Who is Jesus? Part 2
by Andrew Charles
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About three days later I went to get a drink and saw Tony, Mike and a lady coming up the driveway. I thought that is unusual because the Jehovah Witnesses usually come in pairs. I invited them in and lady was Tony’s wife Elizabeth who had grown up as a Mormon but joined Tony in the Jehovah Witnesses for the sake of the family. I asked which of the two religions she preferred and she said it’s really hard for her to tell which one is right. Mike said that Tony and he had talked about our get together at my kitchen table a few days ago and now they had some serious thoughts about the Jehovah Witness’ teaching.
Elizabeth was the first to ask a question. She wanted to know how Jesus could be God when the bible says there is only one God. I asked her if she was referring to Deuteronomy 6:4 which states, “The Lord our God, the Lord is one.” The first thing I asked her if she knew a word in Hebrew could possibly not having an exact translation into English. She asked what I meant. I could see Tony and Mike were also puzzled. I explained that the Hebrew language had two different words for one. There was a word one for a singular one which is ‘yaclid’ and a word for a another word for one which is ‘echad’ which is for a composite one. If they would have used ‘yaclid’ it would have shown it definitely was a singular god. By using ’echad’ allows this be translated as god with distinct parts. I also gave them an example that they all were wearing one pair of shoes. There was one pair of shoes with two distinct parts. There were two shoes. Another example is the United States is one country with 50 distinct parts. I explained that therefore you could allow plurality of the one since the Hebrew word ‘echad’ was used. They looked a little puzzled. Yet I gave another example from the bible when a man and woman got married they became (composite)one flesh.
Elizabeth pointed out that Jesus was the first born and said, “That proves he isn’t god if he was born? How do you explain that?” She was asking that question looking for answer more than creating an argument. I said to her that I believe she was referring to Colossians 1:15. She nodded that that was the verse. I asked them if they realized that sometimes there is a word in the original Greek that doesn’t have an exact English translation just like the word for one in Hebrew that we just discussed. They all nodded that they did this time. I told them this is one of the words that doesn’t have an exact English translation. I explained that there was a Greek word ‘protokisis’ that described a normal childbirth. The Greek word used here ‘protokos’ which is begotten and does not refer to childbirth. There isn’t a word in English for that Greek word and they had to use the best word possible. I explained by using that word ‘protokos’ also showed the favored position in the hierarchy of inheritance. I didn’t mention previously but Elizabeth was taking lots of notes, which was fine with me.
Mike then said to me how about the fact Jesus called his father God. Doesn’t that prove Jesus isn’t God? I asked them if they knew in the Old Testament if they knew God had a God and that God had a son? I opened my bible and showed them Psalm 45:7 where the psalmist says, “You love righteousness and hate wickedness; therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions.” Then in Proverbs 30:4 it says, “Who has gone up into heaven and come down? Who has gathered up the wind in the hollow of his hands? Who has wrapped up the waters in his cloak? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is his name, and the name of his son? Tell me if you know!” There were puzzled looks from all three of them. Tony said I never knew that was in the Bible.
Elizabeth now pulls out and reads John 17:3 which states, “And this is eternal life, that they know thee is the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent.” I knew that verse would be used sometime during our conversation. I asked Elizabeth and the two gentlemen if a mere man could be glorified. They all agreed that only god could be glorified. I asked Elizabeth if she had John 17:5 written on her paper. She did not. I read verse 5 which Jesus said, “and now, Father, glorify me in my own presence with the glory which I had with thee before the world was made.” I looked them and said you just told me a mere man could not be glorified and I just read that Jesus was in glory with His Father before being sent to earth by His Father God. Elizabeth then said well everyone was in heaven with God and he sent them. I opened my bible and turned to John verse 8:23 where Jesus says, “You are from below: I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world.” They were all interested but Elizabeth seemed to be getting a little upset. I started getting the feeling she was one of their experts.
Now I looked particularly at Elizabeth, sensing she was there to gather information, and asked her if I could show her another verse in the bible. She said it would be alright. I noted her voice wasn’t quite as pleasant. I turned to Luke 4:33-35 which states, “And in the synagogue there was a man who had the spirit of an unclean demon; and he cried out with a loud voice, Ah! What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazereth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are, the Holy One of God.” But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be silent, and come out of him!" And when the demon had thrown him down in the midst, he came out of him, having done him no harm. I then looked at them and asked them if anyone could possible call Jesus a mere man. They are all shook their head no. There was no more discussion that night. I asked them if they wanted my phone number and Elizabeth quickly took it. Knowing that would probably happen I also gave my phone number to Mike when Elizabeth wasn’t looking.
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