Jesus, the Man
— What the humanity of Jesus means for us
- Andrew Fountain — Nov 21st, 2010
God and Man
- Conference address by Bruce Ware
- We usually stress the deity of Christ, but his humanity is frequently emphasized by Scripture:
- 1 Tim 2:5 For “there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,”
Spirit anointed Messiah
- Jesus came as “the Spirit anointed Messiah”
- The Holy Spirit was the divine power that enabled Jesus to rise above the limitations of his humanity.
- But why did Jesus need the Spirit if he was God?
- What could the Spirit contribute towards his deity? —nothing
- What could the Spirit contribute towards his humanity? —everything that was needed to enable him to fulfil his role as a man
- He lived his life fundamentally as a man.
- There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse,
and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit.
- And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him,
the Spirit of wisdom and understanding,
the Spirit of counsel and might,
the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.
- And his delight shall be in the fear of the Lord.
He shall not judge by what his eyes see,
or decide disputes by what his ears hear,
- Did Jesus demonstrate wisdom and discernment? Yes, of course
- How does Is 11:2 account for this?
- And the child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom. And the favour of God was upon him.
- And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature and in favour with God and man.
- But these two verses bracket the story of the event of the 12-year old Jesus at the temple
- As Evangelicals we usually say “of course he did this because he was God”
- but Luke gives a clue in 40, 52 that this was something that increased.
- Jesus as he grew up was the Psalm 1 prototype of the man who loved the word, day and night, diligently meditating.
Luke 4—begins his ministry:
- And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee, and a report about him went out through all the surrounding country.
- Then he entered the Synagogue and chose this text to read
- “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives
and recovering of sight to the blind,
to set at liberty those who are oppressed,
- to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.”
- And he rolled up the scroll and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him.
- And he began to say to them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”
- he chose this text to define his identity—I am the one who is anointed by the Spirit in order to do these things
- But if it is by the Spirit of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.
- He attributes the power he used to the Spirit, not to his deity
- If we look at Peter’s words to Cornelius in Acts 10, it is interesting to see how he attributes the power of Jesus
Giving of the Spirit in Acts
- how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power.
He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him.
- Peter knew that Jesus was fully God, yet he attributed the supernatural power to the Spirit. Can the similarity between this and Acts 1:8 be merely an accidental parallel?
- But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
- Conclusion: Jesus lived his life as a man empowered by the Spirit, who is given to us!
Temptability of Jesus
- God cannot be tempted, and cannot sin:
James 1:13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one.
- But Jesus was!
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.
- Jesus could not sin, but how was he genuinely tempted then?
- Theological problem: “impeccability”
- What do you think?
- People have tried to answer this in different ways:
- Maybe he could have sinned but would then cease to be God
- Maybe he didn’t know he could sin
- It was not a real option
- The question of why Jesus could not sin is “he is God”
- The question of why Jesus did not sin has traditionally been “he is God”
- But actually the second answer is completely different
- why is it that the swimmer could not have drowned? —the boat
- why is it that the swimmer did not drown —he kept swimming
- the answer had nothing to do with the boat
- If you said “you didn’t drown because of the boat”
- he would say “what does that have to do with it? —I kept swimming
- He also knew that although he could not drown because of the boat being there
- he would fail in his mission if he relied on the boat
- The reason why he did not sin was because he lived his life relying on
- All the resources available to him as a man
- The Scriptures (which he knew intimately) —Ps 1
- More than everything, the Spirit
- In order to succeed in his mission Jesus had to live a life as the perfect man
- To obey where Adam failed
- He had to win every single battle against temptation as a man
- He did not once ever sin
- It was not automatic, it was hard-won
- 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.
- imagine him as the swimmer
- 70 miles
- he did it for us
- every hard-won stroke
- the cross was the hardest
1 Peter 2:21-22
- Peter gives us this staggering statement: For to this you were called, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving an example for you to follow in his steps. He committed no sin nor was deceit found in his mouth.
- He did it as a man
- He won, as the pioneer so that we could win
- He has given us the same Spirit
- and has cut a path through the jungle of sin for us
Updated on 2011-05-11 by Andrew Fountain