Earlier this year, I wrote and self-published my first book, “The Jumbo Shrimp Gospel.” The book is about the oxy-moronic nature of the kingdom of God. One of the chapters, “Supernaturally Ordinary,” looks at the birth of Jesus. “JSG” would make a great Christmas present! By one for yourself and one for that special someone. Click on the blue Lulu logo over to the right.
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Now, onto an excerpt from the book…
Jesus, Aliens, and Will Smith
One of Will Smith’s early movie hits was “Men in Black”, a film about a secret government agency responsible for monitoring the alien population that lived on earth (we’re talking, not about illegal immigrants, but space critters like E.T.). Early in the movie, an enemy alien—a “bug”—crash landed on a farm outside New York City. The bug swiftly latched onto Edgar, the farmer, and sucked out all of his insides. The bug put Edgar’s skin on as a disguise. Edgar’s wife told Will Smith’s character that it looked like someone had put on an “Edgar suit.” The bug incarnated itself—it put skin on.
Volumes have been written about the incarnation of Jesus. It is not within the scope of this book to argue the finer points of the incarnation. We’re going to take God at His word—“the Word (Jesus) became flesh and dwelt among us.” In other words, Jesus put skin on. His mother Mary was a virgin when she conceived via the Holy Spirit (the mechanics of which we’ll never understand), and remained a virgin throughout her pregnancy with Jesus.
Those of us who grew up in church are so familiar with the incarnation that it no longer amazes us. We think about the incarnation during Christmas (especially when our kids flub lines and butcher songs in the church Christmas play), but that’s about it. Our familiarity has blinded us to the incarnation’s oxymoronic nature.
The idea of God putting on vulnerable human flesh is mind-boggling. Although I’m grateful that Jesus did put skin on, I sometimes wonder why He would want to become a human, especially with all the benefits that come with a physical body (namely gas, vomiting, and explosive diarrhea).
While the theological particulars of the incarnation are enough to give us a headache, we also need to consider the expectations that the ancient Jews had for the Messiah. They expected the Messiah to be a political and military Brock Lesnar who would go UFC on the Romans (the ruling empire at the time) and restore the kingdom of Israel to the glory it hadn’t seen since the days of king Solomon.
The expectations of the Jewish people were that the Messiah would be anything but ordinary. It turns out the Messiah was supernaturally ordinary.
 John 1:14.