Jesus the refurbished prototype

St. Paul likes to contrast Jesus with Adam, the first human in the Hebrew creation story. He writes in his magnum opus, the letter to the Roman church,

Romans 5:14 Nevertheless, death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam, who is a pattern of the one to come.

Adam was a prototype, but his defect was a lack of trust in God. Paul's argument is this defect affects all of humanity, until the new prototype, God in human skin, appears and rectifies it.

18 Consequently, just as one trespass resulted in condemnation for all people, so also one righteous act resulted in justification and life for all people. 19 For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.

It is verses like 18 that I take literally which give me confidence that all humanity will be reconciled to God and not just a few. But this is not a post about universal reconciliation. I've written about hell often enough to explain how I arrived at that conclusion contra my funda-gelical roots.

I want to notice a few other differences between the original and the refurbished prototype. The author of the New Testament letter Hebrews, calls Jesus a forerunner (6:20), who goes where no man has gone before. The church father Athanasius teaches us "God became man so man may become God." Jesus does what humanity, represented in Adam could not, which is one of the thread's of Paul's argument in Romans.

One of those key differences is Adam was lonely so God provided Eve. Jesus was not lonely. Paul states elsewhere the church is the bride of Christ. The first prototype had only one way to fulfillment, marriage to a woman. Jesus showed another way.

All the Hebrew prophets had wives. Jesus did not. Jesus did not have to produce children to form a family. Jesus welcomed women and children as well as men into his circle to inoculate them with the truth of love of neighbor and God.

Where am I going with this, you ask?
John the Beloved laying on Jesus' chest

I've been observing and thinking about my gay neighbors in church who are lonely, and believe there are only two options for them, Adam's or Christ's. However, the model breaking example of Christ our forerunner opens up the possibility of a third way. It's a way of monogamy and fidelity, that does not require procreation, but thrives on love.

I look at you and worry about being so blinded to your orientation because of your simplified Bible teaching that you will one day marry a person of the opposite sex, trusting that God will bring the attraction and arousal but it will never come, or show up intermittently, leaving both you and your opposite sex spouse even lonelier than before you wed. I am worried if you recognize your orientation you will try to pray it away, which will frustrate you to no end and may lead to hidden relationships or encounters that will rack you with guilt.

Jesus says he came to give abundant life. The abundant life is the life of love. To become like God is to become ever more loving and less egocentric. Having a partner in this lifelong journey into love is one of God's methods of teaching us what it means for the ego to diminish so the love may enlarge. This journey is open to you and God will not oppose you. You are loved.

You may wonder how I went from my sword drill winning, verse memorizing, conservative approach to this one. Each of our journey's are unique. Mine can be found here, with many, many book recommendations on the way. In those posts a younger me argues for a conservative opinion and an older humbler me argues for a compassionate position.


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