly dismiss. That the battle had been successful from Jesus’ point of view is witnessed by the fact that he had not adopted any of the ‘messianic’ styles offered to him by his culture. We cannot doubt that Jesus was constantly tempted to share, and act in accordance with, the mindset of most Jews of his day. He cannot have been indifferent to the plight of his fellow Jews, as they were systematically crushed, economically, politically, and militarily, by Rome. The temptation to be the sort of Messiah that many wanted must have been real and strong. But it was, from the point of view of his mindset, precisely a temptation. He had faced it, and defeated it in principle, and had thereby confirmed the direction for the mission that he should undertake.
This is really telling in regards to considering what it meant for Jesus to be fully human. We can kind of tend to think all knowledge was downloaded to him by the Father. But he really had to pray through things, reflect, read and study Scripture, etc, to know the fulfilment of what it meant to be Israel’s Messiah.
Very true. In order to take the incarnation seriously we must recognize that Jesus dealt with real human issues–even for a Messiah!
Comments are closed.