The verses immediately following I Timothy 2:5 where the author uses the word mesitēs to refer to Jesus, support the perception that the author had in mind the question of how people, particularly people outside Jewish faith, might learn about the nature of God’s saving work in Jesus.

After saying Jesus is the “one mesitēs between God and man”, the writer goes on to say that,

7For this I was appointed a herald and an apostle (I am telling the truth, I am not lying), a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.  8I desire, then, that in every place the men should pray, lifting up holy hands without anger or argument; 9also that the women should dress themselves modestly and decently in suitable clothing, not with their hair braided, or with gold, pearls, or expensive clothes, 10but with good works, as is proper for women who profess reverence for God. 11Let a woman learn in silence with full submission. 12I permit no woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she is to keep silent. 13For Adam was formed first, then Eve; 14and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor. 15Yet she will be saved through childbearing, provided they continue in faith and love and holiness, with modesty.
(I Timothy 2:7-15)

The writer is concerned with the question of how God’s nature and work can be effectively communicated to human beings. This may lead to certain assertions, particularly about women, to which we no longer subscribe; but the important question is the effectiveness of the mesitēs. What is the medium of communication that will be most effective in the context I Timothy is addressing?

If mesitēs, in reference to Jesus, is understood as God’s “medium of communication” why does the author of I Timothy suggest there is “one” such method of communication?

Our problem with the word “one” is that we tend to hear it as exclusive, when it may better be heard as expressing uniqueness. When we speak of something, or someone, being “one of a kind” we acknowledge the existence of others of the same kind, but recognize the uniqueness of the one about whom we are speaking. There are a variety of kinds of mesitēs, but among them Jesus was “one of a kind.”

Jesus was, according to Christian tradition, the unique embodiment of the reality of God. The writer of the Letter to the Colossians says,

2I want their hearts to be encouraged and united in love, so that they may have all the riches of assured understanding and have the knowledge of God’s mystery, that is, Christ himself, 3in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge…. 9For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily (Colossians 2:2,3,9)

The particularity of Jesus lay, not so much in his being the only mesitēs of God, but rather in him being the unique mesitēs of God. Jesus was the unique mesitēs in the sense that, in him the fullness of God and the fullness of humanity were uniquely united in one person.

Robert Young in his 19c. “literal” translation of the Bible expressed this when he suggested that I Timothy 2:5 says literally,

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

The radical claim of Christian faith about Jesus is not that Jesus was the “one mediator between God and man,” but that he was “God and man.”

Jesus was, in the sense that no other human being can claim, the full incarnation of the presence of God in human history. As we open our hearts to this communication of God through Jesus, we are empowered by the Spirit of Christ, to become mediums of communication as Jesus was

So we are ambassadors for Christ, since God is making his appeal through us. (2 Corinthians 5:20)

I need a “mesitēs“/”medium of communication” from God in order that I might discover my true nature, see who God is, and serve, as Jesus served, as a mesitēs in my day.