Articles, On To Maturity

Jesus’ Humanity

Jesus’ two natures are like two sides of a coin. On one side, He is the Son of God and is coequal with God the Father and God the Holy Spirit. In every possible respect, He is fully and completely divine (Col 2:9). And then there’s the other side of the coin: Jesus as the Son of Man. When He was born in Bethlehem, He inherited a body of flesh and blood and assumed a nature that made Him as much a human as any man or woman who has ever lived. Jesus was a full-fledged member of the human race.

But have you ever wondered why? Why would Jesus, who enjoyed all power and every prerogative as the Son of God, become one of us? Why did He have to enter into our humanity? Four reasons stand out to us from Scripture.

Completely Relatable

The humanity of Jesus made Him completely relatable. None of us can accuse the Lord of not understanding what it is like to be human. From conception to resurrection, there is no phase of our existence that Jesus has not already walked through. He understood firsthand what it was like to get hungry, get sick, get betrayed, get tired, and get stung. He experienced the blistering heat of the day and the persistent chill of the night. Jesus knew what it felt like to experience all that is part of the human experience on earth.

Christ’s ability to completely relate to us was key in enabling Him to serve as our heavenly high priest, which is the role He now occupies. Hebrews 7:25 tells us that Jesus stands before God the Father, interceding on our behalf. And because Jesus knows exactly what it’s like to be human, He understands our weaknesses and needs. Our plights truly touch His heart, and He perfectly intercedes for us according to our requirements because He has been where we find ourselves (Heb 4:15).

Completely Representable

Additionally, the humanity of Jesus made Him completely representable. In Christ, we have the perfect representation of who God is. There is an infinite gap between God and man, but He does not want to remain a mystery to humankind. He wants to communicate His character to us and reveal how loving, forgiving, patient, and merciful He is. By coming to us in human flesh, Jesus became the perfect means of representing God’s heart and nature to humanity (Col 1:15).

But Christ’s humanity doesn’t just represent who God is; it also represents who we should be. By Webster’s definition, the word “represent” means to “present a picture.” When Jesus became human, and as He lived out His life on earth, He gave us a picture of how we should live our lives. He exemplified the kind of people we should be. Whenever we’re confused or uncertain about what we should do, the answer is typically found by looking at the character and conduct of Jesus.

Whether it’s His patience with others’ imperfections, His determination to stand on God’s word, His sensitivity to those who were hurting, His willingness to engage people, His thankfulness, His commitment to prayer, His humility, His investing in others, His courage in the face of adversity, or a host of other virtues, Jesus is the template and the blueprint for our behavior (1 John 2:6).

Completely Recognizable

Further, the humanity of Jesus made Him completely recognizable. Through the prophet Isaiah, God had promised to send a Savior to His people, and He specifically stated that this Savior would come as an infant (Isa 7:14). By being born as a human child, Jesus fulfilled the prophetic word and was therefore recognizable to those who were watching and waiting for His coming (Matt 2:1–2).

Complete Redeemer

Finally, the humanity of Jesus made Him the complete Redeemer. The term “redeem” literally means to “purchase something back.” It was Christ’s mission to redeem humankind from the consequences of sin and to free us from the unforgiving grip it had on our race (1 Tim 1:15).

However, in order to redeem us, Jesus had to actually become human. When Adam sinned against God in the garden of Eden, he incurred a penalty—a penalty that had to fit the offense. Since humanity was the guilty party, humanity had to suffer the consequences. Nothing else could serve as a suitable substitute. Humanity had to pay for what humanity did. This is exactly what Jesus did by suffering as a man on the cross, bearing and satisfying the penalty of our sins, and redeeming humankind back to God (2 Cor 5:19).

As you look at the side of Jesus reflecting His humanity, recognize its significance and rejoice in its sufficiency to make Him our relatable representative and recognizable Redeemer.

[1] Barry, J. D., Heiser, M. S., Custis, M., Mangum, D., & Whitehead, M. M. (2012). Faithlife Study Bible. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

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