Humanity Of Jesus In The New Testamen
Many people will question, “If Jesus was human how was he perfect?”, or “How can he be the Son of God if he was human?”. Many of the questions that people ask that revolve around Jesus all question his humanity. How could he be the Messiah if he was a man, many will wonder. In this essay I will talk about the humanity of Jesus in the New Testament.
The Man, Jesus Christ: Although He was the Son of God, the Bible tells us that Jesus chose to come down to earth in the form of a man. It is written that He had a human nature and a human will, but that He overcame and never sinned. Because of this overcoming life, He was able to overcome death and today He is seated at the right hand side of His Father in heaven. All of this is crucial to the Christian belief. Because Christ was able to overcome sin as man of flesh just like us, this means that it is possible for us to live the same life that He did here on Earth. “By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God.” 1 John 4:2-3. In this scripture we see Jesus came in flesh, meaning he came as a man. We also see in John 8:29-40, Jesus refers to himself as man “Jesus said to them, “If you were Abraham’s children, you would do the works of Abraham. But now you seek to kill Me, a Man who has told you the truth which I heard from God.”. There are no doubts in my mind that Jesus was man.
Many people were a witness to his death as well. There are so many documents and reports of the people that lived in the same period of time as Jesus of his existence. So at this point I think there is no need to work on proving His existence as man, but instead how could he be the Son of God if He was man.
Docetism, which denied the humanity of Jesus, was a larger threat to early orthodox Christianity. Docetism was the belief that Jesus was not genuinely human, that He merely “seemed” or “appeared” to possess human nature. This teaching arose very early and was probably the object of the Apostles’ rebuttal in 1 John. Gnosticism found its roots in this school of thought. Ignatius early on fought this way of thinking, insisting that Jesus “was really born, and ate, and drank, was really persecuted by Pilate, was really crucified and died, and really rose from the dead” (Ignatius).On the other side of the spectrum, came Apollinarianism, which denied the full humanity of Jesus. This view held that Christ had just one nature and that nature was mostly divine. Jesus was not really a man but only appeared to be such. This view was quickly condemned by Orthodoxy at the Council of Rome in A.D. 377 because it undermined the complete effectiveness of Christ’s salvation. The most famous phrase in the removal of Apollinarianism was that of Gregory of Nazianzus, “What has not been assumed cannot be restored; it is what is united with God that is saved” (Gregory of Nazianzus, Epistles, 101). This view was critical in that if Christ did not assume the whole of human nature, the effectiveness of His redemptive work was undermined.
If Jesus had used His deity to live out His humanity, He would not have been fully human. He would have been less or more than human. Instead, He “shared in our humanity” (Heb. 2:14) and “he had to be made like them, fully in every way” (Heb. 2:17). Jesus, with His sinless nature throughout His earthly life, experienced all of life as we do. He did not utilize His divine power to live out His human life on earth. Jesus was that second Adam, who lived in a world filled by sin, greed, lust, and pride, just like us. And yet He did not sin. Surely Christ’s miracles are proof that Jesus used His deity. Jesus could not have done all of His miracles without using His divine powers, right? Not necessarily. They are proof that He is the Christ sent from His Father (John 10:25) but Jesus in His own words tells us that He did nothing in and of Himself—everything He did was done through His Father and in submission to His Father’s desires.
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