When studying the scriptures it is easy to see Jesus was the Son of God. We can see the great miracles he preformed. We can see the prophecies foretold of his coming and we can see the testimony of the Holy Spirit through the New Testament writers. However, reading all of this often distorts our view of Jesus’ humanity.
Jesus was just as human as you and I. “(He) made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men (Phil. 2:7).” Let us look at the Humanity of Christ.
Jesus Wept. John 11:35 is the shortest verse in the Bible, yet to this writer, it is one of the most important verses in all the New Testament. From this one verse we can see more clearly than perhaps any other in the New Testament the humanity of Jesus.
John records these words as the message of Lazarus‘ death. The Jews who witnessed Jesus’ tears cried, “See how He loved him (John 11:36). In times of separation from our loved ones it is completely natural to weep. After all, we are only human.
What moves me all the more was that his tears were not for Lazarus alone. Twice John records that Jesus was deeply moved (John 11:33, 38). Christ felt compassion upon those who mourned. How many of us have shed a tear at a funeral, not because we lost a loved one, but because our friend, co-worker, or neighbor had? Then, his compassion moved him to comfort those who had lost their brother. Of course, the raising of Lazarus is a power of the divine, but the compassion is human.
Lastly, Jesus wept after he was determined to raise Lazarus. In John 11:11 Jesus planned to raise Lazarus, yet, he still wept! He was truly human!
Lamentation for Jerusalem. “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing (Matt. 23:37)!” Again, we can see Christ’s humanity in the way in which he cared for those whom he loved.
In this passage, we see Jesus’ desire to protect those whom he loved. One reason a hen gathers her chicks under her wing is to protect them from the dangers of predators. Israel was being led astray by the world. They got caught up in materialism. Their religious leaders walked around in long robes and they had grown accustomed to spiritual leaders being economically successful. They last thing they expected to see in their savior was the son of a carpenter. They also wanted an earthly kingdom, just like the other nations. It seems that being like the nations was a lesson that Israel failed to learn when Saul was king. Being like the world is not progress. Israel, do desperate to ride themselves of Roman rule failed to realize their greatest oppressors were themselves as they bound themselves to this world.
Jesus was moved with compassion as he saw a people he loved, but was incapable of helping them.
The Cross. There are fewer stories that are more difficult to read than the story of Christ‘s crucifixion. John’s account of the cross gives us another side of the cross. He does not just share with us the agony which Jesus felt, he reveals to us Jesus’ humanity in other ways. John tells us of Jesus’ relationship with His mother. It is hear that a son’s love looks to take care of his mother, even when he is gone. The love which Jesus had for his mother, and the comforting action he took is 100% human. Jesus in essence said, “Mom, you are going to be alright. My good friend John is going to look after you.” Encompassed by a world of sin. Overwhelmed by the pain of the cross. And left by his own Father, he looked to his mother and shared his love.
Why is This Important? In the overall scheme of things, Christ‘s being human seems to take a back seat in today‘s Christianity. But, we need to know that He was human. John saw it as so important that he taught that our salvation depended on it (II John 9-11). In the Gospel of John, John was not just proving Christ’s deity, but proving Christ’s humanity.
One final passage for you to think on is Heb. 4:15. “For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.” We have a High Priest who can sympathize with us? Why? He was just as human as you and I. He mourned for those who loved. He felt compassion on those who lost loved ones, he desired to protect those whom he loved, he felt compassion on a mother who was about to lose he firstborn son, he felt every agonizing moment on that cross. We have a High Priest to which we can never say, “You don’t know how it feels.” Jesus most certainly does! The next time you hurt, the next time you feel weak, go to God in prayer. We have an intercessor who completely understands. -WTK
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The Humanity of Christ
Volume 4 Issue 45