13 Minute Read

TODAY’S BIBLE READING:

Numbers 8:1–9:23
Mark 13:14-37
Psalm 50:1-23
Proverbs 10:29-30

TODAY’S BIBLE VERSE(S):

Mark 13:32 (CSB): “Now concerning that day or hour no one knows—neither the angels in heaven nor the Son—but only the Father.”

REFLECTIONS ON TODAY’S BIBLE VERSE(S):

Even though I recently wrote about Jesus’ humanity (“Was Jesus Really Human?”), I feel the need to keep hammering away at this topic because I am convinced that far too many Christians don’t understand or believe it.

For instance, I once taught a Sunday night Bible study that pointed to how Jesus grew weary. I noted that He once grew so exhausted that He fell asleep in the back of a boat and a fierce storm couldn’t awaken Him.

Luke 8:22-24 (CSB): “One day he and his disciples got into a boat, and he told them, ‘Let’s cross over to the other side of the lake.’ So they set out, and as they were sailing he fell asleep. Then a fierce windstorm came down on the lake; they were being swamped and were in danger. They came and woke him up, saying, ‘Master, Master, we’re going to die!'”

The gossip-mill went into overtime after that sermon. A few people soundly disagreed with my interpretation of that passage (even though I simply elaborated on what the Bible said). Then, a brave soul (who wasn’t content to gossip but wanted to deal with the problem face-to-face) came to me and said:

“Pastor, you said that Jesus was so exhausted that He fell asleep and a storm couldn’t awaken Him. I have a problem with that interpretation because my God never gets tired.”

Can you see how they misunderstood the true nature of Jesus? Can you see how they acknowledged Jesus’ deity but, essentially, rejected Jesus’ humanity?

Friend, I could go on and on with illustration after illustration that has demonstrated to me that while Christians say that they believe that Jesus was fully God and fully man, they really only believe that He was fully God. They believe that He woke up every day of His ministry and played the “God card.” They believe that He came as a man but “cheated” His way through His ministry and really lived it out as fully God.

Let’s be clear. Let me restate it. The Bible teaches that Jesus was fully man AND fully God.

My point is that most Christians believe He was fully God but don’t really believe that He was fully man.

So, why am I bringing up this up? What in our Verse for Today causes me to point, once again, to the humanity of Jesus?

Mark 13:32 (CSB): “Now concerning that day or hour no one knows—neither the angels in heaven nor the Son—but only the Father.”

Jesus was talking to His disciples and telling them that the time of His return was “Top Secret.” It was classified information.

And then Jesus elaborated on how classified it was. He told us who wasn’t privy to the information: “neither the angels in heaven nor the Son—but only the Father.”

Did you get that? Jesus said that even He didn’t know when He was coming back.

Do you know what that demonstrates? It tells us that during the time that Jesus walked the earth, He was not omniscient. He didn’t know all things. More specifically, He didn’t know when He was coming back.

Does that mean that He was any less than fully God? No! A thousand times “no!”.

Jesus has always been and will always be fully God!

The fact that Jesus, while He was walking the earth as fully man, didn’t know when He was coming back simply illustrates the truth of Philippians 2:

Philippians 2:5-7 (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…”

Notice the phrase, “he emptied himself.”

What does that mean? What did Jesus empty Himself of?

For starters, Jesus did NOT empty Himself of His deity. Over and over in the Gospels, we hear Jesus claiming to be God and His audience clearly understood this. When Jesus walked the earth, He was fully God. That fact is not even up for debate.

So, what did Jesus empty Himself of?

Simply put, for the time that Jesus walked the earth as a man, while He maintained His deity, He temporarily gave up many of His rights and privileges as God.

For instance, God is omniscient. That simply means that He completely knows all things. Adrian Rogers, a former pastor of mine, used to say: “Has it ever occurred to you that nothing has ever occurred to God?” Nothing has ever occurred to God because He knows all things.

Yet, when Jesus came to earth as a man, while He maintained His deity, He temporarily gave up His right to completely know all things.

When He was 12 years old and confounded the religious leaders with His knowledge of Scripture (Luke 2:42,46-47), I believe it was not because He was using His “God card.” It was because, even as a young child “growing in wisdom” (Luke 2:52), he spent much time in the Scriptures and learned God’s Word the same way we do.

So, while Jesus remained God the Son as He walked the earth, He temporarily laid aside many of the attributes of God. One of the things He temporarily gave up was His omniscience.

When we read our Verse for Today, we realize that there were things that Jesus didn’t know. For one, He didn’t know when He was coming back to earth to rapture His followers out.

So, does Jesus know all things now? Of course. He only temporarily gave up some of His rights and privileges when He left His throne in Heaven to become a man. But, now that His early ministry is done and He is again in Heaven, He is no longer limited. His limitations were only temporary.

Friend, this is extremely important? It is vital that we understand that Jesus was fully God AND fully man when He walked the earth. Why? I’ll close with the reasons I gave in a previous post on this topic.

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.”