Jesus = BOTH God and Man
Since Jesus came to earth there have been questions, disagreements, and debates about his nature > how he could be both God and man, or was he both, or ……… ???
In a recent Review of the book/movie “The Shack” (posted on this website) I noted that among other things the author (through his fictional character “Papa”/God) declared:“Although he is fully God, he has never drawn upon his nature as God to do anything. …. Jesus, as a human being, had no power within himself to heal anyone.” (pages 101-102, my paperback copy).
In the Review I called this, along with most teaching in the book, “false doctrine”, presented a basic chart about the nature of Jesus, and promised a more detailed study of this subject. This is it.
Brethren have, in the past, and continue to debate the matter and some take the same position taken by “Papa” in The Shack: One well know preacher says: “Jesus retained divine nature…. Jesus did not use any of the powers… of his divine status…. Jesus released the power… of the divine Son of God” … and Jesus was NOT “different” from us (all mankind).
According to these brethren (and “Papa”) Jesus while being “fully God” did not know who he was, did not remember heaven from whence he came, did not know of the glory and power and majesty which he gave up, did no miracles….
Everything he did, beyond what any human could do, was the same as was done by Moses, Elisha, the apostles, and other men of God > JUST A MAN being used by God.
In the material which follow we will briefly note basic Bible facts about the nature of Jesus and man.
Notes: Though the term “human” may not be the best word to use, I call the spirit of man (which is made/created in the “likeness of God”) a “human spirit/soul” in contrast to the “divine spirit/the Word” which is eternal and was not created.
Before we proceed further I believe it we need to discuss a MAJOR misuse of some verses of scripture which are used (especially by brethren who hold this doctrine) to discount all the MANY verses which SAY Jesus did do miracles.
“The Son can do nothing of himself….” John 5:19
“I can do nothing…” John 5:30
“I can do nothing of myself…” John 8:28
These statements by Jesus are used to discount the many passages which SAY Jesus did many miracles. We are told ALL the miraculous things he did (from knowing the thoughts of others to healing, etc. ......) were actually done by God/Holy Spirit, just as he did through Moses, Elisha, the apostles, and other men of God. Jesus could do nothing himself !!
We’ll note 2 major problems with this contention:
1. They misuse these verses by assigning an incorrect meaning to the terms used.
They say these statements mean Jesus could not do any miraculous things himself, they had to be done by God/Holy Spirit. A careful study shows us the idea is that the union/relationship between the Father and the Son was/is such that he could do nothing “independently” or separate from the Father. His divine nature made it such that he must act in accordance with the nature and will of God. There is no totally separate action – they are one (Jn 17:21), alike in being and in action, with perfect oneness between him and the Father.
The three (3) divine beings of the Godhead (Father, the Word, & Holy Spirit) are separate and each can do and does specific works but they never act alone, they are always united in all they do. EVEN BEFORE coming to earth as a man, “the Word” could do nothing of himself ! The same is true of the Father and the Holy Spirit. And in Jn 5:17 Jesus said: “My Father works… and I also work.”
2. They make Jesus a false witness…
John says Jesus came from heaven and bears witness of what he had seen & heard (Jn 3:31-32). In Jn 1:18 he said that no man has seen God but the Son hath declared him. In Jn 8:13-18 Jesus says he, as a witness, knew where he came from ….
One cannot be a witness of that which he has not personally seen or experienced (example: car wreck). IF Jesus only knew what the Father TOLD him about heaven and about the Father he could not be a TRUE WITNESS.
Remember the purveyors of this doctrine contend Jesus could not know or do anything himself, beyond what any man can do. Therefore, according to them, he is a false witness when he claims to have seen the Father, etc….
Now, let's consider the subject: Jesus = BOTH God and Man.
We note in this first chart that Hebrews 10:5 tells us God ("thou") prepared "a body" for someone identified as "me". The other verses in the chart identify the "me" as "the Word" which became flesh....
"The Word" /God/Deity with all his divine attributes took on, dwelt in, a fleshly/human body.
To be BOTH worshipped and tempted, Jesus had to be BOTH God and Man.
But someone says, "How can that be? I don't understand." Well, the next chart reminds us that God does not reveal everything to us. Some things are secret. We're not supposed to understand everything.
One of the reasons those who teach the Word gave up ALL his Divine Attributes and therefore no longer has ANY Divine Powers is because they errorniously believe he must be EXACTLY LIKE us (all mankind) to be our example. The next chart shows some of the differences in Jesus and man which cannot be discounted - there are many more.
The major difference is that the Word is an Eternal Divine Spirit (God), has always been and always will be, even if somehow you could get rid of all his Divine Attributes. The spirit in all other men (since Adam) did not begin until conception. Now, let's note the various "make up" which different ones have envisioned as just how Jesus was both God and Man. Please note that in NONE of these cases is Jesus EXACTLY like man.
> Everyone agrees the 1st one (the Word with all his Divine Attributes) is not exactly like man.
> The 2nd one (the Word without Divine Attributes) is still not exactly like man, even though some contend he is.
Remember the Word is an Eternal Divine Spirit. Remove that and you no longer have God in the flesh. Of
course, as far as I can see, if you remove ALL the Divine Attributes you no longer have God.
> It should be obvious the 3rd and 4th ones with two (2) spirits are certainly not exactly like man. They are just ways
some have come up with to deal with something they don't understand.
IF JESUS IS EXACTLY LIKE MAN HE IS NO LONGER GOD!
The Jesus, whom I worship and serve, is God (John 1:1-2), for whom a body was prepared (Heb 10:5) and in which He lived as a man while on the earth.
As God, in Him dwelled the fullness of deity, with all the powers and attributes, not obvious to men, but veiled and exercised in His role of a servant. Without violating this purpose, He knew who He was/is and remembered heaven from which He came; He knew the thoughts of men; He controlled His life and no man could take His life until He laid it down; He forgave sins. He was God manifest in the flesh, and claimed to be equal with the Father and the Holy Spirit.
In the flesh, He hungered, was thirsty, needed rest, experienced sorrow and joy; He lived as a man and fully experienced the human condition, being tempted even as we are. Though a man, He was more than just an ordinary man. And unless we believe that He is the I AM, we will die in our sins. (John 8:24, 58)