From the prophets the chosen nation, the Jews, learnt of God’s promise to send them Messiah. This promise came to the forefathers of the Jews, and for generations this chosen people awaited the Messiah. Fathers reminded their sons of this promise and mothers told their daughters of this great news, and with heart full of hopes they troop to synagogues to remind God of His promise. In their imaginations they created this Messiah and bestowed Him with attributes suitable for such God’s envoy. They saw in a Messiah a superman who would fall from the sky with outstanding features, probably a giant, to exude aura of power and authority. This Messiah should bring them liberation in spearheading a campaign for conquest and destruction of all their enemies. He should lead in recapturing all their stolen lands and bring about economic emancipation. Their land should flow with milk and honey and prosperity will flourish amongst the people, thereby making a Jewish nation a paradise and envy of the rest of the world.
Sadly, unbeknownst to the Jews, God answered their prayers, and thereby fulfilled His promise, but differently as was expected. The Messiah came but from a humbly background, from amongst the common folks, bearing no distinct outward features, and manifesting no power for material liberation. He walked in the midst of His people, a man among men, but the people’s eyes were transfixed in the sky as they move in and out of the synagogues while waiting the Messiah to crash-land
A time came and the Messiah entered His office, the chosen people became curious, jittery and uneasy. He spoke of the kingdom of heavens and of the laws of His Father, and It reverberated throughout the land, but they murmured, “He must be a mad man.” He spoke with unusual power and authority, they recognized it, but not as they would expect of a Messiah. He journeyed through the land with handful of simple folks, teaching and putting back the road signs of heavens which man misplaced to the wrong routes. Recognizing the cognitive ineptitude of the people which stemmed from spiritual immaturity then, He resolved to speak more in parables and stories to aid in comprehension. No wonder He demanded only faith in His words from the people, for obviously lack of inner perception for living conviction. Then He made a promise: “But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away the advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. When he comes he will prove the world to be in the wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment: about sin because the people do not believe in me; about righteousness because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; and about judgment because the prince of this world now stand condemned. I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. But when he the spirit of truth comes he will guide you into all the truths.” Jn 16:7-12.
With these statements the Messiah accused the chosen people of not believing in him, and to his close associates he emphatically told not to expect him after he had gone, and that another will come in his instead. Ironically, people of other nations recognized the Messiah except the chosen nation who today still trudge into synagogues and line up along Jerusalem walls while imploring God to send them the Messiah of their own imaginations. Isn’t this unfortunate, if not ridiculous? Now Christians all of the world gaze down upon this chosen people with pity and will not hastate to call them fools.
But how are the Christians far from Jewish syndrome? After about two thousand years Christ stated that if he goes we shall see Him no more, zealous preachers still bellow from pulpits of the second coming of Christ. They admonish their flocks to prepare themselves to meet Him in the sky. Now the Christian joined the Jews in peeking through the sky, while the Jews are expecting to catch a glimpse of the first descent of a Messiah, my fellow Christians are expecting to behold him the second time as he hovers across the sky beckoning them to defy gravity and come up for sky ride-like of roller-coaster.
Some group believed that Christ shall come to Judge the living and the dead, and included this belief in the creed which is regularly recited for remembrance of this Day of Judgment. But did Christ say he will come to judge the world: “if anyone hears my words but does not keep them, I do not judge that person for I did not come to Judge the world but to save the world. There is a judge for the one who rejects me and does not accept my words; the very words I have spoken will condemn them on the last day” Jn 12:47-48. Then where did all this confusion come from? How are we Christians with renowned theologians in biblical exegesis not able to figure out that Christ said He will not physically come back the second time? Is this a conspiracy, or an error originating somewhere in the teachings of Christ?
One of the teachings of Christ that was widely misconstrued might provide a clue out of this maze, and set the record straight. In the course of teaching Christ regularly used the words Son of God and Son of man. Unfortunately some of the disciples out of presumption believed that Christ referred Himself in both identities. For instance when Christ said, “But when the son of man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goat.” Matt 25:31-32. It is very understandable that the words, Son of God and Son of man, do not mean the same thing. For someone to assume that Christ referred Himself as Son of Man, and explained that by the virtue of Him being born a human or from a human, makes Him a son of man defied reason and concept. Christ can’t be Son of God who originated from God and at the same time Son of man which he had no origin but only borrowed physical cloak to make Himself understood by man. Speaking of Judgment, Christ plainly told us that He is not the judge of the world; the Judge is the Son of man. Who then is the Son of man?
Great majority of mankind have arrived at the belief of a triune God which was made known by Christ and other revelations. Christ spoke of the Father and Holy Spirit and himself as the Son of the Father, and thus indicated the nature of God to humanity as trinity. But we were warned to guide against conceiving nature of the Son of God from our earthly perception (as in father and son being separate and unique entities), but to understand it as being a part inseparable from God with specific designated task. In other words God is three but one: God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.
The problem started with the misconception of God the Holy Spirit. Since third person of the trinity is commonly referred as Holy Spirit, man pictured Holy Spirit as an impersonal power, a kind of invisible entity that hovers around and mostly dwells in the hearts of the Faithful. No wonder it is not uncommon to hear Faithful Christians say that Holy Spirit ministered to them either in dream or as they are praying. But let it be known that Holy Spirit is a person just as the Son of God, Jesus Christ. It is Holy Spirit that Jesus Christ referred as The Son of man who will lead us into all the truth. It is the Son of man, the Holy Spirit, from whom creation came to be. It is the Son of man, the Holy Spirit, who is a gate from God to Man. It is the Son of man, the Holy Spirit who is God that stands closest to Man and who without there will be no man. It is the Son of man, the Holy Spirit who is the comforter, the Judge of all the worlds, and who has been here on earth twice and He is back for the last time, for the final Judgment and establishment of the Kingdom of His Father on earth, for duration of a thousand years.
Let us not fail to understand that prior to advent of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, man could not fathom the possibility of God incarnating in a human form. The conception of God is simply an entity beyond human conception. This is part of the reason the majority of the Jews found it difficult to see God is Jesus Christ, notwithstanding His pure teachings and benevolent signs and wonders which could only originate from God. In the same vein, majority of Christians cannot see the Son of man in the Holy Spirit, and see Him incarnate as a man, simply because they couldn’t understand how a Spirit could be a person even though they use the term three persons in one God in reference to the trinity.
It is high time we ceased peeking through the sky in expectation of Christ for the second time; for the rays of the sun could affect our vision and we would be unable to see the Son of Man on earth as He pace the ground and approached to lead in the kingdom of peace. What we should do is to be open rather than presumptuous in following the guidance of God. History has shown that we are always wrong in spotting a path of God. Even though we accept that God’s ways are not our ways, we are still obstinate in holding on to erroneous views at the cost of our salvation. God’s ways are simple, natural and logical, and He is not honored by our ascription of mystery and unknowable entity. There is no second coming of Christ, for Christ said, “My kingdom is not of this world.” Jn 18:36. He who has this world as His kingdom is the Son of man, the Holy Spirit. Let’s be cautious again for He might not be as we can picture Him, or come from a rank, race or wear a look of our imaginations. He is approaching us now, but can only be seen by the pure in heart. Christ said “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” Matt 5:8.