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22 September, 2005 11:40 AM

Last night at LivingRoom we continued through the Ignition course that we've been doing and I was struck afresh by this quote by the author - Mark Sayers on the topic of Incarnation.

Jesus in order to complete his mission on earth chose to live amongst us. He lived the life of a human man in a particular time and place, he spoke particular languages and he lived in a particular culture. The gospel writers apart from his first and last few years see his life as so ordinary for that time and place that they do not even record it in any detail. When he begins to preach in his hometown people are shocked, and see him as only the carpenters son.

The challenge was to consider how this might not only be the way Jesus went about life, faith and mission - but how it might shape our approach.



I think the strong emphasis on the incarnation is a good thing - Jesus coming to live amogst us. But I always wonder how this fits with the way Jesus called the disciples to a life of mission. He said, "Come. Follow me." Then he took them out of their fishing circles, tax collecting circles or whatever for three years.

Not very incarnational! What do you reckon?

Matt Glover » 23 September, 2005 10:02 AM

very true - hadn't thought about it that way before.

One thought that comes to mind is that he did take them on the road for a time - but at the end said 'go into the world' which is what they did - going out/scattered and living among those that they found.

Maybe there are times and places for different phases? Thinking on the run here - pre coffee

Darren » 23 September, 2005 10:14 AM

We've just started the Ignition course in Mildura, VIC. Will get back to you in a few weeks when we cover this section !! Had some excellent discussion on Acts 1 & 2 last night. Is it appropriate, necessary, practical to live as they did - meeting daily, selling everything, making sure none are in need ? How do we do that today ? Not sure if I want to meet daily ? Was this meeting daily more relevant to their culture than ours ?

Andrew » 23 September, 2005 10:20 AM

Different phases? Perhaps....

The story of the man living in the tomb who had the demon cast out of him by Jesus is another that perplexes me. After the event, the man desperately wants to follow Jesus like the disicples, but Jesus tells him to go back to his famliy and tell them about what had happened. No training, no parables, no discipling, no nothing. A 'simple' encounter then straight out to mission.

Maybe what we should draw from this is that there is no one 'model' that Jesus used for mission. But was it merely circumstance and intention that dictated what he did.

I don't know. Tell me when the coffee kicks in...!

Matt Glover » 23 September, 2005 3:06 PM

Yeah thats an interesting thought Matt-hadn't occured to me before. Maybe Jesus did the Incarnational, diatribo-John 3:22 thing with his disciples so that then they could know how to do it with others?

But you're right, not every one is called to leave their jobs for three years, so how else do we disciple people?

Digger » 26 September, 2005 8:27 PM

This may sound controversial Darren but I struggle with this quote. Of course I agree with the sentiment of incarnation as argued here and applied to mission. But the quote doesn't sit well with what we know about the aims of the gospel writers. They wrote particularly about Jesus' ministry years because that was what they were observing. They didn't observe Jesus' earlier development so they didn't particularly record that much about it. They recorded particularly his ministry and The Passion and a lot of their interest was theological and locating who Jesus really was and what he accomplished. Their purpose in recording this was not to (by default) make statements for us to apply in the 21st century about incarnation in a post modern context. So yes, Jesus lived in a particular time, place and culture but we need to be very careful about how we interpret that for our own ends 2000 years later.

Dogwood » 26 September, 2005 8:51 PM

It's like how I sometimes wonder, "What if God was one of us?" You know... like a slob like one of us.


If we are all a mix of our mom and dad, did Jesus have "Mary's nose" or "God-the-Father's-nose?"

Tony Myles » 27 September, 2005 3:27 PM

what about the idea of contextualising the gospel through incarnation? just a thought...

Kitty » 28 September, 2005 12:11 AM

I really do wonder where would we have reached had we not had an approach.

orlando » 29 September, 2005 5:46 PM

Hello ppl. I have stumbled here whilst looking for information on incarnation. I'm looking for ways of describing how Jesus combined his divinity with his humanity. From where I sit that is what incarnation is all about. It is how God reconciles the fractured relationship between humanity and the Godhead. What do you think?? The whole uprooting ppl and where did his nose come from I don't understand. For me incarnation is about helping people see God. Connect with God. Spread the Good News that we can be with God as people. What do you think?

vascopyjama » 16 October, 2005 3:50 PM

Hypostatic union, persons, natures ~ all important in their place. But the most significant aspect is what difference does it make? The truth of Incarnation ~ Jesus taking on the human condition, speaks to our inherent goodness and dignity and demands that we respond accordingly. All of creation is infused with God, all of creation reveals God. We are partners with God in the continual bringing forth of the kingdom. Its about relationship ~ with self, God and the world. Incarnation is about how we LIVE and the more fully human we are, the more divine we become.

cinders » 1 November, 2005 2:57 AM

All of creation is infused with God, all of creation reveals God. We are partners with God in the continual bringing forth of the kingdom.

joi » 8 November, 2005 7:46 AM

Maybe there are times and places for different phases? Thinking on the run here - pre coffee

Heat » 14 February, 2006 11:13 PM

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