Still reflecting on this, and I came across some other things this morning in my reading. I was particularly sitting with how various people understood Jesus and how Jesus understood/referred to himself. My mind went to the titles in the Gospels that had son in them – S/son of David, Son of Man, Son of God/Most High. Then I read Matt. 22:41-46 NRSV:
41 Now while the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them this question: 42 ‘What do you think of the Messiah? Whose son is he?’
They said to him, ‘The son of David.’ 43 He said to them, ‘How is it then that David by the Spirit calls him Lord, saying,
44 “The Lord said to my Lord,
‘Sit at my right hand,
until I put your enemies under your feet’”?
45 If David thus calls him Lord, how can he be his son?’ 46 No one was able to give him an answer, nor from that day did anyone dare to ask him any more questions.
Both Mark and Luke tells parallel versions – Mk. 12:35-37 NRSV and Luke 20:41-44 NRSV – but present in all accounts is Jesus challenging a narrow notion of the sonship of the Messiah. He’s inviting them to think/imagine bigger. The Messiah/Christ box involves more than you expect.
Furthermore, while in that rabbit hole, I came across Rom. 1:1-4 NRSV, where Paul is describing himself as regards Jesus and His Gospel:
Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, 2 which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy scriptures, 3 the gospel concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh 4 and was declared to be Son of God with power according to the spirit of holiness by resurrection from the dead…
Only in light of the resurrection (and ascension) could incarnation be fully grappled with. It seems like that, until then, there were only hints and invitations to expand one’s expectations.
[Sidebar, there are also times in the Gospels where ‘Messiah, the Son of God’ are listed together, and I wonder if their/that notion of Son of God is as our notion of Son of God, 2000 years on?]