The eternal Son of God came to earth as a human being. We call this the Incarnation. As John expressed it in his Gospel: The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us (John 1:14). It is hard for our human minds to understand how Jesus could have been both fully divine and fully human, but that is what the Bible clearly teaches. We shall consider some passages that describe Jesus humanity and explain its importance.
1. Read Philippians 2:5-11. What was the original nature of the Son of God? (Philippians 2:6)
2. What then became of him? (Philippians 2:7,8)
3. Philippians describes the Incarnation from the perspective of heaven. Now we turn to look at it as it appeared on earth. How was the idea first explained to Mary? (Luke 1:31,32)
4. How was this to come about? (Luke 1:34,35) Mary really was the mother of Jesus, giving him a true humanity. Yet conception was by the Holy Spirit, making Jesus also truly divine.
5. Jesus then lived thirty-three years of human life, experiencing life as a man. Read the following references: Mark 1:41,43; 3:5; 14:33; Luke 10:21; 19:41; 22:44. What do they tell us about Jesus responses as a man?
6. While he entered into every aspect of human experience, in one regard he was unique. Read Luke 23:4,40,41; John 8:45,46; 2 Corinthians 5:21. In what way was Jesus different?
7. Read the passages in Hebrews. These verses speak of some of the things that Jesus was qualified to be able to do for us because of his perfect humanity. What is he able to do according to Hebrews 2:17,18?
8. How can we know that Jesus is able to sympathize with us? (Hebrews 4:15)
9. Our salvation would have been impossible apart from the Incarnation. It was human sin that required a human penalty to be paid in human suffering. Only then could the justice of a holy God be honored. Because Jesus was a sinless man, his death was not legally deserved as the penalty for his own wrong-doing. He was able to pay the price in his human body for the sins of other men. What does this truth enable us to do? (Hebrews 4:16)
If Jesus humanity is incomplete, he is inadequate as a mediator, incompetent as a sympathizer, and disqualified as a redeemer. He would be unable to represent us either in his life or in his death. Consider what he had to give up in order to become a man, and spend time praising him that he freely chose to do so out of love for us.