The Humanity of Christ

By Ron Jones

©Titus Institute 2009 Updated August 2022

In previous articles on the Trinity and the Deity of Christ, we have seen that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, the second person of the Triune God. When the second person of the Trinity became a human being, he did not cease to be God or change in his divine nature in any way, rather he took on a human nature. He became a man. In this article, we come to the truth that the Bible teaches that Jesus is fully man.

First, we need to understand that Jesus Christ claimed to be a man, a human being. In John 8:40 Jesus rebuked the Jewish leaders for trying to kill him. He declared that he was a man that was proclaiming the truth he heard from God. He said, "As it is, you are determined to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. Abraham did not do such things." God revealed that Jesus would be both the Son of God and a human being to Mary through the Angel Gabriel. In Luke 1:31-33, Gabriel tells Mary that Jesus would be her human son and yet the son of the Most High God. He said to Mary, "You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end."

This was revealed by the angel Gabriel to Mary at the very beginning. He would be both the "Son of the Most High" and the "physical descendent of David." The apostles appointed by Jesus also declared he was both God and man. Paul stated it directly that Jesus was "born of a woman" in Galatians 4:4-5. He wrote, "But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons." Notice, Jesus' two natures are mentioned by Paul. "God sent forth his Son" (deity of Jesus) and Jesus was "born of a woman" (humanity of Jesus). Paul goes further in 1 Timothy explaining that Jesus is the perfect mediator between God and man because he himself was a man. Jesus also demonstrated human characteristics in his earthly life showing he was a man. Jesus grew from childhood to adulthood (Luke 2:40). Jesus grew tired from a long journey (John 4:6). Jesus got hungry (Matthew 4:1-2). Jesus even died (John 19:30-34). These are all characteristics of Jesus' humanity.

Second, we need to understand that Jesus Christ is one person with two natures, a divine nature and a human nature. He was both fully God and fully man. Christ's two natures are united and yet distinct and unmixed. Jesus' human nature is distinct from his divine nature and his divine nature is distinct from his human nature. Jesus was not half-human, half-God with one mixed human-divine nature. All of his divine attributes were distinct from his human ones. There is no greater statement of this truth that Jesus was the Son of God who became a man. John 1:1-2 states, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God." Here John writes of the relationship between the Father and the Son. He calls Jesus the "Word of God" to emphasize that one of the Son of God's primary responsibilities when he came to earth was to reveal God and his truth. This was a continuation of his ministry in the Old Testament where he appeared as the "Word of the Lord." John tells us that in the beginning before creation, the Word existed in eternity. He then says that the Word was with God, that is, the Son of God was in a relationship with God the Father. Then he says that the Word was God and repeats that he eternally existed at the beginning. The Word (the Son of God) was not created. John is revealing the beautiful unity of God the Father and God the Son in the Trinity.

Then in John 1:14, John reveals the incarnation of the Son of God. He writes, "And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth." The Word of God became flesh, became a human being, and lived among us. When he did, John says, we saw his glory, the glory of the only Son from the Father. The words of truth that Jesus uttered and the miracles that Jesus did, showed his divine glory as the Son of God. This is a powerful statement of the true identity of Jesus Christ. This is the key truth that must be remembered in interpreting the Scriptures in regard to Jesus Christ. Jesus is one person with two distinct natures. Therefore, he has both divine and human titles and characteristics that apply to him at the same time.

Third, we need to understand that although Jesus was fully human, he never sinned. When Jesus Christ became a human being, He lived in perfect obedience and submission to God. Jesus Himself claimed this in John 8:29. He declared, "And he who sent me is with me. He has not left me alone, for I always do the things that are pleasing to him." The apostles in the New Testament clearly declared that Jesus did not sin. He always pleased God in his life as a human being. Peter declared that Christ did not commit any sin, nor was deceit ever found in his mouth. 1 Peter 2:22 states, "He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth." John the apostle wrote of Jesus' sinlessness when He penned these words in 1 John 3:5, "You know that he appeared in order to take away sins, and in him there is no sin." John's statement, "in Him there is no sin" proposes that Christ does not possess a corrupted sinful human nature. Remember that sin is not a human attribute by original creation. God created Adam innocent, that is without sin, but Adam sinned and fell and all those born after him, which is everybody except Jesus, is born with a sin nature. This is most likely why Jesus did not have a human father, but only a human mother so the sin nature would not be passed down to him.

This does not mean that, as a human being, Christ was not tempted. He was tempted, but he did not sin. An army that cannot be defeated can still be attacked. This is important to know for two reasons. Christ understands what temptation is like for humans and can sympathize with our weaknesses. Hebrews 2:18 says, "For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted." Also, Christ is not so defeated by struggling with his own sin that he cannot help us with overcoming ours. Jesus is always available to help us in our weakness. We need to pray to him for help when we are struggling with sin or temptation or any kind of trial. He will always be there for us!