The Humanity of the Lord Jesus Christ

“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are – yet was without sin” (Hebrews 4:15).

God’s Word tells us that when the Lord Jesus walked this earth He was not only fully God but also fully man. As we will see even though He never sinned or had a sinful nature He was still subject to human limitations as a man. Jesus was just like Adam was before the fall. Jesus is called the last Adam. The only difference between them was that Adam was a created being who had not existed until he was created out of the dust of the ground. (Genesis 2:7) However, The Lord Jesus was never created but has always existed from all eternity. (Micah 5:2) (Hebrews 1:10-12) The Lord Jesus Christ was the Eternal God clothed in a perfect human body without any physical, moral, ethical or spiritual defect. God had to become a man in order to redeem man. As it is written in Hebrews; “Since the children have flesh and blood, (a reference to believers) 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” (Hebrews 2:14-15).

The Lord Jesus experienced everything that we have experienced as human beings including every possible temptation to sin that we experience but He never once gave in to it and so obtained an eternal redemption for us. We have no real records of Jesus as a boy except that the Bible says, “And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men” (Luke 2:52). The other reference we have is when He was in the temple as a boy and it was clear at that stage by what he said that He already knew that He was God’s Son. He said to his parents who came looking for him, “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?” (Luke 2:49). How God could remain in heaven yet be fully present in Jesus Christ as a man with all the limitations of a man is beyond our understanding. Yet the fact remains Jesus Christ was fully God as well as fully man.

His Physical human nature

1. The Lord Jesus Christ was the Eternal God revealed in a flesh and blood body. He was fully human as well as fully God.

(John 1:1-3, 14) “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through Him all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been made. The Word became flesh and lived for a while among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the only begotten Son who came from the Father full of grace and truth.”

Jesus Christ is the living Word of God incarnate. Everything God had been saying in the Old Testament about the Messiah was completely fulfilled in Jesus. The Lord Jesus had always been with God but came into this earth as a perfect man. For centuries God’s Word concerning Jesus had been passed on down through the mouth and the pen of the prophets. That Word was like a seed that sat in believers’ hearts until the seed of that word found its way into Mary’s heart and into her womb and there in her womb by the power of the Holy Spirit that seed became a human being. He who is the Eternal and Living Word of God became a human fetus. Mary’s womb became the incubator of God’s Son. To deny this truth concerning Jesus is the mark of the Spirit of antichrist. (1 John 4:2-3)

2. The Lord Jesus Christ had a truly human body after His Resurrection.

(Luke 24:36-40) “While they were still talking about this, Jesus Himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost. He said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds? Look at My hands and my feet. It is I Myself! Touch Me and see; a Ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.” When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His feet”

There is no doubt that Jesus had the same body after his resurrection that He had before His death on the cross. They recognized Him as the same Jesus they had known before and thought they were seeing His ghost. However, Jesus clearly showed them that it was Him. He showed them His hands and his feet and invited them to touch Him. They still had trouble believing that it was really the same Jesus and the sense of the text indicates that they were so amazed and overjoyed it was just too good to be true, but it was! When Jesus appeared to the disciples collectively for the first time Thomas was not with them. After their encounter with Jesus they told Thomas about it but he refused to believe. In fact, he said, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my fingers where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.” A week later Jesus actually walked through the locked door of the room where the disciples had gathered. This time Thomas was there. Suddenly Jesus appeared and said to them “Peace be with you.” After this he said to Thomas, “Put your fingers here; see My hands. Reach out your hand and put it into My side. Stop doubting and believe.” Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!” (John 20:26-28)

3. The Lord Jesus Christ will come again in a human body.

(Acts 1:11) “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen Him go into heaven.”

The Lord Jesus will come again in the same body with which He ascended in to heaven. This is what the angel said to Jesus disciples as they stared at Jesus going up from them in the clouds. At his trial before the Sanhedrin, Jesus said to the High Priest, “In the future you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven”(Matthew 26:64). When Stephen was being martyred just before he died he saw Jesus physically standing at God’s right hand in heaven itself. (Acts 7:55-56) When Jesus comes again for us as believers our bodies shall be transformed to be like His body. (Philippians 3:21) (1 John 3:20)

4. The Lord Jesus Christ had a human ancestry.

(Romans 1:3) “…Regarding His Son, who as to His human nature was a descendant of David.”

The Lord Jesus had a family line. He was born in the line of David. His genealogy is recorded in Matthew chapter 1 and in Luke chapter 3. Both lists give the family line through his human father Joseph. The purpose of the genealogy is to establish that Jesus was legally a descendant of David and to assign Him a place in the Jewish branch of the human race. Mary who gave Him physical birth was as truly His mother as God was His Father.

5. He had human limitations when he lived among men.

He got weary and needed sleep. (Matthew 8:24) (John 4:6) He got hungry and thirsty. (Matthew 21:18) (John 4:6) He suffered physical agony. (Luke 22:44) He had intellectual limitations. (Mark 13:32) (Luke 2:52) Now when we say He had intellectual limitations it means that He needed to acquire knowledge as he grew into manhood. However, His growth was exceptional because He never had a sinful human nature to hinder him. He had to grow in wisdom and knowledge about God his Father and about men. As He grew Jesus also needed to be subject to discipline by obedience to the Law and to His parents and by bringing His thoughts, His motives and His actions continuously under the control of the Holy Spirit. (Hebrews 5:8).

6. The Lord Jesus Christ was human in all things.

(Hebrews 2:16-17) “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 like us in every way, subject to temptation as well as to the other physical limitations we have as human beings. He had to experience every temptation that we experience in order to become our merciful and faithful High Priest and Mediator with God. He suffered temptation so that He might be able to help us when we are tempted. (Hebrews 4:14-16) Compare: (Hebrews 2:18) (Matthew 4:1-11) He was tempted with the same sins that we are all tempted with namely the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life. (Genesis 3:6) (1 John 2:15-17) Jesus knew temptation to gratify the lust of the flesh as well as the lust of the eyes and He knew the temptation to have Pride in his own ability as God. He knew the temptation to seek Power and prominence in the eyes of men yet in all of these things He never once sinned!

7. The Lord Jesus Christ voluntarily limited Himself. 

(Philippians 2:6-8) “Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made Himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled himself and became obedient to death-even death on a cross!”

Although He was God He laid aside his Divine Privileges and rights as God’s Son. He did not cease to be God but deliberately made himself human in all things. He could have used His Divine Power at any time He wanted to because He was God instead He chose to live as a man under the control of the Holy Spirit. (Acts 10:38) He is called the Last Adam. He was in fact the same as Adam was before the fall. If you put Adam and Jesus side by side you could not tell the difference. The difference between them was that Adam was a created being made in the Image of God while the Lord Jesus was the exact image of God and had always existed with God but limited himself to be the same as Adam was before the fall. (1Corinthians 15:45, 47) (Colossians 1:15)

The same temptations Satan used with Adam he used with Jesus. The Lord Jesus always preached and healed by the power of the Holy Spirit. He walked on the water and fed the five thousand by the power of the Holy Spirit. He went to the cross as a man empowered by the Holy Spirit. He rose again as a man empowered by the Holy Spirit. Right now in heaven there is a resurrected man sitting at the right hand of God interceding for us as believers. Jesus is the Firstborn of the new race. When He died and rose again we also died and rose with Him and one day we shall be like Him and clothed with His immortality and splendor for time and for eternity. (1 John 3:2) (Romans 8:34)