Last week we looked at the doctrine of the incarnation. That is, the fact that Jesus, as God, took on human flesh and dwelt on earth. In this study we will continue to consider this doctrine, specifically regarding the Lord jesus Christ and his human nature.
Like the doctrine of the trinity, men have tried diligently to explain the incarnation in a clear and concise manner, making it easily understood. In this effort many false ideas have arisen, and sometimes, more confusion then clarity has been created. The fact is, according to Isaiah 55:9, God’s thoughts and his ways are far above our ability to comprehend them. He has allowed us to grasp many eternal truths, but some remain somewhat mysterious.
Although we may have to acknowledge that the mixture of deity and humanity at the incarnation is far above our ability to understand, one thing can be certain, the Bible clearly teaches that Jesus was both man and God at the same time.
• Phil 2:6-7. Q. Who did Jesus claim to be equal to?___________.
Q. What was Jesus made in the likeness of? ________.
We refer often to Jesus as the Son of God, and rightfully so, since Jesus claimed to be eternal (John 8:58), to be one with the Father (John 10:30), and to be the image of the Father (John 12:45), but Jesus’ preferred title was “the Son of man”. This title, used by Jesus thirty times in the book of Matthewhew alone, refers to his humanity.
Although Jesus was fully God and fully man, he did not avail himself to his divine power in much of his earthly ministry.
• John 3:34. Q. What did God give Jesus not by measure? (that is, he gave it fully) ________________________.
• John 14:12. Q. What did Jesus say regarding his works?
Although fully divine, Jesus did not avail himself to his deity in much of his earthly ministry, choosing instead, as our example to use the power of the Holy Spirit. Look up these verses and list characteristics of Jesus that reflect his humanity. Matthew 26:37, Luke 2:40, Luke 4:2, Luke 8:23, John 4:6
Jesus Our Example
One reason why it was absolutely necessary for Jesus Christ to be fully human was so that he could be our example. Though he came to do far more than to set an example, it remains one purpose of the incarnation.
•1 Peter 2:21. Q. What did Jesus leave us? _______________________.
Q. What should we do with this example? _______________________.
Consider the following verses and indicate in what areas we are to follow Christ’s example.
• Matthew 6:9-13) ________________________________________.
• Col 3:13 ___________________________________________.
• Matthew 20:27-28 _______________________________________.
• John 15:10 _________________________________________.
• Matthew 11:29 _________________________________________.
• 1Pet 1:15-16________________________________________.
• 1John 3:3 _________________________________________.
• Phil 2:5-8 _________________________________________.
Although there are certain aspects of Jesus’ life that we could never duplicate, the Bible is clear that we are to try to live like Jesus lived. We can forgive others, serve others, have a humble spirit, and practice obedience, holiness, and purity. All these things reflect the human life of Jesus as he lived in the power of the Spirit. God has given us the same Spirit and desires us to become like Christ.
• Write out 1John 2:6 ____________________________________
Some years ago, it became popular in Christian circles to ask, What would Jesus do? Although this is a valid question, we must be careful not to relegate the life of Jesus to that of just an example. He is our example and so much more. Remember, it is only by our surrendering to His influence in our lives by His Holy Spirit that we can be like Him. He did not come simply to show us how to live, but to give us life! (John 10:10, Rom 5:10)
Jesus Our Kinsman Redeemer
As we stated in an earlier study, although God can do anything, he has chosen to govern himself according to his justice and his law. One portion of the law that God demands be fulfilled is that of the Kinsman Redeemer. This law is found in • Leviticus 25:47-49.
v 47. Q. Why has the man in this verse sold himself?
v 48. Q. Who can redeem or “buy back” this man?
v 48. Q. Under what conditions could he redeem himself?
This man, due to his poverty has sold himself as a slave to his debtor. Only a near of kin could pay the debt that this man could not pay. Once this payment was made, this man was freed from his service to his debtor and is made free.
This is the exact position in which the lost sinner finds himself.
• Rom 7:14 …. I am carnal, ________________________.
All of mankind is spiritually bankrupt and sold under sin. As a result we find ourselves as servants of sin (Rom 6:6). We do not possess the means to redeem ourselves, as the cost is death in Hell (Rom 6:23). Thankfully we can appeal to God’s law of the kinsman redeemer and seek one to deliver us from our servitude! • John 8:34-36.
v 34. Q. What is one who commits sin? ________________________.
v 36. Q. Who can make us free? _____________________________.
Jesus fulfilled all the requirements of the kinsman redeemer when he took on human form. 1. He was able to pay the price (Rom 8:3), 2. He was willing to pay the price (Gal 1:4), 3. He himself was free (Heb 4:15), and lastly 4. He was our kinsman (Heb 2:17).
Had the incarnation not taken place, we would remain sold under sin. From the first sin of Adam until the birth of Christ, there was never born one who could fulfill the requirements for redemption. Jesus and he alone could be the kinsman redeemer, thus fulfilling God’s law and redeeming us from sin.
Think • Discuss Romans 6:18 Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.
Jesus Our High Priest
Lastly, let’s consider the role that the humanity of Christ played in his office as our high priest.
• Hebrews 2:17. Q. According to this verse, what did Jesus have to do before he could become our high priest?
• Hebrews 7:26 For such an high priest _________________, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens;
Before Jesus could become our high priest he had to become like us. Now let’s look at some of the duties he performs as our high priest.
• Hebrews 2:18. Q. What does our high priest do for us?
Q. How is it that he is now able to perform this duty?
• Hebrews 7:25. Q. As a high priest, what does Christ live to do for us?
• Hebrews 10:5, 10:10. Q. As a high priest, what has Jesus offered for us?
• Hebrews 4:15,16. Q. What can we now do, since He has become our high priest?
One duty of the Old Testament priest was to enter into the holy of holies within the tabernacle in order to offer sacrifice for the sins of the people once a year. This sacrifice did not take away sin, but acted as a temporary covering. • Hebrews 9:11-14. Q. With what did our high priest enter the holy of holies in Heaven?
Q. What was our high priest able to obtain for us, with his blood?
Jesus is our example, our kinsman redeemer, and our high priest. None of these things could have been possible had Jesus not taken on true humanity at Bethlehem. Though we may not fully understand it, the Bible is clear, Jesus was fully human and fully divine.
1. How is it possible that we could do works like Jesus did?
2. How could Jesus be our example if he was divine?
3. How is Jesus MORE than an example?
4. Which requirement of the law of the kinsman redeemer absolutely required that Jesus become man?
5. What are some advantages that we have since Jesus is our high priest?