Fully Human 1: The Humanity of Jesus

Humanity of Jesus

We’ve seen it in so many movies: a superhero runs into a burning building, clad in a super-suit that grants him special powers, guaranteeing his safety. Crowds marvel at the superhero’s apparent bravery and courage but in reality there wouldn’t be much to admire because the superhero was never in any danger. If it’s impossible for Superman to be burned by fire then it requires no courage or personal risk to go into a burning building to rescue someone, like it would for a normal person.

This may be an odd way to think about the humanity and divinity of Jesus but I think the same basic principle applies. I’ve always thought that if there’s a God, then there’s also a reasonable expectation that He would attempt to communicate with us about Himself, His will for us, and the purpose our very existence; so the fact that God came to humanity in some way doesn’t really surprise me.

But what absolutely blows my mind is when I think about the way in which God chose to come to us: as fully, totally, utterly, and beautifully human. It is Jesus’ raw humanness that compels me to fall on my knees and commit my life to him; for in Jesus’ humanity I see just how low God was willing to stoop, how far He was willing to reach, and how much He was willing to suffer, in order to save me, us.

Christians today focus so heavily on Jesus’ divinity that we almost completely discard his humanity. For example: in our images of Jesus there’s always a magic glowing light shining just behind his head that presumably followed him everywhere; we imagine ‘baby Jesus’ as a serene infant who never cried; we think of the attributes of God as all-knowing and all-powerful and apply them directly to Jesus. In short, we understand Jesus as if his humanity did not exist or were not real.

This is why we’re uncomfortable thinking about Jesus going to the bathroom, getting sick, puking, or having zits; why we overlook passages that state or imply there were things he didn’t know: like the time of his own return (Mk 13:32/Mt 24:36); who touched his robe (Mk 5:25-34); or when he pleads with his Father to take his cup from him ‘if it is possible (Mt 26:39/Lk 22/Mk 14),’ which implies Jesus thought it might be possible to avoid it. He also ‘increased in wisdom’ (Lk 2:52), revealing again that he didn’t know everything. Other passages we overlook imply Jesus was not all-powerful: ‘he could not do any miracles’ (Mk 6:4-6) due to the lack of peoples’ faith and later wants to rest, presumably because he’s tired (Mk 6:31).

When we discard all this we ignore what compels me more than anything else to love and appreciate the God who reveals Himself in Jesus: that God chose to come to us like this.

If the man Jesus had been all-knowing and all-powerful like he was as the pre-incarnate Son before becoming flesh, then what might appear to be great heroism, bravery, or self-sacrifice on his part would’ve actually been more like Superman rescuing someone from a burning building: it looks noble and worthy but in truth he was never in any real danger and therefore risked nothing.

If Jesus had known everything then it would’ve been impossible to catch him off-guard or surprise him; if all-powerful then nothing could’ve harmed him. But I ask you: what courage would Jesus need if he were invincible to all pain, suffering, loneliness, fear, or worry? What honor would he deserve if he wasn’t willing to suffer or endure anything to reach and save us? And how unfair of him to expect us to follow him if he had so many advantages that we simply don’t have? It would be like Superman asking us to follow him and fly like he does but without any super-powers: it’s an impossible and ridiculous expectation. Further: why should we be expected to endure personal suffering, pain, or sacrifice for him if he wasn’t really willing to do the same for us?

Why should we contemplate the humanity of Jesus?

On the other hand, if Jesus was a real human being then we can see just how low God was willing to stoop, humble Himself, and even suffer for us, and we can trust in Jesus because he’s walked in our shoes and knows what its like.

During this ‘Fully Human’ blog-series we’ll lay the scriptural foundations for the humanity of Jesus and come face to face with a stunning, and often shocking, picture of a God who is so passionately in love with us that He is willing to do, endure, and suffer almost anything to break through to us. My hope is that we’ll never be the same.

Q. Have you ever seriously thought about the humanity of Jesus? What questions does it rise for you?

 

For the entire Fully Human series click here.

Visit Greg’s ministry website Fuego Urbano and check out his personal blog http://greghaugh.blogspot.com/

 

 

 


65 comments
Larry Kehring
Larry Kehring

all i can say is thank you lord for never giving up on me

Weston Scheer
Weston Scheer

"Why should we contemplate the humanity of Jesus?" We are a family, I am my brethrens keeper. But not savior so this is why I ask, have you heard. "The chicken crossed the road to lay and egg, the road may have been dangeroues, atlases it did lay the egg. Which came first the chicken or the egg? This is not as important as understanding which came first the potter or the pot? When you except we where all created and are the products of our parents, this is when your life will take shape. Fools will be used for the furnace fire." but the fools are my brethren.

Monica Aranda Pluma
Monica Aranda Pluma

"We have been made to mirror God’s holiness and righteousness back to God, not so we may benefit (though there are immeasurable benefits to personal godliness), but so God will be glorified in beholding Himself in His creatures." - John Hannah, Professor of Historical Theology at Dallas Seminary

Monica Aranda Pluma
Monica Aranda Pluma

"People do not drift toward holiness. Apart from grace-driven effort, people do not gravitate toward godliness, prayer, obedience to Scripture, faith, and delight in the Lord. We drift toward compromise and call it tolerance; we drift toward disobedience and call it freedom; we drift toward superstition and call it faith. We cherish the indiscipline of lost self-control and call it relaxation; we slouch toward prayerlessness and delude ourselves into thinking we have escaped legalism; we slide toward godlessness and convince ourselves we have been liberated." - D.A. Carson (The Gospel Coalition)

Monica Aranda Pluma
Monica Aranda Pluma

@Greg YES! Humanity finds it very hard to give uncoditional love uncoditional compassion towards the lost, hurting and broken children of God. For the most part humanity is self-centered and self seeking for a happiness that does not exist that offers only temporary happiness and pleasures. Only God can bless us with the gifts of uncoditional love uncoditional compassion towards the lost, hurting and broken. People are not capable of offering something they don't naturally have within them when we are not connected to God. If we pray and ask God to make us an extension of His love, it is the only way we can offer something we don't naturally have. But if we are connected to God through Jesus Christ, then the extension of His grace will abound. And this is a daily prayer for (manna) grace, mercy and love, that we may be able to extend what He has given us to extend. It was never meant to be kept for ourselves. If we are His children, we are called to be extensions of His grace, mercy and love. Father God stands and waits for all of humanity to come to Him, He awaits with open arms through Jesus Christ. and yet many refuse...the free Gift of Life through Grace (Jesus Christ) leading to Eternal Life. If humanity only knew the worth we have, people would not forfeit their inheritance, the gift of eternal life with God... Grace and Truth :)

Greg Haugh
Greg Haugh

AWESOME Monica!! THAT'S IT!! And if God loves us so much to willingly subject Himself to such pain and suffering, then how grateful, humbled, and awed should we be by His unfathomable love for us!!?? And if he loves and cares about us so much that He's willing to endure that, then as his followers, shouldn't we also be moved to bring that same love, healing, restoration, and good news of Jesus to those around us who are lost, hurting, and broken?

Trochia
Trochia

Beautiful Monica Aranda Pluma!

Karen Mitchell
Karen Mitchell

IT IS SO AMAZING THAT I CRY WHEN I THINK OF HOW NO ONE LISTENS OR FOLLOWS HIS TEACHINGS. THE POPE, KISS MY RING, THE CHURCHES GET BIGGER AND I ACTUALLY HEARD 1 MAN SAY "WE WANT YOUR MONEY!"

Monica Aranda Pluma
Monica Aranda Pluma

On another point: I can not ever say, "God does not know what is like when someone is: physically or mentally abused, deprived, scolded, spat at, accused of being a crimal when actually innocent, hated, considered an outcast, an immigrant. Jesus endured everything known to man, suffered, died and was buried, and therefore God does know what is like when someone is... Many people view God as just sitting on the throne looking down waiting to see who He can punish. What we fail to realize is that God has experienced an unsubmountable amount of pain for us. So He does understand our pain, whatever it may be. He promises go bless His children with - strength, courage, hope, love, healing, etc. If we can only grasp His love for us, many would not choose to forfeit their inheritance.

Monica Aranda Pluma
Monica Aranda Pluma

My humble opinion is: I can not and will not put God in a box. And because I read the bible I will not pretend to know and understand everything about the character of God. I trust Him and need not understand. But, I can only speak for myself. The following bible verses reveal a great deal of understanding to me as His child. “It is God’s privilege to conceal things, and the king’s privilege to discover and invent. You cannot understand the height of heaven, the size of the earth, or all that goes on in the king’s mind!” - Proverbs 24:2-3 Who has known Your mind, Lord? Who has become Your counselor? Who has first given to You and it shall be repaid to him? For of You and through You and to You are all things, to whom be glory forever. - (Romans 11:34-36). I don't need to understand everything that goes on in God's mind or His Divine Will. My soul knows and understands that He is Omnipotent and His power is absolute. Lord, Your dominion is an everlasting dominion, and Your kingdom is from generation to generation. All the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing. You do according to Your will in the army of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth. No one can restrain Your hand or say to You, “What have You done?” -(Daniel 4:34-35)

Greg Haugh
Greg Haugh

Mak el Jodu: Sorry, the Phillippians 2 passage will be in the next 'Fully Human' blogpost so look for that one when it comes out soon. Blessings!

Greg Haugh
Greg Haugh

Mak el Jodu: By your words 'G-d is unlimited. consider it carefully' I'm not sure if you agree or disagree with me but I want you to know that I think we agree: in God's own essence/being/self, He is completely unlimited. But couldn't God, in His limitless freedom, power, might, authority, knowledge, choose or decide to limit Himself in certain ways if He wanted to? If He had a good enough reason to? After all: He limits and conditions His future actions in scripture every time He makes a covenant that places boundaries and limits on His future relationships and dealings with human beings. He promises not to do x, or never to do y, or always do z...and those promises are self-imposed limits for Him. So why couldn't the limitless God choose to place human limitations on Himself if He had a good enough reason to? What's to stop Him? Because that's precisely what Paul says God did in the verses I wrote about in Phillippians 2...He chose to come to us in this way. It was on purpose...for a reason! thoughts??

Greg Haugh
Greg Haugh

Lou Ann: I agree with most of what you wrote except the part about Jesus having to be fully God 'in order to raise himself from the grave.' Actually the New Testament is incredibly consistent in teaching that Jesus did not raise himself from the grave but was raised by God the Father...which is pretty interesting and goes to show how interconnected & interdependent the Father, Son, and Spirit are! When Jesus talks about 'being raised' or 'lifted up,' he always uses a passive voice which means he's not doing the action but rather receiving the action; and even if the doer of the action is not named or specified in some verses, it is assumed from other verses where he states it clearly that it is the Father who raised Jesus from the dead...Take a look and see how that might alter some of your views. Does it? If it takes us closer to God's Truth, then all the better!

Greg Haugh
Greg Haugh

Roxann: Obviously you don't believe in the trinity and that's fine. You're more then entitled to you views. But if you consider the Bible as your source for knowledge about God then I'd like to know where you find it saying anything about 'God the Spirit made flesh.' ...or Jesus being identified with 'God the Spirit made flesh.' Search high & low; you won't find even one verse backing that claim. What you will find is 1 verse (Jn 1:14) in John's gospel that refers to the 'Word ('logos' in greek) made flesh', but that 'Word/logos' existed before all things and was God and also somehow 'with God' in the beginning (read Jn 1:1-3). You'll also find tons of verses referring to God's Spirit or God as Spirit; tons of verses referring to Jesus as the Son of God; and tons of verses referring to the Father: Put them all together and that's where Trinity comes from. But nowhere does the Bible talk about God the Spirit being made flesh...blessings to you

Robert Vaughn
Robert Vaughn

thank you father god , that you sent your son jesus in human form to die for us..thank you ..that you chose us , for we did not choose you ...

Lou Ann Higginbotham
Lou Ann Higginbotham

Because HE rose again........we likewise will rise again. He destroyed death.

Lou Ann Higginbotham
Lou Ann Higginbotham

Jesus had to be fully human to die in our place for our sins but at the same time fully God in order to raise himself from the grave.

Sharon Theo Lamoureux
Sharon Theo Lamoureux

Before the cross He 'passed through a crowd hell bent on throwing Him off a cliff..they never saw Him pass by!'my LORD and my God' is Who Jesus Is

Pamela FireStorm Nord Krueger
Pamela FireStorm Nord Krueger

@ Roxann, if you consider the Bible a book of to instruct on who God is, consider who He was talking to when he said in Genesis, Let US make man/woman in our image. This article is exploring the fact that the Bible presents Jesus as BEing in the beginning, creating with Father long before it records Him as coming to earth in human form. Once raised from the dead He is able to 'appear' in room where doors are locked and ppl are in hiding, yet they could touch His physical wounds and body. God being One with Himself is non polytheism anymore that water isnot ice or steam. Chicken and egg comments make no sense in any reference to the truths expounded upon here. this is not about how human we are or where we came from. this is about Jesus, God the Son who is the word of God that became flesh and dwelt among us to reveal the Father's love and heart and to reconnect us with our inheritance as His creations.

Roxann Anzelone
Roxann Anzelone

good article with a myth.....Jesus WAS NOT A SON IN HEAVEN!!!!!...Jesus is God the Spirit made flesh....there has never been a trinity and never will be....trinity belief is polytheism

Bobby Lewis
Bobby Lewis

In the Garden Jesus asked God that if there was any other way to LET THIS CUP PASS BEFORE ME NEVERLESS LET THY WILL BE DONE. GOD LOVED US THAT MUCH.

Ellie Wilson
Ellie Wilson

God chose to come to us as human being engendered not created since He already existed from the beginning ! He is our God and the only way we go to the Father is through His most beloved son the Lord Jesus and only by the power of the Holy Spirit!! He suffered died and rose yet He was without sin!! He came to us in the form of a babe just like us were created in His own image!

Jack Styger
Jack Styger

Actually, I've been human since 1951.

Carol Mitchell
Carol Mitchell

he was fully human and fully GOD and fully sinless as human.

James L. Combs
James L. Combs

I don't think it could have been any other way....

Chris-Smooth Wale Adejumo
Chris-Smooth Wale Adejumo

AMEN... THANK YOU FATHER GOD FOR YOUR LOVE, GRACE, MERCY & STRENGTH... YOU SHOW ME THRU YOUR SON, MY LORD & SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST.. AMEN