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The Humanity of Jesus

from the Scholars Corner

The Humanity of Jesus

Why did Jesus have to be baptized by John?  He said, “it is necessary to fulfill all righteousness…”   What did Jesus mean by that?

Why are there no records of miracles by Jesus as a child?

What did it mean for Jesus to be fully human?

What does it mean when it says that Jesus “emptied himself… being born in human likeness”?

Philippians 2:5-11 “Let the same mind be in you that was  in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness. And being found in human form, he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death–even death on a cross. Therefore God also highly exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

Jesus was not omniscient. As a child, it says of him: 

Luke 2:52 “And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.”

How can you grow in wisdom if you are all knowing?

He was not all powerful: 

John 5:19 Jesus gave them this answer: “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.”

John 12:48-50 The one who rejects me and does not receive my words has a judge; the word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day. For I have not spoken on my own authority, but the Father who sent me has himself given me a commandment–what to say and what to speak. And I know that his commandment is eternal life. What I say, therefore, I say as the Father has told me.

He had to suffer as we do: 

Hebrews 4:15  For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.

Hebrews 5:7-9 In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence. Although he was a son, he learned obedience through what he suffered. And being made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him…

Example:  A Cross of Wills

It would have been no challenge for God in his omniscience and omnipotence to resist temptation. There would have been no redemption for us in that, but Jesus had to face temptation as a human being and be as tempted as we are, but not sin, for there to be any redemption for us. 

Adam and Eve failed in temptation:

Genesis 3:6 “So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise,   she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate.”

John calls these “the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the pride of life, ” 1 John 2:16

Jesus faced this temptation and passed it, unlike Adam and Eve: 

Matthew 4:1-10 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And after fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. And the tempter came and said to him, ‘‘If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.’’(LUST OF THE FLESH) But he answered, ‘‘It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” Then the devil took him to the holy city and set him on the pinnacle of the temple and said to him, ‘‘If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written, ‘He will command his angels concerning you,’ and ‘On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.’” (PRIDE OF LIFE) Jesus said to him, ‘‘Again it is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’’’ Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory.(LUST OF THE EYES) And he said to him, ‘‘All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.’’ Then Jesus said to him, ‘‘Be gone, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.’’’

But he was tempted as we are, and even more so in the Garden before he went to the Cross.

In Order for Jesus to fulfill his ministry as prophet, priest and king, he had to be anointed with power, wisdom, and strength by the Holy Spirit, which he received at baptism.

John, the last in the long line of prophets, but also the son of a priest, anointed Jesus both as prophet and as the high priest. 

Zachariah is the father of John the Baptist, a priest of the sons of Aaron, a prophet in Luke 1:67–79, and the husband of Elizabeth who is a cousin of the Virgin Mary. Elizabeth, was also of the priestly family of Aaron.

The point is: Jesus had to rely completely on the Father and upon the Holy Spirit to do his miracles and to fulfill his ministry, just as we must. It was in his humanity that he did these things, giving us an example of what perfect trust in and obedience to the Father looks like in a human being.  If Adam had not have sinned, this is what we would have been able to do! 

When he emptied himself, he gave up his glory and power to become weak and as human as we are. It says that he became physically weary after walking to Samaria (John 4:6)

Hebrews 2:14-18 “Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death–that is, the devil– and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. For surely it is not angels he helps, but Abraham’s descendants. For this reason he had to be made like his brothers in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for  the sins of the people. Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.”

He was completely dependent

So the reason he did not do miracles as a child, was because he was not yet anointed with power from the Holy Spirit which was given to him at his baptism by John.

You too can be anointed!

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