Two thousand years ago an unimpressive looking Jewish blue-collar laborer burst on the scene, claiming to be God. Jesus’ life and ministry, his sinless perfection, and his historically undeniable death and resurrection were so convincing that he was God, that merely fifty years after Jesus walked the earth, some people began doubting that he was truly human! (1 John 4:1-3; 2 John 7)! Today we’ll explore Jesus’ humanity—and examine how it’s important to our daily lives.
The Scriptures teach that the Jesus who walk among us perfectly represented God’s glorious nature (Hebrews 1:3). Which raises a very important question: If Jesus was God and perfectly reflected his glorious nature—how in the world could that be compatible with also being human? What kind of a man was he? Was he morally perfect—like God? Or, was he morally flawed—like us? The clear teaching of Scripture is that he was sinlessly perfect (John 15:10; 8:29). Jesus perfectly pleased the Father, but you and I all sin—so was Jesus really a human being? After all, none of us humans can say “I always please God.” How do we resolve this?
Sinful corruption is not essential to humanity any more than rust is essential to a car! Adam and Eve were human before they sinned, and they were human after they sinned. Before they sinned, they were untouched by the “rust” of corruption. Jesus was perfect humanity. And friends, this is good news! He came to restore us “rusty” humans to the glorious condition God originally intended for us. Because Jesus came in order to substitute himself or us, to absorb God wrath against sin (2 Corinthians 5:21), if he had been sinful like us, he could not have saved us. But if he hadn’t of also been infinite God, he could have only have absorbed the wrath for one man’s worth of sin. By being the perfect, sinless God-Man he is able to restore all who will repent and believe.
We often use the words “average” and “normal” interchangeably, but they mean very different things. “Average” is a mathematical concept. Average is a mathematical statement about what “is”; it says nothing about what “ought” to be. “Normal”, on the other hand, is about “ought” to be. “Normal” means “conforming to the standard”. Jesus is the “normal” human being. Jesus is the “standard” for human beings. Jesus is what we are supposed to look like—even though we don’t. We “average” human beings often become irritated, anxious and self-protective. And because all of us sinful human beings do these things, we give ourselves a pass. We compare ourselves to each other, and feel proud or ashamed. But Jesus is ideal humanity; he is the glorious “normal” standard against which God judges us. The Greek word for “sin” is “hamartia”—which is an archery term meaning “to miss the mark”. There’s only one mark—the glory of God (Romans 3:23). When there’s only one mark, it’s “either / or”—either you hit it, or you don’t. And a miss is as good as a mile. Jesus is the “normal human being”—the standard to which we all are held.
Since Jesus never fell short—can he really understand us and our struggles? Whatever sin you struggle with— porn, bitterness, addictions, same-sex attraction, grumbling or gossiping— Jesus never missed those. So, is he no help to you? Are we just condemned by his perfection? Is he oblivious to our plight—just can’t identify with our weaknesses? Jesus does understand—both because as God, he knows all things, and also Jesus was tempted in every way we are (Hebrews 4:15-16). Satan genuinely tried to get Jesus to sin, so when Jesus resisted, Satan turned up the heat of the attack. The fact that Jesus never sinned means he experienced the maximum temptation available (when Satan wants to get me to sin, last Sunday’s stale donut will do!).
Jesus is our “high priest”, the “go between”, connecting sinful men to a holy God. Jesus became a human being so that he could connect us to God. And he’s a sympathetic high priest—he really understands out weaknesses, because he took on real, frail human nature. In any and every difficulty, he’s able to say: “I’ve been there. I made it through successfully. I’ll lead you through.” Therefore we are to draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, in order that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. The order of these two actions is critical: Drawing near precedes and produces the reception of mercy and help. “Drawing near” is a continuous type of action—it could be translated “habitually keep on drawing near to God so that when the time of need comes, you’ll receive mercy and help”. We need to make it a habit of drawing near, and that prepares us to receive mercy and help. Romans 8:29 is the best news ever: God predestined us to become like his Son! Some day all of us who’ve trusted in Christ will be “normal”, we’ll “conform to the standard” set by Jesus Christ. This is our confident expectation, and it energizes us for action now (1 John 3:1-3). We are to make real progress toward normalcy.
Application / Challenge
- Never forget that Christ is God. He’s not your “buddy”—he is the Lord of all creation! Do not minimize his majesty. Do not lessen his lordship. Marvel, worship, and obey.
- Never forget that Christ is truly human. He’s not distant and foreboding, but sympathetic and ready to help. Continually draw near with confidence. Love him in response to his love toward you.
- If you know that you are not rightly-related to God (or suspect that you are not), place your trust in Jesus Christ! If you would like to know God personally, contact us here. Scroll down to the Ministry Information Request section and mark the first or second checkbox. We look forward to helping!