The Greek word mesitēs translated “mediator” in I Timothy 2:5 does not necessarily imply a go-between who negotiates between separate parties. It can also be translated as “a medium of communication” (Thayer’s Greek Lexicon).

Perhaps the intention in I Timothy 2:5 is not so much that Jesus came to mediate as that he came to communicate.

Jesus came to communicate the fullness and beauty of the nature of God and the true nature of what it means to be fully human. He came, most specifically, to embody the reality that God always seeks to bring about the health and well-being of all human beings on earth (“salvation”).

I do not need a mesitēs because I am separated from God, an ontological impossibility; I need a mesitēs because I live in ignorance of my own true nature and of God’s true nature. I live as if asleep, unconscious of the divine mystery and beauty that permeate all life. I fail to align myself with the secret presence that haunts all of existence. I am deaf to the voice of truth that speaks in all of creation and rings in the depths of my being, calling me back to an awareness of the oneness of all life and the pervasive presence of God who is never absent. The challenge is never to forget the words of Jesus who said,

remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age. (Matthew 28:20)

In the context surrounding the six appearances of mesitēs in the New Testament, the oneness of God and the universality of salvation and of the knowledge of God, and God’s unchanging faithfulness, are always emphasized:

Now a mediator involves more than one party; but God is one. (Galatians 3:20)

there is one God. (I Timothy 2:5)

they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest. (Hebrews 8:11)

I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds. (Hebrews 10:16)

be content with what you have; for he has said, ‘I will never leave you or forsake you.’ (Hebrews 13:5)

There is no hint here of separation or division. God is working through Jesus to bring all human beings to an awareness that God is one and that God seeks to heal and restore all people to an awareness of the fullness and beauty of our original nature as beings created in the image of God.

A good mediator, before anything else, helps with communication. A good mediator helps the parties to hear one another and what we hear when one of the parties is God is that God is “one”; there is no separation.

Going back to I Timothy 2:5, it is important to notice that the word “between” does not actually appear in the Greek text. Literally, the verse says:

there is one God and one mesitēs God and man, the man Christ Jesus.

In his 19c. “literal” translation of the Bible Robert Young suggests that instead of “between” the English word that should be provided between mesitēs and God is “of“:

for one is God, one also is mesitēs of God and of men, the man Christ Jesus.

If mesitēs is taken in its sense of communication, then I Timothy 2:5 is saying that Jesus is the means of God’s communication to humanity. Jesus is the true nature of God embodied. When we see Jesus we see who God is and we see who we truly are as human beings united in Christ to one another and to all of life. Our call is to embody this unity and to live from our awareness of the oneness that is our true nature, not to overcome some imagined and impossible separation between ourselves and the one in whom “we live and move and have our being.”

Tomorrow, I will conclude these reflections on I Timothy 2:5 asking, if mesitēs is understood as indicating that Jesus was God’s “medium of communication” why the text seems to indicate that there is only “one” such “medium of communication.”