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1 Timothy 2:5  

For there is one God, and one mediator between

God and men, the man Christ Jesus (KJV).





Quick Facts by j. Dan Gill

 

A. What I Timothy 2:5 is saying -

God has greatly blessed humanity by giving us an intermediary: a go-between to mediate between himself and us as his creation.  In 1 Timothy 2:5 Paul is affirming several extraordinary things:

1. There is One God.                
The "One God" is the Father.  As is Paul's custom in his writings, he affirms this fact in the  beginning of the letter.  He writes in 1 Tim. 1:2 -  "To Timothy, my own son in the faith: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God our Father..." 

2. There is one mediator between God and men.
The "One Mediator" stands between the One God and humankind.  The word translated mediator in this case is "mesites." It indicates one standing in the middle between parties for the purpose of bringing peace and good will, or to form a compact (see Thayer p. 401).

(3.) The "One Mediator" is a man.
To Paul this is a  crucial fact.  The mediator has been chosen, appointed and is honored by God. However, God has chosen one of us for this role!  This then gives an advantage to mankind in the matter.  Our mediator is not an angel – nor a hybrid "angel-man." Neither is he any other kind of creature. God has appointed one of our fellow human beings as mediator. We might have had cause to complain that we had no choice in who would be our mediator. We might have had reason to fear that we would not be represented well. However, God's decision to give the role of mediator to one of us, allows us greater confidence in these matters.

(4.) The "One Mediator" is a particular man.
Paul indicates the mediator is the man "Christ Jesus," i.e. "the anointed Jesus" (Acts 10:38).  Jesus is of course not the One God – otherwise he would be interceding with himself. Rather, he is identified by Paul at the beginning of the letter in contrast with God. He is the "Lord" Jesus Christ (1 Tim. 1:2).  He was of course "made Lord" by God (Acts 2:36).

There have been many who have served in the role of mediator between God and people.  Notable among those is Moses (Gal. 3:19). Likewise, the priests under the law and particularly the high priests stood between God and the people. Hebrews 5:1-9 makes clear that the role of mediator is given by God to men on behalf of their fellows. The point in Hebrews is that Jesus was given the role of high priest by God and,  because he is one of us, he is able to be touched by the feelings of our weaknesses.  He was indeed tempted "in all points" like his fellow human beings (Hebrews 4:14-16).

God has chosen well.  Jesus is the perfect mediator for humanity not only because he is a human being, but also because he is the best of human beings. God choose the best of us to stand for the rest of us. Clearly, there is a critical distinction between Jesus and the rest of humanity. That distinction is that he did not sin.

Moses at times failed. By the grace of God, Jesus stood the tests and proved himself faithful in all things (John 4:34, Luke 22:42, etc.).  Then, Jesus also became the guarantor of the New Covenant – he sealed the covenant with his own blood. Now, who in humanity could ever complain about this mediator?  He literally gave his life for us. In fact Paul makes that very point in the passage we are considering:  "One Mediator – the man Christ Jesus" (1 Tim 2:5), "Who gave himself a ransom for all" (v. 6).   


B. What 1 Timothy 2:5  is not saying -

I Timothy 2:5 is not saying that the mediator is an "angel-man" or a "God-man." While such ideas are indicated by various commentators, neither this verse, nor any other verse in the Bible says those things.  Rather, Paul is very specific in affirming that our mediator is one of us – the man Christ Jesus.  Again, this corresponds well with the writer of Hebrews when he tells his readers: 

"Every high priest is selected from among men and is appointed to represent them in matters related to God..." (Heb. 5:1 NIV). 

The writer's point is on the mark with 1 Timothy 2:5 - Jesus, our high priest, is truly one of us. Thanks be to God for choosing one of us - the best one of us - to be our go-between with him!

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Further Study

I Timothy 2:5 - Ten Scriptures of Interest

John 14:6 Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me (NRSV).

Ro 5:1  Being therefore justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ (ASV).

Ro 6:10  For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God (NASB).

Ro 8:34  Who is to condemn? It is Christ Jesus, who died, yes, who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who indeed intercedes for us (NRSV).

1 Co 15:57  But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ (NIV).

1Ti 2:5  For there is one God; there is also one mediator between God and humankind, Christ Jesus, himself human (NRSV).

Heb 5:1  Every high priest is selected from among men and is appointed to represent them in matters related to God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins (NIV).

Heb  7:25  Wherefore [Jesus] is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever lives to make intercession for them (KJV).

Heb 9:24  For Christ did not enter a holy place made with hands, a mere copy of the true one, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us  (NASB).

1 Jo 2:1  But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One (NIV).

 

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