Why is it so important for Jesus to be both human and divine?
1. First of all we have to establish that Jesus really became human. This is confirmed not only in the Holy Scriptures, but also by non-Christian evidence such as:
a. Josephus (Jospehus, a renown Jewish historian from the first century, wrote books like “Wars” and the “Antiquities of the Jews”. He worked under Roman authority and took great care not to offend the Romans. His writing about the Jewish wars proved highly accurate and was corrobated by Tacitus and archaeological excavations at Masada.):
“He assembled the Sanhedrim of judges, and brought before them the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ, whose name was James, and some others, [or, some of his companions]; and when he had formed an accusation against them as breakers of the law, he delivered them to be stoned.” Antiquities of the Jews, book XX, Chapter 9.1
Jospehus confirms that Jesus was a real person. He was called the “Christ” and had a brother James who died a martyr’s death under the hands of the high priest Albinus.
b. Tacitus (Tacitus was a first-century Roman and is considered as one of the most accurate historians of that time period. Giving account about the fire of Rome,):
“Consequently, to get rid of the report, Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians by the populace. Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus, and a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judaea, the first source of the evil, but even in Rome, where all things hideous and shameful from every part of the world find their centre and become popular.” The Annals, book XV 44.
Tacitus confirmed that Christians were named after Jesus and that they were spreading even up to Rome. Tacitus declares as well that Jesus died under the hands of Pontius Pilate. The “mischievous superstition” probably refers to Jesus’ resurrection.
c. Pliny the Younger (He was a Roman writer and an administrator. He describes the early Christian worship practices in a letter to the Emperor Trajan.):
“They (the Christians) asserted, however, that the sum and substance of their fault or error had been that they were accustomed to meet on a fixed day before dawn and sing responsively a hymn to Christ as to a god, and to bind themselves by oath, not to some crime, but not to commit fraud, theft, or adultery, not falsify their trust, nor to refuse to return a trust when called upon to do so. When this was over, it was their custom to depart and to assemble again to partake of food–but ordinary and innocent food.” The Letters, 10:96.
Here Christians are identified as meeting together on a regular basis and acknowledging Jesus as God. Following Jesus meant to be a person of moral integrity (“not to some crime, but not to commit fraud, theft, or adultery, not falsify their trust, nor to refuse to return a trust when called upon to do so”).
d. Emperor Trajan (The emperor Trajan replied to Pliny the Younger with the following guidelines for punishing Christians):
“They are not to be sought out; if they are denounced and proved guilty, they are to be punished, with this reservation, that whoever denies that he is a Christian and really proves it–that is, by worshiping our gods–even though he was under suspicion in the past, shall obtain pardon through repentance.” Pliny the Younger, The Letters, 10:97.
There are many other outside resources like these one (to see more of them visit us at http://www.answers2prayer.org/bible_studies/new_testament/external_evidence.html )
There is no doubt that Jesus became a human and lived around two thousand years ago.
2. The next question we need to answer is: was Jesus really divine?
a. Jesus claimed to be equal to God
On several occasions we find Jesus claiming equality to God the Father.
– John 10:25-33 “Jesus answered, “I did tell you, but you do not believe. The miracles I do in my Father’s name speak for me, but you do not believe because you are not my sheep. My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.”
The Jews picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus said to them, “I have shown you many great miracles from the Father. For which of these do you stone me?”
“We are not stoning you for any of these,” replied the Jews, “but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God.”
Look at the Jews’ reaction, they were angry and were planning to stone Jesus. Why? Because they clearly understood Jesus claiming ” to be God”. They reacted the same way as the high priest in Jesus’ trial. How would you react if someone proclaimed “I and the Father God are one”?
– John 5:17-18 “Jesus said to them, “My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I, too, am working.” For this reason the Jews tried all the harder to kill him; not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.”
Here again the Jews clearly understood that Jesus was “making himself equal with God.”
– John 8:58 “I tell you the truth,” Jesus answered, “before Abraham was born, I am!”
Not only did Jesus announce that he existed before Abraham, who lived 2000 years before his time, but he also put Himself equal to God by saying “I am.” Only God used this title when addressing Moses in Ex 3:14 “God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I AM has sent me to you.'”
The Jews understood what he said and John 8:59 “At this, they picked up stones to stone him… “
b. The apostle Paul claimed Jesus to be divine:
Rom 9:5 “Theirs are the patriarchs, and from them is traced the human ancestry of Christ, who is God over all, forever praised! Amen.”
Col 2:9 “For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form”
c. The apostle Thomas proclaimed Jesus to be divine:
John 20:28 “Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”
d. Even the apostle John proclaimed Jesus to be divine:
John 1:1, 14 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”
1 John 5:20 “We know also that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true. And we are in him who is true-even in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.”
Many others proclaimed this same truth (to find more evidence visit us at http://www.answers2prayer.org/bible_studies/jesus/jesus_claims2.html )
Now that we have established that Jesus was both human and divine, we need to ask ourselves:
3. Why did Jesus become a human being?
John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” NIV
Phil 2:6-11 “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! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
1 Cor 15:20-22 “But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.” NIV
Jesus became human because redemption was only possible through a human! Sin entered our world through a human. Redemption had to be delivered through a human! Since all humans sin (See Rom 3:23), redemption was impossible, unless God intervened. He sure did. Jesus became a human, died in our stead, was buried and rose up three days later so that we could be reconciled to God! Jesus’ incarnation meant our salvation. Jesus is our victory and thanks to Him we can spend eternity with God if we accept God’s offer.
Would you like to accept Him now? Not only will He be your Saviour, He will also become your best friend ever, one you can rely on and one who will never abandon you! Don’t delay and welcome Him in your heart right now. He loves you!
Actually it’s very simple.
Jesus became human so he could understand our perils. He was tempted as we are and experienced pain and suffering, just as we do. He needed to know just how we feel when we are suffering.
Jesus is divine because he is our Savior. He heals and comforts and through Him we reach our Father in Heaven. He is divine because He was able to save us all from our sins and wash us clean of all of them and make us white as snow in order to go to His Heavenly kingdom.
Plain and simple, Jesus went through everything we went through and more. He shows us that we can be a Christian and still walk this earth. Heb. 4:14,15, “Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” He showed us His love by becoming sin for us. “He who knew NO sin became sin for us” 2 Corinthains 5:21. John 15:21, “If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also. ” It is a beautiful thing to know he is our God, Friend, Father, above all Redeemer.
Because He is the propitiation for all the sins of all mankind. 1jn.4.9-10. No mere man could pay for the cost of all sin; not even his own, Lk.17.10. His sacrifice empowered the New Covenant, Heb.9.14-20; for, sin brings about spiritual death, Rom.6.23; Isa.59.1-2, and only He Who is Life, Jn.14.6, has power over death, Icor.15.56. As God, His value is infinite; He can pay the ransom, Mt.5.48; And, Jesus Christ is God, Isa.9.6.
He couldn’t have fulfilled his calling, He couldn’t have properly identified with us mortals had it been any other way, He simply had to be both, There’s just no other way it could have worked.
To fulfill the scriptures in the old testament. Isaiah 53 for instance:
“Who hath believed our report? And to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed?” “For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.” “He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.”
I guess as fully man HE could not only get a first hand view of humanity and as man could be the perfect sacrifice for the father as we are sinful and cannot fit the criteria of God’s demands in a perfect sacrifice.
It is important for Jesus to be human for us to relate to Him on an earthly level. “God with us,” was, in fact, God showing us He loved us enough to come to this earth, put on flesh and go through the same “life” that we do. He was showing us that we didn’t have to do this alone, that He would be with us. As Jesus would later tell the apostles, “I am with you always, even unto the end.”
All the emotions of happiness, sadness, peace, grief, exasperation, and exhilaration that we feel on this earth, Jesus has felt also. This proves that God is not a cold, far-away, disinterested supreme being. He is a loving, warm and kind Father, who knows what we are going through, how we feel, and knows what temptations are present in this earthly life. While some might say that God was showing us that it was possible for a man to live a holy and sinless life on the earth, I would argue that Jesus was not just a man, but wholly divine. A simple man cannot achieve a sinless, blameless life here in the flesh.
Christ the divine, was on earth for one main reason: To fulfill God’s plan of redemption for mankind. Man, try as he might, could not live a pure life under the law that would lead to his own salvation. God knew this, that man could not live up to the law, so he made a way for us to come to Him, through Grace. In giving His only begotten son to die upon a cross as our kinsman redeemer, as the only fitting atoning sacrifice, God gave all for us. Christ, the blameless and pure lamb, was the only acceptable sacrifice for all of man’s sins, and Christ could only be pure in His divine existence.
If Christ had not been human, mankind would not have been able to receive God’s redemption plan, and would not know of God’s love. If Christ had not been divine, He could not have been the Lamb of God, and there would be no Grace, and no chance for salvation.
Jesus had to become the Son of man (born of a woman, born after the flesh) so that man may become the Son of God (born of God, born after the Spirit).
The son of God (divine) became the son of man so that the son of man (human) would become the son of God.
Divinity was manifested in humanity from eternity so that humanity might manifest divinity in perpetuity.
These verses expound the above eternal truth – Romans 6, Romans 8:3-4, John 1:12-13,1 Corinthians 15:49 and 1 John 4:17.
It is imperative to prove that Jesus is both human and God, in fact about four years ago I wrote a paper proving that Jesus was both human and God, the reason is that Jesus was divine and human for basic reasons which am about to name below.
The simple answer for Jesus being human is that when man sinned he needed someone human to redeem him or save him. Jesus had spent over thirty years here and was born of a human woman but please let’s get this straight the only thing he got which was not from here was his blood. He had clean divine blood like that of the unfallen Adam if you ask me how he got it I will ask you how the first Adam got his. Thus Jesus with that background was a flawless human being adding his sweating of blood and water oozing out of him on the cross loosing his temper in the temple all prove that he was human. The reason I am bringing all of this is because the human race needed a human to save it from all its follies and thus we got the son of man. For the human race to be saved it needed to save itself from within that’s why Jesus lived like us for over thirty years so he could be like us and then save us after he has qualified to save us.
Now without putting much effort on proving that Jesus was divine I would like to say that Jesus is naturally divine. It is not not too much to ask of its importance because Jesus’ divinity enabled him to fight all the temptations he encountered while here on earth. He was not like any common human being. He disappeared, walked on water, talked to nature and it listened to him, spoke to demons with opposition and so many other unexplained encounters with especially his divine nature.
Therefore it must be noted with utmost respect that Jesus divinity played a big role in our salvation as already stated above with of course not forgetting to say that Jesus is God himself that has been proved beyond reasonable doubt and also am sure that the reader reading this now is aware of this.
Jesus had to be divine to be able to save all of mankind. Sinful man could not atone for another man as he/she is not able to lay down eternal life. Jesus was sent by the Father to save all those who choose to accept Jesus as their personal Saviour. Before the foundations of the world were laid the Father, who is love personified, predestined those who would follow Him for salvation to live with Him forever – John 3.16.
Joh 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
The Son of man had to be fully human so as to demonstrate that the Father is love and that He could be followed by every man through the power of the Holy Spirit. Thus, we can be holy in the sight of God but have to remember that our holiness is Christ’s holiness; we can be righteous but the righteousness is not ours but Christ’s; we can be faultless, however, it is not our doing as it is Christ who lives in us who is faultless. If there is any good in us it is Christ’s goodness.
Php 2:5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus;
Rom 8:9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.
He was born of a virgin as Mary without surrendering any aspect of he deity.
He had to become man because man was the one who sinned. He had to be God because God was the only one who could do anything about sin of man.
The incarnation of the son of God was accomplished by a creative act of the Holy Spirit in the body of Mary, a virgin. It was a special miracle performed by the third person of the holy Trinity- the Holy Spirit which enabled the second person to the Trinity the eternal son of God – to take upon himself genuine although sinless human nature. He was born of a virgin as a man with surrounding and aspect of his deity.
Jesus has the fullness of God dwelling in Him bodily forever and ever. The son of God became the son of man so that the sons of men might become the sons of God.
It is very important for Jesus to be both human and divine because of the mission that he carried to win man back to the kingdom. The principles he applied in teaching about the kingdom reveals that for you to teach people to understand you, you have to start with the known things of life and use them to get to the unknown.
It would have been very scary if Jesus appeared as a celestial being and announce his Godship. Nobody would have taken his message. He decided to come to humanity and meet them at their level of understanding. This is one principle I notice recurring in the whole bible. God comes to us at our level. He does not seek to confuse us but to illumine our understanding of divine ideas of heaven.
To Abraham who was a wonderer, God appeared to him as a wonderer. To Moses who was in a burning desert God appeared as a burning bush but to Joshua who was a soldier, God appeared as a soldier. Check this out. Amos understood his world in terms of farming. God used the vision of the sycamore fruit to illustrate divine ideas of heaven. To Peter who was a frustrated chairman of a fishing company-Jesus appeared as a fisherman. To us who are human Jesus had to come as human and then take us step by step into divine knowledge.
It is a journey from the known to the unknown. He therefore wanted to demonstrate that there was much more to being human than making mistakes. He could be human and spend his entire life pursuing a divine purpose, never deceived into contrary pursuits. He demonstrated that he could be away physically from his Father and still obey His will. God therefore comes to us at our level. He fits our experience and takes us by the hand to where he is.
He took Peter to places Peter would not have gone by himself (a Powerful Apostle). At the well he first talked about natural water before he talked about the divine water which the woman at the well would have been given had she known. When he healed the blind man he began by putting natural soil into the eyes before divine power would follow to open blind eyes. In short, God comes to us where we are and takes us from there into divine power.