His Connection With God
We can choose to believe the story of a virgin birth. Nagging questions aside, it is a beautiful and inspiring story. However, there is an alternative theory of how Jesus became divine. Called the adoption thesis, it tells us Jesus became so close to God, the Holy Spirit felt compelled to “adopt” him as a son. It is both a credible and natural explanation of his life. We must remember, the term “begotten son”, which implies physical fatherhood, was an invention of early Church fathers. Jesus never said he was the son of God in the physical sense. Instead he made the point God is our spiritual father (who art in heaven), and the creator of all life. In addition, although the gospels tell us Jesus frequently prayed to his father, indicating Jesus had a deeply spiritual relationship with God, that does not tell us if Jesus was physically divine from birth, or acquired divinity as an adult. If anything, it would appear to prove that a very human Jesus was able to establish a conscious connection with God – and that is the essence of his divinity.
The New Testament fails to describe anything about the life of Jesus from the time he was 12 or 13 to the beginning of his ministry at age ~ 30. Called the unknown years, the silent years, or the missing years, there has been considerable speculation about what happened to him during this period. Did he travel? Did he work in another country? Did he study other religions? Or was he, as the Bible appears to tell us, a simple carpenter all his adult life? And if this is the case, what were the events that changed this ordinary carpenter into God’s passionate messenger?
It does not seem probable his god/man status could be kept a secret for 30 years through all the adventures of childhood, the challenges of being a pre-teen, growing up as a teenager, and then becoming a recognized member of the community. Are we to believe he was oblivious to the lure of hormone driven sex or the temptation to use his celestial powers in a fit of human frustration? Or is it more logical Jesus lived the life of a mortal boy, grew up to be a man, matured intellectually, gained in wisdom, and then developed a very close relationship with God?
We do not acquire the passion of personal commitment as the result of a sterile intellectual exercise. A genuine compassion for others is seldom the result of an indifferent analysis of human circumstances. We become passionate about our mission and compassionate in our understanding of human character by experiencing both in our one-on-one encounters with family, friends, and community. If we are the sum of all our experiences, then our attitudes and energies will be shaped by our participation in this thing we call human life.
God had a simple objective. He wanted to create a man who would carry His message to humanity. By guiding and watching over Jesus throughout his childhood and adult life, God brought forth a man of vision and integrity. We can believe Jesus was both passionate about his mission and compassionate toward others because he led a very human life with all its joys, sorrows, triumphs, and tragedies. His ministry was that of a man who had experienced the breadth of human life. He had an absolute empathy for the people of Judea, Samaria, and Galilee. He became the man who would carry God’s message to humanity.
If a loving God adopts Jesus the man and brings him back to life through the miracle of resurrection, then one cannot deny the truth and resounding power of his message. It proves there is a path to heaven for ordinary mortals. This is the essential message of Jesus Christ. He was a mortal, a human who was able to establish a deeply spiritual conscious connection with God, was subsequently adopted by a loving God, became divine by the will of God, and died for us because he wanted to prove resurrection is possible for worthy souls. Let us thank him for his sacrifice.
We will never know if God caused Mary to become pregnant or if Jesus was simply a man who developed an extraordinary relationship with God. Whether by birth or adoption, we do know God regarded Jesus as his son. God made Jesus his messenger to humanity, and gave him unusual powers. Jesus became an independent, charismatic, passionate and very intelligent man who was comfortable in almost any gathering. His disciples obviously viewed him as a leader. He had a strong and commanding persona. His demeanor, teaching, and beliefs obviously placed him next to God.
We can choose to believe divinity is not a physical attribute. Being divine, or becoming divine, does not alter human DNA, modify a chromosome, or change the structure of a cell. Divinity does not require super-human or extra-human physical characteristics. Divinity is created by establishing a deeply spiritual conscious connection with God. The core conscious self becomes one with the consciousness and awareness that is God. It is a living dynamic relationship.
In Chapter 2, Consciousness and Connection, we examined how it is possible to make this connection. When God wants to establish a spiritual relationship with us, it is through the activity of our core consciousness. When God the Holy Father created his relationship with Jesus, he established a connection the depth of which surpasses anything any other human has ever experienced. It is this bond that makes Jesus divine.
We can choose to believe God created
a consciousness connection with Jesus,
and made him divine.
We may also choose to believe
God nurtured this connection
with the man he wanted to call his Son.
Jesus clearly wanted to bring us closer to the God he loved. Jesus urged us to follow him to God’s Kingdom. We should follow his counsel.
Whether one chooses to believe the traditional story of a virgin birth, or feels more comfortable with the adoption thesis, we know there is only one God, a remarkable divine person, who reveals himself in many ways, including as father, son and Holy Spirit. When Jesus ascended to the Kingdom of God for the last time, he became one with the Holy Spirit in both form and intellect. Thereafter, Jesus was God and God was Jesus.
Think of it this way. When a mighty river flows through the plains and into the ocean, the water of the river intermixes with the water of the ocean. Eventually, the water of the ocean cannot be distinguished from the water of the river. The river has become the ocean.
But Jesus is not lost to us. As many have experienced, one can summon the presence of Jesus in human form through earnest prayer. The Holy Unity is able to reveal itself as Jesus, a prophet, a deceased friend or relative, a respected person, and even as a spiritual force whose presence we are able to sense but not see. We need only to seek a spiritual union with the divine. God will respond with wisdom, love and compassion.