Jesus the God-Man

Ary Scheffer: The Temptation of Christ, 1854

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Jesus is fully God.  He made claims that couldn’t be made by someone less than God.  He said He would “send His angels” (Matt. 13:41), He claimed to forgive sins (Mark 2:5), and spoke of judging the world (Matt. 25:31-46).  He claimed to be the Son of God (John 19:7), and when asked by the high priest if He was “the Christ, the Son of God”, Jesus replied, “Yes, it is as you say.” (Matt. 26:63).  So Jesus is worthy to be worshipped.  He has equality with God, though He didn’t consider that equality something to be grasped.  He has dominion and rule, power and authority over our lives.  We must have a reverent fear for Him and know that He has an omnipotent eye into everything we say and do.

Jesus is also fully man.  He had a physical human nature, and grew “in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.” (Luke 2:52)  He experienced hunger when he fasted (Matt. 4:2).  He also experienced thirst (John 19:28).  He experienced fatigue when He travelled (John 4:6).  He suffered physically and died, in fact in John 19:34 we read that a spear was thrust into His side and water and blood mingled came out.  Jesus thought, reasoned and felt.  He experienced joy (John 15:11), as well as anger and grief (Mark 3:5). (This summary is owed to Millard J. Erickson’s chapter on “The Humanity of Christ” in his comprehensive book, “Christian Theology”).

But what does this all mean for us?  It means that “…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.” (Heb. 4:15)  Because Jesus has faced the temptations to sin that we have, and yet never gave in, He is fully able to meet us in our time of need and provide us with a way out.  When we are faced with temptations we can trust Him and His sacrifice that He will give us power to resist and overcome sin, just as He did.

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