Advent Reflection #27: Jesus Christ is no Clark Kent

 

 

 

Jesus Christ was (and is!) God incarnate.  He was (and is!) fully God.  He was (and is!) fully man.  To properly honor Scripture’s teaching, we must reject anything tending toward or smacking of a functional “Clark Kent” understanding of the Incarnation.  You know Clark.  He’s the seemingly ordinary earthling who in fact was on a long term loan from the planet Krypton.  He looked like a human to other humans, but he wasn’t really a human.  When a bus, machine gun bullet, or spike strikes a real human, it leaves a mark, and the human bleeds.  As Superman’s earthbound camouflage, Clark Kent couldn’t be injured by the things on earth, and never bled.  He wasn’t a real human being, after all.

 

Not so, Jesus of Nazareth.  Jesus was a real man.  We can go still further:  He was the most real man who ever lived, the most fully human of all human beings.  He entered the world the same way each of us does:  He was born.  He could feel, as we feel.  He could be injured, as we can be injured.  He could bleed, as we bleed.  And because He did, we will live in resurrection power, even as He does.  He was and is no Clark Kent.

 

C.S. Lewis makes the same point (much better!) below:

 

“God could, had He pleased, have been incarnate in a man of iron nerves, the Stoic sort who lets no sigh escape him.  Of His great humility He chose to be incarnate in a man of delicate sensibilities who wept at the grave of Lazarus and sweated blood in Gethsemane.  Otherwise we should have missed the great lesson that it is by his will aloe that a man is good or bad, and that feelings are not, in themselves, of any importance.  We should also have missed the all-important help of knowing that He has faced all that the weakest of us face, has shared not only the strength of our nature but every weakness of it except sin.  If He had been incarnate in a man of immense natural courage, that would have been for many of us almost the same as His not being incarnate at all.”

C.S. Lewis (in a letter, October 1947)

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2 thoughts on “Advent Reflection #27: Jesus Christ is no Clark Kent

  1. Such an important reminder as we begin anew our walk with Emmanuel. So many wonderful Advent posts on your site, Mike. I will return in the New Year from fresh inspiration. Pax

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