One of the things that has been completely filled out for me in the past couple of years is Jesus’ humanity. For most of my Christian life, I have so emphasized Jesus’ deity that I virtually made him “God with skin on.” Like a Superman figure, I envisioned Jesus walking through Israel and when extra power or wisdom was needed, he would pull his cloak back, revealing the magic “S” on his chest. By doing this, I completely disqualified him as a master that I could apprentice myself to in any practical way. I would give verbal assent to follow and obey him, usually followed by the disclaimer, “But I’m only human.” This would provide the “safety net” when my inward and outward life didn’t align with Jesus’.
But let’s be frank. That’s complete heresy. Without in anyway diminishing Jesus’ deity, we need to come to terms with the fact that Jesus was completely human. In a recent lecture, N.T. Wright commented on Jesus’ miracles by stating:
“If anything, what the miracles show is that Jesus is the genuinely human being who, because he is utterly obedient to the Father, is able to reflect the love and power and creative wisdom of the Father into the world.”
In other words, Jesus’ miracles weren’t proof of his deity, but of his genuine humanity! His character and power reveal what real, day-to-day human existence should and can look like in complete alignment with God.
In this light, we have to come to grips with Scriptures such as 1 John 2:5-6:
“But if anyone obeys his word, God’s love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did.”
And 2 Peter 1:3-4:
“His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.”
Father, teach me to be truly human as Jesus was truly human. Help me to be utterly obedient to you so that I may embody and reflect your kingdom and fullness to this world. May your new creation break forth from my life as it did in Jesus’. Amen.