Section 2—The Identity of Jesus

Much is made within Christian Doctrine concerning the identity of Jesus. We are led to believe that Jesus is The Son of God, and I have no difficulty with that. The difficulty for me is the doctrine that Jesus is the only son of God, are we not all children of God?

We are also encouraged to accept the doctrine of the “Virgin Birth” and therefore the acceptance of “Jesus born of the Spirit”, many people, lay and ordained, find this hard to believe. However, there is an underlying fear in verbalizing this concern because of the risk of being labelled, at best a doubter, at worst a heretic!

The underlying purpose of this study is to examine our faith and beliefs in the light of current understanding, and to attempt to link our theological thoughts together to create a belief system that “makes sense”, hence “Let’s Get Real”!

When undertaking my Local Preachers training in the mid-seventies I remember quite clearly my tutor stressing the importance of a belief system that formed a chain of thoughts, each link complete in itself, but also linking together to form a strong and unbreakable chain. No “weakest link”, otherwise the chain would break when put under scrutiny and I would be left with fragmented theology!

So back to the identity of Jesus…

Who was/is Jesus?

Put aside for a moment the hot potato of the “Virgin birth” and let’s think about the message of the Incarnation. My aim is to encourage the reader to make sense of the message and so embrace its meaning and harness its power in our daily lives. You don’t have to be a biblical scholar to recognise that the coming of the Messiah is the fulfilment of the Old Testament prophecy of Hope. It is therefore only natural that those early Christians should base their “story” on the expectation of the Israelite nation.

To fulfil the Old Testament prophecy the “Messiah” needed to be born in Bethlehem, needed to be of the House of David, although that theory loses any credence if we ascribe to the virgin birth because Joseph, descendant of David would have no part in producing this long awaited heir!

In my understanding The Message of the Incarnation—God with us, redirects our thinking from an Old Testament understanding of a “God out there“ to the New Testament theology of God Within. For me the greatest sadness is that the Christian Church has failed miserably in embracing this amazing revelation. Even after two thousand years, our doctrines, prayers and preaching are still mainly focused on a “distant” and “disconnected” God. Surely time for re-evaluation!

As I have already stated I have no difficulty whatsoever in acknowledging Jesus as “The Son of God”, the Word made Flesh, God within us. Where I differ from many Christians is my belief that we too are sons and daughters of God. My understanding is that the Divine Power that we call God is within every human, whether acknowledged or not! As I see it, if Jesus is to be our guide, blueprint etc. then we have to start from a level playing field. Only then can we have any real hope and expectation of True Discipleship.


  • Did Jesus really exist in 1st century Palestine?
  • How would you explain Jesus as the “Son of God”?
  • What is your understanding of “Born of the Spirit”?
  • How does the account of “the incarnation” help you?
  • How important to you is the doctrine of Emmanuel—God with/within us?

You are encouraged to share your thoughts by emailing ann ‘at’ alternativetheology ‘dot’ com. If you enjoyed the post, you can share this page on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

You can find the next section of this study here.