Originally published as Jesus: man or God? 10/28/2012
Have you ever struggled with the idea of whether Jesus was a man or God? Maybe the struggle is simply trying to understand how Jesus could be a man at all? I confess that one blows my mind and probably always will.
We know Jesus was a man and at the same time God because the Bible tells us He was. Jesus was born of Mary through the Holy Spirit and so grew up as a human man, pretty simple. The “how” that really escapes me is how Jesus our God who created the heavens and all things in them became a man…how does God step down from the throne of glory and become a man like us? I guess that article will have to wait until after I can interview God, after I am in heaven…
Jesus was born as a normal human male baby: Matthew 1:20-21 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”
In (Luke 1:39-45) we read that when Mary greeted Elizabeth, Elizabeth’s baby leaped in her womb. Elizabeth referred to Mary as “the mother of my Lord”.
(Luke 2:4-7) tells of the actual birth of Jesus in Bethlehem. The subsequent verses tell of the angels appearing from heaven to the shepherds and telling them of the Savior.
Jesus was also circumcised (Luke 2:21)
Jesus grew up as a human boy. (Luke 2:39-52) Verse 40 says the child (Jesus) grew and became strong. Jesus would need that physical strength later on in life during the ordeal of the crucifixion.
Verse 42 specifically cites Jesus age at the time; He was twelve years old. Joseph and Mary were going up to Jerusalem for the Feast of the Passover as they usually did. On this occasion, the boy Jesus stayed behind in the temple courts (verse 45). In verse 49 Jesus lays claim to His divinity despite being a human boy at the time. Jesus says, “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?”
Verse 52 is a key verse in determining that Jesus was indeed a man, And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men. I obviously cannot explain the “how”, but if Jesus was growing in wisdom and stature, then this statement most definitely points to His humanity because God does not have to learn anything…but a man does. I cannot explain how Jesus the man could be learning and growing in wisdom when at the same time His divine side knows all, but some things have to be taken on faith, and this passage does prove that Jesus was human!
Was Jesus a man, really?
Jesus knew what it was like to be hungry (Matthew 4:2)
Jesus knew what it felt like to be tired (John 4:6)
Jesus bled like we do (John 19:34) there are other examples of this where bleeding is not specifically mentioned but is inferred through the events leading to the crucifixion and the crucifixion itself. (John 19)
Jesus was tempted in all the ways we are (Hebrews 4:15)
The Apostle Paul wrote that Jesus was a man (1Timothy 2:5)
Jesus died…God does not die but a man does (Romans 5:8)
I deliberately left out the verses that mention Jesus was thirsty as those verses in proper context do not show Jesus as being thirsty, rather they emphasize other points.
John 19:28 Later, knowing that all was now completed, and so that the Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I am thirsty.” I doubt thirst was a large concern on the cross, this was said to fulfill scripture.
(John 4:4-26) In verse 7 Jesus asks the Samaritan woman for a drink, now do not get me wrong, Jesus may have drank water here, He probably did after a long journey. However the main contextual point here was not Jesus drinking water, it was Jesus using a drink of water as the perfect opening to evangelize to this woman.
In part two we will look at the Old Testament and the evidence to be found there, that Jesus is both God and man.