15 Minute Read

TODAY’S BIBLE READING:

Leviticus 13:1-59
Mark 6:1-29

Psalm 39:1-13
Proverbs 10:10

TODAY’S BIBLE VERSE(S):

Mark 6:2-3 (CSB): “When the Sabbath came, he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were astonished. ‘Where did this man get these things?’ they said. ‘What is this wisdom that has been given to him, and how are these miracles performed by his hands? Isn’t this the carpenter, the son of Mary, and the brother of James, Joses, Judas, and Simon? And aren’t his sisters here with us?’ So they were offended by him.”

REFLECTIONS ON TODAY’S BIBLE VERSE(S):

As we read our Verses for Today, we are invited into the perplexity of those who heard and observed Jesus.

They wondered how He had gained such amazing insights into Scripture. They could not understand how He was able to perform such incredible miracles.

Their problem arose from the fact that Jesus seemed so ordinary. They observed that He was simply a carpenter, a trade He had inherited from Joseph. They knew that He was the son of Mary and they knew His brothers and sisters by name.

They couldn’t reconcile these things. How could He demonstrate so much authority and power, appearing to have God’s blessings upon Him, while simply being a common man?

Friend, this perplexity invites us into the very nature of who Jesus was as He walked the earth.

Simply put, Jesus was fully God and fully man.

I could spend a month of Sundays unpacking that last statement but I’ll simply share a few truths that come to mind.

As Jesus walked the earth during the days of His ministry, He maintained His deity. He has always been God as the second Person of the Trinity, will always be God, and was certainly God as He came to earth. Passages like Philippians 2:5-11 help us to understand what theologians call the kenosis. They use that term to describe how Jesus emptied Himself of many of His rights and privileges as He became a man, while maintaining His deity.

Philippians 2:5-11 (CSB): “Adopt the same attitude as that of Christ Jesus, who, existing in the form of God, did not consider equality with God as something to be exploited. Instead he emptied himself by assuming the form of a servant, taking on the likeness of humanity. And when he had come as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death — even to death on a cross. For this reason God highly exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow — in heaven and on earth and under the earth — and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

So, Philippians reveals that God the Son, left Heaven to become a man while maintaining His deity, and now that He has completed His earthly task is back at the seat of power in Heaven. Clearly, Jesus was the infinite God/man.

But, then we hear Jesus’ own words as He claimed to be God, even as He walked the earth as a man.

John 5:17-18 (CSB): “Jesus responded to them, ‘My Father is still working, and I am working also.’ This is why the Jews began trying all the more to kill him: Not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal to God.”

John 10:30-31 (CSB): Jesus said: “‘I and the Father are one.’ Again the Jews picked up rocks to stone him.”

These and so many more verses make it clear that Jesus was fully God as He walked the face of the earth during the years of His life and ministry.

But, we don’t as easily acknowledge His humanity. Sure, we give assent to the fact that Jesus was a man … but I wonder how much we really believe it.

When we read of Him performing miracles, we say: “Well, of course He could perform miracles. He is God.”

When we read of His astonishing insights into Scripture, even His freedom to clarify it and takes its truths home to the heart, we say: “Of course He could do that. He is God.”

On and on we go. We read the Gospels and write everything off as evidence of His deity.

But, I think we err when we do so.

I am convinced that while Jesus is fully God (and there is no debate about that truth), I am equally convinced that Jesus walked the earth as fully man.

What I mean is that when we read the Gospels, we see Jesus as fully God and fully man. But, He didn’t take shortcuts. He didn’t play the “God-card.” While He is fully God, that truth was in the background of who He was. When others looked at Him, they simply saw a man. As He lived out His life on earth, He lived it as fully man.

Why is it necessary to see Jesus in this light? Here are just a few reasons:

1. Since Jesus lived out his life as fully human, then we can observe how He lived and follow (imitate) Him.

Mark 6:2-3 (CSB): “When the Sabbath came, he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were astonished. ‘Where did this man get these things?’ they said. ‘What is this wisdom that has been given to him, and how are these miracles performed by his hands? Isn’t this the carpenter, the son of Mary, and the brother of James, Joses, Judas, and Simon? And aren’t his sisters here with us?’ So they were offended by him.”

When you look at Jesus, if all you see is God, you will miss an opportunity to learn from Him. While the ultimate aim of His life was to provide a substitutionary sacrifice that would cover the sin debt of any and every person who trusts in Him, there are many secondary reasons He came.

One of those reasons was to show us how to live. If you begin to see Jesus as fully man and realize that He lived His life as fully man, you will begin to see Him as an example to follow. When you hear Him tell His disciples to “follow me,” you will realize that His life provides for us the perfect example to follow as we discover how God wants us to live in this world.

2. Adam legally lost his relationship with God. Adam’s actions brought death upon all of mankind. So, the second Adam (Jesus) needed to come as a man to gain back what a man lost. In fact, Jesus came back to gain MORE than Adam lost.

1 Corinthians 15:21-22 (CSB): “For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead also comes through a man. For just as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive.”

1 Corinthians 15:47-49 (CSB): “The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven. Like the man of dust, so are those who are of the dust; like the man of heaven, so are those who are of heaven. And just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we will also bear the image of the man of heaven.”

Jesus came as a man to gain back what Adam lost … and so much more. To legally gain what a man lost, a man had to reclaim it. God was pleased to send His Son, as fully man, to legally remedy the problem that Adam created.

And in doing so, Jesus gained for us so much more than Adam lost. Adam had Eden. We have a New Heaven and a New Earth (Revelation 21-22) awaiting us because of Jesus!

3. In order for Jesus’ temptation to actually be a temptation, He had to be a man.

Matthew 4:1 (CSB): “Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.”

James 1:13 (CSB): “No one undergoing a trial should say, “I am being tempted by God,” since God is not tempted by evil, and he himself doesn’t tempt anyone.”

If Jesus met Satan in Matthew 4:1 as fully God, then nothing Satan put before Jesus would be a legitimate temptation since God cannot be tempted.

A Quick Qualifier About the Nature of Jesus’ Temptation:

  • Adam and Eve did not have a sin nature when God first created them. Jesus did not have a sin nature, either. Every single other person who has walked planet Earth has a sin nature.
  • So, when we (who have sin natures) are presented with a temptation, it pulls and tugs at us. Sometimes, it even seems impossible to defeat the temptation because we have a sin nature within us that is at war with us.
  • However, it was not this way with Adam and Jesus. Adam, who was not created with a sin nature could take sin or leave it. There was no compelling force within him that caused him to want to disobey God. When he disobeyed God and fell to temptation, it was simply because he chose to. It is my understanding that Jesus’ temptation was a replay of Adam’s. Adam fell, even when He didn’t have a sin nature to blame it on, and Jesus was victorious.
  • If you want to see how Adam and Eve’s temptations lined up with Jesus’ temptations, click here for a post I wrote a few years ago.

So, since Jesus was fully man (with no sin nature as was Adam’s condition in His original condition), Jesus defeated Satan and temptation as a man. He didn’t use the ‘God-card.’ He defeated sin and Satan in the flesh.

Romans 8:3-4 (CSB): “What the law could not do since it was weakened by the flesh, God did. He condemned sin in the flesh by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh as a sin offering, in order that the law’s requirement would be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.”

Conclusion

Friend, we could keep going on this wonderful, eye-opening truth. There is so much to unpack when we realize that Jesus lived His life out on earth as fully man (even though He was also fully God).

So, when you read the Gospels, realize that the 1st century observers were right to stand in wonder at Him. When they saw Him, they only saw a man. Believe it. Jesus lived His life out as fully man.

And as He went to the cross as a man (also fully God), He died as the substitute for absolutely anyone who will put their trust in Him. That, my friend, includes you.

Oh, and one more thing…

What about Jesus now? He has always been God and always will be God. But, what about His humanity? Are there still hints that Jesus still bears a resemblance to us … as a human?

I believe the answer to those questions are “yes.” In fact, He not only maintains aspects of His humanity – He still bears the scars of His humanity.

Revelation 5:1-7 (CSB): “Then I saw in the right hand of the one seated on the throne (God the Father) a scroll with writing on both sides, sealed with seven seals. I also saw a mighty angel proclaiming with a loud voice, ‘Who is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals?’ But no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll or even to look in it. I wept and wept because no one was found worthy to open the scroll or even to look in it. Then one of the elders said to me, ‘Do not weep. Look, the Lion from the tribe of Judah (Jesus!!!), the Root of David, has conquered so that he is able to open the scroll and its seven seals.’ Then I saw one like a slaughtered lamb (Jesus, who continues to bear the scars of His time as fully man) standing in the midst of the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders. He had seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent into all the earth. He went and took the scroll out of the right hand of the one seated on the throne…”

Friend, if this doesn’t make you want to drop to your knees and praise Jesus, I don’t know what will!