Theology: CHRISTOLOGY – THE HUMANITY OF CHRIST

Winifred Kirkland once spoke of the fact that we often miss knowing Christ because of His familiarity. We think we know all there is to know of Him so we don’t consider him as we ought.

 

“In talking about Jesus Christ our Lord many fundamentalists seem to lift Him to super human plateaus where we see only a dim and hazy image, while in reality the Scriptures depict Him as a patient, loving, and enduring figure to be held as a pattern for our Christian lives.

 

“In many places throughout the Gospels we see Christ as a very patient person. His disciples were constantly giving Him reason to despair, yet He always explained and re-explained each thing until it was clear in their minds. The Pharisees were often trying to lead Christ into a corner where they would have surely pounced upon Him, yet He always was in control. The high point of the patience portrayed by the Son of Man was at His trial. People were beating Him, mocking Him, and spitting on Him, yet never once did He lose His temper.

 

“The love this man poured out upon the nations of the earth was immeasurable, and not universally accepted. He gave His life on the cross as the payment for all mankind’s sin, yet not all have returned His love, and as a result many will spend eternity without that love.

 

“Christ’s physical endurance amazes many people. This man was up very early in the morning praying, spent all day with the crowds about Him, teaching and healing, and continued His work into the night. Many today think they’ve done a big day’s work if they put in eight hours. The type of life that Christ submitted Himself to requires a real commitment to the job to be done.

 

“The total of just these three brief points, His patience, His love, and His commitment, show that Jesus Christ was truly a great and dynamic human being, which in no way detracts from the fact that He was God walking among us.”1

 

Why is it important for Christ to be Human? Since we have seen that He was Deity what difference does humanity make? As Almighty God He was able to care for the sin of the world. He was able to do all that man could not. He satisfied God’s requirements for atonement. What difference does His humanity make?

 

1. He can’t be our example if He is God only. God, an infinite being cannot really set a followable example for finite man. We would be incapable of following that example.

 

2. He could not pay for man’s sin if he were not locked into humanity in some manner. The requirement is for man to die. If Christ was to take upon Himself the penalty he must be man.

 

3. He could not defeat the devil evidently without this step according to Hebrews 2:14.

 

THE HUMANITY OF CHRIST DECLARED

 

I. HE HAD A HUMAN BIRTH

 

He Was Born Of A Woman. He was born of Mary according to the Gospels and Galatians 4:4. He was born of a virgin as well. We will cover this in more detail in the incarnation. (Matthew 1:18-2:12, Luke 1:30-38; 2:1-20) Evans has a paragraph that would be good for consideration if there is any doubt in the mind as to the validity of the virgin birth. See footnote 4.

 

II. HE HAD HUMAN TERMS APPLIED TO HIM

 

He Was Called The Son Of David: Matthew 1:1, Matthew 12:23, Matthew 15:22. To be a true son of David, He would have to have been of the seed of David, and human.

 

He Was Called The Son Of Abraham: Matthew 1:1. The same applies here as in the previous comment.

 

 

He Was Born Of The Seed Of David: Romans 1:3. This passage adds proof to the previous two points. The thought of seed indicates a physical relationship.

 

He Was A Descendent Of Adam: Luke 3:23-38 shows the genealogy tracing back to Adam. This is another proof of the physical, human aspect of Christ’s nature.

 

This Fulfilled A Promise To: Eve, Genesis 3:15 and Ahaz, Isaiah 7:14. Again this strong physical, human link to man is seen.

 

Jesus is the Greek form of the Hebrew name Joshua: He had a human name as well as physical descendency.

 

He Was Called A Carpenter: Mark 6:3 Along with his human name, descendency we see that He was involved in a physical occupation, that of a carpenter. If only God why would He need to subject Himself to such things. Indeed, if only God, why go through the process of birth, growing, learning, and the other mundane things of human life?

 

He Was Called A Man: 1 Timothy 2:5 The apostle Paul was quite in error if this Jesus were only God.

 

He Was Flesh And Blood: Hebrews 2:14 To be flesh and blood, is to be human. We have no other creature on earth that has flesh and blood that are not animal or human. With all of the characteristics of a human, then He must have been human.

 

III. HE HAD HUMAN DEVELOPMENT

 

He Was One Of The Early Home Schoolers: Luke 2:40,

 

“And the child grew, and became strong in spirit, filled with wisdom; and the grace of God was upon him.”

 

He Matured As Other Humans Mature: Luke 2:52, “And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.”

 

He Was Taught But Probably Not In Schools: There is a possibility that he had some teaching in the synagogue. Luke 4:16 shows that he could read in the synagogue. John 7:15 mentions that the Jews marveled at his knowledge.

 

 

He Visited The Temple: Luke 2:41,46,47 tells us that he visited in a big way and shocked a few teachers.

 

He Knew The Scriptures: Luke 4:17 tells us that he had a working knowledge of the Scriptures. Enough of a knowledge to find a certain passage in Isaiah

 

“And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet, Isaiah. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written,”

 

Matthew 4:4 and the context are the testing in the wilderness and it shows that he had a good understanding of the Scripture.

 

His knowledge of the Scriptures may well have come from a combination of three things, His teaching from His parents, His own personal study and His communion with the Heavenly Father.

 

IV. HE HAD ESSENTIAL ELEMENTS OF HUMAN NATURE

 

He Had A Human Body: Hebrews 10:5 mentions his body. Hebrews 10:10 tells us that we are sanctified by the offering of His body. “By which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” Matthew 26:12 tells of Jesus body being anointed. John 2:21, “But he spoke of the temple of his body.” Hebrews 2:14 mentions he had flesh and blood.

 

He Had A Human Body After The Resurrection: His body was human, even though it was glorified. Luke 24:39, “Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself; handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.

 

He Had A Soul: Matthew 26:38 Indeed it sorrowed. John 12:27, Act. 2:27,31.

 

He Had A Spirit: Mark 2:8, “And immediately, when Jesus perceived in his spirit that they so reasoned within themselves, he said unto them, why reason ye these things in your hearts.” Mark 8:12, Luke 23:46, John 13:21.

 

Since it has been shown that He had a human body, a human soul, and a human spirit, then He must have been human.

 

 

V. HE HAD THE INFIRMITIES OF THE HUMAN BODY

 

He Became Tired: John 4:6,

 

“Now Jacob’s well was there. Jesus, therefore, being wearied with his journey, sat by the well; and it was about the sixth hour.”

 

He became tired and weary, just as we.

 

He Became Hungry: Matthew 4:2,

 

“And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward hungry.” (Also Matthew 2118)

 

He Became Thirsty: John 19:28,

 

“After this Jesus, knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst.”

 

He Slept: Matthew 8:24,

 

“And, behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the boat was covered with the waves; but he was asleep.”

 

He Was Tempted: Hebrews 2:18, “For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to help them that are tempted.” Hebrews 4:15.

 

He Was Limited In Knowledge: Mark 13:32,

 

“But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels who are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.”

 

Mark 11:13 tells of Him approaching a fig tree with leaves to see if there was fruit on it. Mark 5:30-34 mentions the woman that touched his garment. He asked who touched his clothes. Some might suggest that this was a rhetorical question or that he wanted her to identify herself and that He really knew who it was. John 11:34 relates that Christ asked where they had laid Lazarus when He came to raise him. “And said, Where have ye laid him….”

 

Since all of these be human traits, it seems very logical to assume that He too was human.

 

 

VI. HE WAS KNOWN AS A MAN

 

He Was Called A Man By Himself: John 8:40, “But now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth….” If He were less than a man, then He is a liar.

 

He Was Called A Man By John The Baptist: John 1:30,

 

“This is he of whom I said, After me cometh a man who is preferred before me; for he was before me.”

 

John was related to Him, indeed, possibly grew up playing with Him. Surely He would know if He were human or not.

 

He Was Called A Man By Peter: Acts 2:22,

 

“Ye men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which

God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know;”

 

He Was Called A Man By Paul: Acts 13:38,

 

“Be it known unto you, therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins;”

1 Corinthians 15:21, 1 Corinthians 15:47, Philippians 2:8.

 

He Was Known As A Man: John 7:27, “Nevertheless, we know this man….” John 10:33.

 

He Was Known As A Jew: John 4:9,

 

“Then saith the woman of Samaria unto him, How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, who am a woman of Samaria? For the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans.”

 

He Was Thought To Be Older Than He Was: John 8:57 (around 30 at this time.)

 

“Then said the Jews unto him, Thou art

not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham?

 

He Was Accused Of Blasphemy For Calling Himself Other Than Man: John 10:33,

 

 

“The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not, but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God.”

 

If the Jews did this they were assured in their own minds that He was a man.

 

He Had The Appearance Of A Man Post-Resurrection: John 20:15 relates that Mary took Him for a gardener. John 21:4,5 tells that the disciples didn’t know who He was when He was standing on the shore.

 

He Appeared In Human Form In Glory: 1 Timothy 2:5,

 

“For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man, Christ Jesus,”

 

He Will Come In The Same Form: Matthew 16:27,28; 25:31 mentions his coming again, and Acts 1:10-11 mentions that He will come as He went. The disciples saw him go in bodily form.

 

He Appeared In His Bodily Form In Power: Matthew 26:64,65,

 

“…Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of Power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.”

 

He Will Judge The World As A Man: Acts. 17:31,

 

“Because he hath appointed a day, in which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; concerning which he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.”

 

If He were not a man, then He was one of the great tricksters of all time.

He fooled people from, close friends to acquaintances, from uneducated to highly educated, and from low class to high class. Such an accomplishment, if He were not human, was nothing short of trickery and falsehood.

 

VII. HE DISPLAYED THE EMOTIONS OF A HUMAN

I will list some references and the emotion/emotions that are mentioned. Matthew 26:36-44 tells of His being depressed, His sorrow, His weakness of the flesh, and most likely disappointment in his disciples.

 

 

Mark 3:5, “And when he had looked round about on them with anger….” (He is angry with the jews because they were waiting to see if He would heal on the Sabbath.)

 

Luke 10:21 tells us that He “rejoiced in the Spirit”.

 

Luke 22:44, “And being in an agony, he prayed more earnestly….” (This is the agony in the garden.)

 

John 11:35, “Jesus wept.”

 

John 12:27 tells us that His soul was troubled. John 13:21 — troubled in spirit.

John 13:23 — loved.

 

VIII. HE NEEDED SPIRITUAL HELP

 

He prayed: Mark 1:35,

 

“And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed.

 

Luke 22:44, “And being in an agony, he prayed more earnestly….”

 

The thought of needing help gives added meaning to the disciples going to sleep in the garden just before His arrest. How saddened He must have been when His best friends would not pray with or for him.

 

I have a number of times been in prayer meetings and asked for prayer for a real burden. The real burden usually came when no one prayed for my request. I wonder at times when a pastor asks for requests in a worship service, and people respond with real needs and hear him pray briefly for, “these requests of your people.” Yes, God hears and He will probably answer, but there must be some disappointment.

 

He was empowered by the Holy Spirit: Acts. 10:38,

 

“How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit, and with power; who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.”

 

If Christ needed to be empowered then surely He must have been human.

 

 

IX. HE NEEDED TO BE A MAN

 

There is seldom reference to any need of His humanity, but it was a necessary requirement within God’s overall plan. Paul mentions in I Corinthians 15:20-23.

 

“But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.”

 

Not only does this text declare Christ’s humanity, but it points out the need of that humanity.

 

Without humanity, Christ could not provide the perfect life to sacrifice. Without humanity, Christ could not provide the sacrificial death on the cross. Without humanity, Christ could not provide the resurrection of the saints.

 

As man fell by representation in Adam, so man had to be represented by man in the plan of redemption.

 

It would seem that His humanity is of great necessity.

 

APPLICATION

 

1. While teaching at a Bible Institute, we had a couple of days when high schoolers were invited on campus to encourage them to consider the school in their future plans. Friday after the event was winding down I had already wound down and was ready for crashing. I knew that this lesson had to be ready before Friday was over. I finally went back to the office and started. I came up with a dozen plans for not doing it so I could go crash. I forged on ahead step by step until I was at this point in the lesson.

 

I was very encouraged by the verses that told of what Christ did during His walk here on earth as man. He was tired and was up early etc. I could really relate to what I was reading and typing. I was encouraged to know that He kept going even when He was tired. It Encouraged Me Greatly. He indeed, should be our encouragement to go on when we are ready for a crash time.

 

 

“MAKE JESUS KING.

 

“When Queen Victoria had just ascended her throne she went, as is the custom of royalty, to hear The Messiah rendered. She had been instructed as to her conduct by those who knew and was told that she must not rise when the others stood at the singing of the Hallelujah Chorus. When that magnificent chorus was being sung and the singers were shouting, ‘Hallelujah. Hallelujah. Hallelujah. for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth,’ she sat with great difficulty. It seemed as if she would rise in spite of the custom of kings and queens, but finally when they came to that part of the chorus where with a shout they proclaim him King of kings suddenly the young queen rose and stood with bowed head, as if she would take her own crown from off her head and cast it at his feet. Let us make him King and every day be loyal to him. This is the secret of peace.” J. Wilbur Chapman2

 

QUOTES THAT COUNT

 

Evans quotes two authors that are of interest as the humanity of Christ is introduced. You might read these if you have his book available to you. The quotes are from Sinclair Patterson and James Denney. (P 53)

 

FOOTNOTES

 

1. Derickson, Stanley L., Paper done for English Grammar and Composition, Western Bible Institute, 1-27-70

 

2. Stanley I. Stuber and Thomas Curtis Clark, “Treasury Of The Christian Faith”, New York: Association Press, 1949, p 93.

 

3. Evans “The narrative of the virgin birth need not stagger us. The abundance of historical evidence in its favor should lead to its acceptance. All the manuscripts in all the ancient versions contain the record of it. All the traditions of the early church recognize it. Mention of it is made in the earliest of all the creeds: the Apostles’ Creed. If the doctrine of the virgin birth is rejected it must be on purely subjective grounds. If one denies the possibility of the supernatural in the experience of human life, it is, of course, easy for him to deny this doctrine. To one who believes that Jesus was human only it would seem comparatively easy to deny the supernatural birth on purely subjective grounds. The preconceptions of thinkers to a great degree determine their views. It would seem that such a wonderful life as that lived by Christ, having as it did such a wonderful finish in the resurrection and ascension, might, indeed should, have a wonderful and extraordinary entrance into the world. The fact that the virgin birth is attested by the Scriptures, by tradition, by creeds, and that it is in perfect harmony with all the other facts of that wonderful life should be sufficient attestation of its truth.” Evans mentions “THE VIRGIN BIRTH”, by James Orr, D.D. as a good book for further study. Taken from: “THE GREAT DOCTRINES OF THE BIBLE”; Evans, William; Copyright 1974, Moody Bible Institute of Chicago; Moody Press. Used by permission. p 54

 

THE HUMANITY OF CHRIST

 

I. HE HAD A HUMAN BIRTH

 

Born Of Woman: Galatians 4:4

 

Virgin Birth: Matthew 1:18-2:12, Luke 1:30-38; 2:1-20

 

II. HE HAD HUMAN TERMS APPLIED TO HIM

 

Son Of David: Matthew 1:1, Matthew 12:23, Matthew 15:22

 

Son Of Abraham: Matthew 1:1

 

Born Of The Seed Of David: Romans 1:3

 

Descendent Of Adam: Luke 3:23-38

 

This Fulfilled A Promise To: Eve Genesis 3:15, Ahaz Isaiah 7:14

 

Jesus Is The Greek Form Of The Hebrew Name Joshua: Carpenter: Mark 6:3

Man: 1 Timothy 2:5

 

Flesh And Blood: Hebrews 2:14

 

 

III. HE HAD HUMAN DEVELOPMENT

 

He Was An Early Home Schooler: Luke 2:40, Luke 2:52, Luke 4:16, John 7:15.

 

He Visited The Temple: Luke 2:41,46,47

 

He Knew Scripture: Luke 4:17, Matthew 4:4

 

IV. HE HAD ESSENTIAL ELEMENTS OF HUMAN NATURE

 

He Had A Human Body: Hebrews 10:5, Hebrews 10:10, Matthew 26:12, John 2:21, Hebrews 2:14.

 

Even After The Resurrection He Had A Human Body — Glorified. Luke 24:39

 

He Had A Soul: Matthew 26:38, John 12:27, Act. 2:27,31

 

He Had A Spirit: Mark 2:8, Mark 8:12, Luke 23:46, John 13:21

 

V. HE HAD THE INFIRMITIES THE HUMAN BODY

 

He Was Tired: John 4:6

 

He Was Hungry: Matthew 4:2, Matthew 21:18

 

He Was Thirsty: John 19:28

 

He Slept: Matthew 8:24

 

He Was Tempted: Hebrews 2:18, Hebrews 4:15

 

He Was Limited In Knowledge: Mark 13:32, Mark 11:13, Mark 5:30- 34, John 11:34

 

VI. HE WAS KNOWN AS A MAN

 

He Was Called A Man By Himself: John 8:40

 

He Was Called A Man By John The Baptist: John 1:30

 

He Was Called A Man By Peter: Acts 2:22

 

 

He Was Called A Man By Paul: Acts 13:38; 1 Corinthians 15:21; 1 Corinthians 15:47; Philippians 2:8

 

He Was Known As A Man: John 7:27; John 10:33

 

He Was Known As A Jew: John 4:9

 

He Was Thought To Be Older Than He Was: John 8:57

 

He Was Accused Of Blasphemy For Calling Himself Other Than Man: John 10:33

 

He Had The Appearance Of A Man Post-Resurrection: John 20:15; John 21:4,5

 

He Appeared In Human Form In Glory: 1 Timothy 2:5; Matthew 16:27,28; 25:31

 

He Appeared In His Bodily Form In Power: Matthew 26:64,65

 

He Will Judge The World As A Man: Acts. 17:31

 

VII. HE DISPLAYED THE EMOTIONS OF A HUMAN

 

Matthew 26:36-44, Mark 3:5, Luke 10:21, Luke 22:44, John 11:35, John

12:27, John 13:21, John 13:23

 

VIII. HE NEEDED SPIRITUAL HELP

 

He Prayed: Mark 1:35, Luke 22:44

 

He Was Empowered By The Holy Spirit: Acts. 10:38[1]

 


[1] Stanley L. Derickson Ph.D. B.A. (n.d.). DERICKSON’S NOTES ON THEOLOGY: A STUDY BOOK IN THEOLOGY.

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