Many people say that Jesus Christ was both God and man when he lived on this earth. In this way they hope to avoid controversy. Entire denominations feel safe embracing this doctrine and in taking this stand. The question is- can it be both ways? The scriptures say no, and anyone taking such a stand must either avoid, or eliminate all the scriptures in the Bible that say otherwise. Additionally, such a doctrine robs mankind from understanding the love and richness of God’s grace to mankind.
It is absolutely true, and without any scriptural contradiction, that before Jesus was born and after he was resurrected he was and is now, wholly God. He was identified by the Hebrews, as Jehovah, Lord God. The first chapter in the book of John flatly states that he was with God in the beginning, and was God, and everything that has been made was made by him. He left his home and the glory he had in heaven to humble himself and become a man. He tells us, in the first chapter of the book of Revelation that he is Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, the Lord which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty. In verse 18 he tells us, “I am he that liveth, and was dead; and behold, I am alive for evermore.”
From the foundation of the world it was written that Jesus would come into the world at a predetermined time to do the will of his Father. In Hebrews 10:5-7 Amp, we are told that when the time came for Jesus to enter the world he declared to the Father, “Behold, here I am, coming to do your will, O God–(to fulfill) what is written of Me in the volume of the Book.” Jesus was born into this world by his mother Mary, conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit of God.
The question then is this: If God was his Father, and Mary was his mother, was it God’s plan for him to live as both God and man, or was it the plan of God from the foundation of the world for him to live as man only? Jesus Christ lived on this earth only a short thirty plus years, a very short period of time. Yet the Bible tells us a lot about his birth, life, death, and resurrection from the dead, all according to the plan of God.
In the second chapter of the book of Hebrews, we are told that when Jesus was born, he did not take on the nature of angels but instead took the human seed of Abraham, that he might be made like his brethren, and that he might be tempted as all men so that he would understand the temptations of mankind.
Let us examine how he could be born from the seed of man and yet from a virgin who was impregnated by the Holy Spirit of God, and not by a man. It might help us to understand that the first man, Adam, was made by God without a human father, and the first woman, Eve, was also made by God without a human father. Beyond this, it was prophesied three times that Jesus would be born of the seed of mankind. Genesis 3:15 says the promised Messiah would come from the seed of the woman. In Genesis 12 we are told that the Messiah would come through the seed of Abraham, (confirmed also in Galatians 3:16). Then we are told in Acts 2:30-31, Psalm 132:11, and Romans 1:3, that he would come from the fruit of the loins of King David. These are confirmed in the genealogy of Jesus Christ given Matthew 1:1 and are also found in Luke, chapter three. Most Bible scholars believe that the genealogy given in the book of Luke refers of Mary’s genealogy.
The Temptations of Jesus Christ
Was Jesus tempted as wholly God, wholly man, or both? The Bible gives us clear and direct answers to this question. We are told in Hebrews 2: 17-18 that he had to be made like his brethren in every respect so that he could be sympathetic to mankind’s temptations in order to intercede as a High Priest before God. Hebrews 4:15 tells us that Jesus was tempted in all points like we are, yet without sin. If Jesus lived as wholly God or even as both God and man, could he have been tempted like this? The Bible says no! James 1:13 tells us that God cannot be tempted by evil.
If Jesus then, existed as wholly man, how could he not sin? This answer can be found in the name given to him as a man–Jesus Christ. Christ means “anointed”. The name, then, is Jesus the anointed, because he was anointed by the Holy Spirit, and lived his life filled with the Holy Spirit, connected with God through his continuous prayers. Romans 8:3-4 tells us that the power to overcome sin is in the Holy Spirit. All through his life God was in the man Jesus, through the power of the Holy Spirit, and Jesus was in God through the same Holy Spirit.
Jesus, as man, overcame sin and told us that we also could overcome sin in the same way. In chapter seventeen of the book of John, before he departed this earth, Jesus lifted up his eyes in prayer to his Father, and prayed for those that might believe, “That they all may be one; as Thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may be one in us.”
God’s plan, from the foundation of the world, as found in Romans 8:29, is that through the short life and sacrificial death of Jesus Christ, we might have the hope of being molded into his image and likeness, and that Jesus might be the first-born of many brethren. I believe it would it be proper to paraphrase John 3:6, and say this about Jesus: He, who was born of the Spirit, was born of the flesh so that we, who were born of the flesh, might be born of the Spirit
The Resurrection of Jesus
Jesus died a human death just like every other human who died. Speaking about the resurrection in the last days, Jesus declared, “I am the resurrection and the life”. However, it was not by his own power that he, himself, was resurrected. There are many scriptures that say that it was the power of God that resurrected him. Romans 6:4 tells us that it was by the power of God, the Father, that he was resurrected.
The question of who Jesus is separates so many people on this earth, whether they are believers or unbelievers. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could all come together to work out our understanding of who Jesus is, based on God’s word alone?
Jesus is asking today. Who do you say that I am?