Jesus: man or God?

cown of thorns
Crown of Thorns

Have you ever struggled with the idea of whether Jesus was a man or God? Maybe the struggle is simply trying to understand how Jesus could be a man at all? I confess that one blows my mind and probably always will.

We know Jesus was a man and at the same time God because the Bible tells us He was. Jesus was born of Mary through the Holy Spirit and so grew up as a human man, pretty simple. The “how” that really escapes me is how Jesus our God who created the heavens and all things in them became a man…how does God step down from the throne of glory and become a man like us? I guess that article will have to wait until after I can interview God, after I am in heaven…

Jesus was born as a normal human male baby: Matthew 1:20-21 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”

In (Luke 1:39-45) we read that when Mary greeted Elizabeth, Elizabeth’s baby leaped in her womb. Elizabeth referred to Mary as “the mother of my Lord”.

(Luke 2:4-7) tells of the actual birth of Jesus in Bethlehem. The subsequent verses tell of the angels appearing from heaven to the shepherds and telling them of the Savior.

Jesus was also circumcised (Luke 2:21)

Jesus grew up as a human boy. (Luke 2:39-52) Verse 40 says the child (Jesus) grew and became strong. Jesus would need that physical strength later on in life during the ordeal of the crucifixion.

Verse 42 specifically cites Jesus age at the time; He was twelve years old. Joseph and Mary were going up to Jerusalem for the Feast of the Passover as they usually did. On this occasion, the boy Jesus stayed behind in the temple courts (verse 45). In verse 49 Jesus lays claim to His divinity despite being a human boy at the time. Jesus says, “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?”

Verse 52 is a key verse in determining that Jesus was indeed a man, And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men. I obviously cannot explain the “how”, but if Jesus was growing in wisdom and stature, then this statement most definitely points to His humanity because God does not have to learn anything…but a man does. I cannot explain how Jesus the man could be learning and growing in wisdom when at the same time His divine side knows all, but some things have to be taken on faith, and this passage does prove that Jesus was human!

Was Jesus a man, really?

Jesus knew what it was like to be hungry (Matthew 4:2)
Jesus knew what it felt like to be tired (John 4:6)
Jesus bled like we do (John 19:34) there are other examples of this where bleeding is not specifically mentioned but is inferred through the events leading to the crucifixion and the crucifixion itself. (John 19)
Jesus was tempted in all the ways we are (Hebrews 4:15)
The Apostle Paul wrote that Jesus was a man (1Timothy 2:5)
Jesus died…God does not die but a man does (Romans 5:8)

I deliberately left out the verses that mention Jesus was thirsty as those verses in proper context do not show Jesus as being thirsty, rather they emphasize other points.

John 19:28 Later, knowing that all was now completed, and so that the Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I am thirsty.”  I doubt thirst was a large concern on the cross, this was said to fulfill scripture.

(John 4:4-26) In verse 7 Jesus asks the Samaritan woman for a drink, now do not get me wrong, Jesus may have drank water here, He probably did after a long journey. However the main contextual point here was not Jesus drinking water, it was Jesus using a drink of water as the perfect opening to evangelize to this woman.

In part two we will look at the Old Testament and the evidence to be found there, that Jesus is both God and man.

 

 

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About πίστις

A prodigal for many years, I eventually found my way back to Jesus through several difficult trials. I write with the hope that I can bless others who have struggled as I have. I seek through Christ to present the truth, and lead others to the cross of Calvary. Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. There is no other. In 2014 Greg Holt founded The Olive Branch Report, a premier Christian news service. Please visit Greg Holt on the web: Inspirational Christian Blogs, & The Olive Branch Report
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11 Responses to Jesus: man or God?

  1. Anwar Ahmed says:

    Is it at all possible that some parts of the bible was written by man as evidenced by the graphic nature of the text with relation to sex, prositution? Yet the bible clearly condems fornication. Jesus was sent by God as a messenger to deliver the Word of God through the Gospel and warn the Jews of there transgressions in religion. Its better to speak the truth of God and glorify his greatness than assume he came to earth as a man and died for our sins; My God, my god why hath thou forsaken me.. ring a bell? Spreading lies in religious doctrine is not new and will continue as satan will make you do things to keep you from Gods Kingdom. God’s Greatness is beyond our understanding and if he ever did “visit” earth and reveal himself, nothing could withstand his Glory and everything wood be destroyed instantly to dust. Jesus was a messenger and prophet as were many in Gods line of messengers and prophets; Read Quran; it is not an arabic religion but Gods Final Testament to mankind; embrace it and understand why it was revealed; to clarify the issues surrounding Jesus “divinity” ect. Many scholars will acknowledge the fact the history of Jesus was that of a man in the begining and later spun into a “divine idol” as many religions often do after there prophet has departed from the earth; muslims included.

    • writinggomer says:

      The Bible was written by men under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, men held the writing instrument, the words came through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.

      2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,
      2 peter 3:16 He (Paul) writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction.

      If we look at the Bible as a document, no other document in history has so many copies in existence, and there is the fact that the Bible is 66 books by 45 or so authors…and none of these books disagree with one another. The common misconceptions that the Bible has areas that do not agree with others are simply that, misconceptions. This is from a human standpoint impossible…but not with God.
      Add to this the fact that the Bible, the Word of God is the only book to foretell the future and it has never been wrong nor will it be. If you were to research the prophecies of the Bible, you would find that about 50% of them have come true, the other 50% are yet to happen.

      Sex and prostitution are in the Word of God, that is true. As for graphic portrayal, I am of course not sure what you are referring to here. If you are referring to the Song of Solomon, I would encourage you to look at Ben Nelson’s study on this as much of what is in this book can be easily misinterpreted, and Ben is much more knowledgeable on this than I. The link to his studies on this are; http://ptl2010.com/category/sos-saturdays/
      There is a reason that sex and prostitution are in the Bible. One reason is so that we can see that this is not a modern day problem; something new we face, rather this has been an issue since the time of Christ and before Him…since we first began as a race. Also, God Himself speaks of sex and it’s surrounding issues. We are not practice to
      Homosexuality, Leviticus 18:22. We are not to pursue sexual relations with anyone other then our spouse, Exodus 20:14. We are not to be in a sexual relationship with anyone as
      a single person, 1 Corinthians 6:9–10 (fornication is generally considered to be sex outside of the marriage union)
      Even our thoughts can be considered the same as physical adultery, Matthew 5:27–28
      Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed primarily because of sexual sin, Jude 7
      Sex is unfortunately one the largest and easiest ways for a human being to sin, and to be denied eternal life. We are sexual creatures, God made us that way, but he also gave us marriage to safeguard us in our sexual relations. Look at what happens today, it happens because people willingly choose to disregard the Lord’s words concerning sex, yes there is a lot in the Bible about sex, and it is there for a very good reason…to warn us. We can seriously hurt ourselves through the misuse of sex, and we can be denied eternal life if we choose to pursue wanton sexual behavior and do not repent of it.

      Jesus is God, that is made very clear in the Bible. Yes the Father sent Jesus, and Jesus obeyed and always obeys His Father…and He became a man, but was still God including on the cross. One of the best verses in the Bible about this is Philippians 2:1-11 Jesus clearly claimed to be God, I outline this in the above article, and offer more evidence of this in the second companion article to this one found here,

      http://ptl2010.com/2012/11/04/jesus-god-or-man-part-two/

      Jesus came to warn and teach all people, not just the Jews. He came to teach the Gentiles as well. Salvation is for the Jew first, and then the Gentile,
      Romans 1:16 I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.

      I speak of what is in God’s Word, please consider reading the second part of this article, I lay out the reasons why Jesus was the one speaking in the Old Testament and not God the Father.
      The Old Testament foretold Jesus would come and die for our sins,
      Isaiah 53:1-12 Who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed? 2 He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. 3 He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. 4 Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted. 5 But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. 6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all. 7 He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth. 8 By oppression and judgment he was taken away. And who can speak of his descendants? For he was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of my people he was stricken. 9 He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death, though he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth. 10 Yet it was the LORD’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the LORD makes his life a guilt offering, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the LORD will prosper in his hand. 11 After the suffering of his soul, he will see the light [of life] and be satisfied; by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities. 12 Therefore I will give him a portion among the great, and he will divide the spoils with the strong, because he poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors. For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

      Yes “My God, my God why hath thou forsaken me” does ring a bell….this is a direct reference by Christ to Psalm 22:1, if you read all of Psalm 22 it portrays the crucifixion in detail….1000 years before it happened.

      This is an excellent site with a lot of content on Jesus death and resurrection being foretold in the OT http://www.biblestudysite.com/foretold.htm

      God did visit the earth in the form of Jesus, Jesus “glory” He left in heaven when He came to be a man, yet He was God at the same time. 3 of the disciples of Christ saw His glory in part, Mark 9:2-10…in this account Jesus also predicts EHis death and resurrection from the dead.

      Yes Satan will do much to discredit Jesus, that way not all will come to a saving knowledge of Him as the One who gives eternal life.
      1 John 5:13 I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.

      I agree, God’s greatness is way beyond our understanding!

      When Jesus departed, He departed after having spent time here on earth after He rose from the dead. He appeared to more then 500 people at one time, 1 Corinthians 15:6
      He appeared to the disciples, John 20:26-31

      He lives today and is with the Father in heaven interceding on behalf of His children. As Christians we know by witness of His Holy Spirit just as He promised to His followers before He ascended to heaven that He would send the Holy Spirit the Comforter. It is the Holy Spirit in us who opens the eyes of the Christ believers to God’s love and God’s individual plans for us. We are confident that He who has begun a good work in us will perform it until we see Him in heaven when we die, or at His second coming to take the Church, the body of believers to be with Him in heaven.

      Thank you for your comments, may God through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ bless you abundantly as you seek to know who He is.
      Greg

  2. I agree it is incredible that the omnipotent, creator God could condescend to become man, but we know He did. Even more incredible is the reason He became man. What amazing love!

    If Jesus wasn’t man, Scriptures like Hebrews 2:18 and 4:15 would have no validity. If He overcame temptation as God, we would be hopeless and helpless – but praise God, He overcame as man and is therefore able to understand and help us.

    In order to be our Saviour, Jesus had to fully represent mankind. None but a human being could atone for sin. In order to be our Saviour, Jesus had to be perfect: completely without sin. He had to be God.

    What an amazing God!

    I’m looking forward to the next part.

  3. Pingback: Going Without Jesus | YOU DECIDE

  4. Lyn Leahz says:

    They’re from the book, Shocked By The Bible, by Joe Kovacs of WND News…he’s some sort of head hauncho…so if you have any questions you can find him on WND..and, he loves interviews if you want to ask him any questions and get some quotes he’ll let you email him questions and he’ll send you back the answers…whatever you want.

  5. ptl2010 says:

    For we have not a high priest who cannot be touched with the feeling of our weaknesses; but was in all points tempted like we are, yet without sin. Hebrews 4:15.
    As a man he felt our weaknesses and was tempted in all points. Praise Him He understands what we go through. Yet He was God too.

  6. Lyn Leahz says:

    Oh my goodness..you changed your pic. Nice to see you! ;-) I’ll bet you got tired of everyone stealing your identity all over the internet. Everywhere I would go….there you were…with your staff and headdress. Now I’m sure I won’t be seeing you anywhere but here and your blogs! :-) Great article by the way! Loved it!

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