The Humanity of Jesus Christ

sun-304632_1280William J. Stewart | Do you really know Jesus?

For many people in Jesus’ day, it was a challenge to accept His divinity. In fact, it was His claims to divine nature that caused the Pharisees to oppose Him so vehemently, even to the point of seeking His life. After Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection, some who believed in Christ went to the opposite extreme—affirming that Jesus did not come in the flesh. The apostle John wrote:

…every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the antichrist, who you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world. (1 John 4:3)

John doesn’t give the reason behind their rejection of Jesus’ humanity. There were a few different gnostic doctrines prevalent in the first century that denied the humanity of Christ. Some likely thought it inconsistent, even impossible for a divine person to also be human. Perhaps they could not reconcile the frailty and weakness of human flesh with the limitless power and might of deity. No matter what the objection; regardless whether we are able to grasp how Jesus can be both God and man at the same time—the Bible says He is. Perhaps this is an example of what Paul meant when he wrote:

Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out! (Romans 11:33)

Just as some in today’s religious world oppose the deity of Christ, there are some who stand against the humanity of Christ in our modern age. Much like their ancient counterparts, folks may not get how One person can be both divine and human. I’m not going to try to tell you how that works. I don’t know; but what I do know is the Bible says Jesus is both. That is enough for me, and should be enough for every Bible believer.

There are many texts in the Bible that speak to the humanity of Christ. Consider:

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:14)

In John 1:1, the Word was identified as God. In verse 14, the Word becomes flesh. There can be no doubt that this is Jesus Christ.

…Jesus therefore, being wearied from His journey, sat thus by the well… (John 4:6)

Jesus was journeying from Judea to Galilee. He was tired. He was fatigued. This is characteristic of humanity, not deity.

…He made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death… (Philippians 2:7-8)

Verse 6 says Jesus was in the form of God, verse 7 says He took the form of man. The word form is the same in the Greek. Jesus was as much a man as He was God.

Jesus died. Is it possible for God to die? He died as a man.

Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same … in all things He had to be made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest… (Hebrews 2:14, 17)

In Luke 24:39, Jesus invites His disciples to handle Him, so they’ll believe in His bodily resurrection. He said, “a spirit does not have flesh and bones” He had flesh and bones and blood—whatever it means to be human, that is what Jesus became.

For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. (Hebrews 4:15)

Being a man, Jesus knew what it was to be tempted. He was tempted to sin, but did not yield. Jesus could not face temptation as God, and serve as a sympathizing High Priest, for God cannot be tempted (James 1:13). He faced and overcame temptation as a man.

There are other texts that speak about the humanity of Christ, but for the honest seeker of truth, these will suffice to demonstrate that Jesus was as human as you or I. To say so is not a denial of His deity; He was and is God. He is both God and man, as the Bible says.

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