The Lord Jesus Christ - as a man

His humanity.

    • Our Lord Jesus Christ was, and is, a man.
    • this has been denied in the past, and is still denied by some
    • we should not allow His humanity to fade away before the majesty of His deity
    • we should take heed to 1 John 4:2-3.

Human ancestry.

    • He was born of a virgin, Mary (Lk 1:31, 2:7), and was the direct descendant of Abraham (Acts 3:25) and David (Acts 13:23, Rom 1:3). His genealogy is fully recorded (Matt 1:1-17, Lk 3:23-38), and his brothers and sisters are referred to (Matt 14:53-56).

Human appearance,

    • He was made "in the likeness of sinful flesh" (Rom 8:3). There appeared to be nothing unusual about Him. Jn 4:9, 20:15, Lk 24:18, Jn 21:4-5.

Human constitution,

    • He had a truly human nature, but not a sinful nature. He Himself refers to His body (Matt 26:12), His soul (Matt 26:38), and His spirit (Lk 23:46). Even after His resurrection He appeals to the reality of His body as a basis for belief (Lk 24:39).

Human description

    • The title "Son of Man" is used 80 times in the Gospels. It is often found in close association with the title "Son of God", thus stressing His unipersonality (Jn 1:49-51, Matt 26:63-64). He called Himself "man", and was so called by others. (Jn 8:40, Acts 2:22, Rom 5:15, 1 Cor 15:21, 1 Tim 2:5) He is said to have become "flesh". This term denotes human nature. (Jn 1:14, 1 Tim 3:16, 1 Jn 4:2-3).

Human limitations.

    • He was tempted (Matt 4:1), and hungered (Matt 4:2, Mk 11:12), thirsted (Jn 19:28), became weary (Jn 4:6), and slept (Mk 4:38). He displayed compassion (Matt 9:36), anger (Mk 3:5), and love (Jn 13:23). He wept (Jn 11:35), longed for human company (Matt 26:36-46), sorrowed (Matt 26:38), was troubled (Jn 12:27), suffered (Lk 22:44) and died (Jn 19:30). We have seen how He acquired His knowledge through the normal channels. He had limits on His knowledge (Mk 13:32), and had need to be sustained by the Spirit (Acts 10:38, Heb 9:14), and by prayer (Heb 5:7).

" Behold THE MAN " ( Jn 19:5).

    • If He had not become a man, He could not have saved us.
    • How else could He have acted as the Last Adam? Rom 5:12-21.
    • How else could He have kept the Law on behalf of His people? Gal 4:4-5.
    • How else could He have died in His people's place? Heb 2:14-16, 9:22.
    • How else could He have become our merciful and faithful high priest? Heb 2:17-18, 4:15-16
    • How else could He have become the head of a glorified church of redeemed men and women ? Rom 8:29.
    • How else could He have provided us with an example, that we should follow in His steps ? Jn 13:13-15, Phil 2:4-11, Heb 12:2-4, 1 Pet 2:21.
    • For there is one God, and one mediator
    • between God and men, THE MAN Christ Jesus. "
    • (1 Timothy 2:5).

His manliness

    • Our Lord has often been represented as somewhat effeminate, and a trifle soft
    • This is a diabolical perversion. He was a manly man. A Lion and a Lamb.
    • He was thought to be Elijah, or John the Baptist (Matt 16:14).
    • He was manly
      • Consider the unceasing labour of His public ministry. He knew nothing of ease or leisure. It was 3.5 years of constant travel, milling crowds, physical strain, and unabated demand on all His resources.
      • Consider His sternness when aroused to moral indignation. He was neither harsh and cruel, nor weakly sentimental; and knew the meaning of physical courage (Jn 2:13-17, Lk 19:45-47).
      • Consider the blistering denunciations with which He rebuked the hollow hypocrisy of the religious leaders of the time. No soft effeminacy herd ( read Matthew 23)
      • Consider that He had courage to remain silent when it would have been easier to speak. Consider also His self-control. He did not respond to provocation. Nor did He engage in self-justification, or in getting His own back. (Matt 26:62-63, 27:12, Mk 15:4-5, Lk 23:9).
      • Consider that He did not hesitate to speak right words, when He knew they would bring on Him painful consequences. (Jn 18:20-21, 33-37, 19:11, Matt 26:57-66).
      • Consider how "he steadfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem." (Lk 9:51). No-one shrank from death more than He did, yet He determined to go ahead, and endured the unprecedented pain and shame of the Cross. (Jn 12:27-28, Matt 26:36-46, Lk 22:41-44).
    • He expects His followers to be the same,
    • He insists that there must be a counting of the cost before a person follows Him (Lk 14:28-32). He refuses those who have not done it, and also refuses the self-centred (Lk 9:57-62).
    • He demands :-
      • that self should be nothing. My own rights, wishes, desires, pleasures, hopes, do not come into the picture - EVER AGAIN !
      • that HE should be everything. The only consideration now is "Lord, what wilt THOU have me to do?" (Acts 9:6)
      • that this should be so, WHATEVER it costs.
      • see Matt 10:37-39, 16:24-25, Mark 8:34-38, Lk 9:23-26, 14:25-27, 33.
      • Apply these principles now to - what to do after the service / where to work / how to use evenings / on what to spend money / holidays / where to live / who to court and marry / what church to attend / what Christian work to engage in / how to react to opposition / how to behave when observing Sin / family life / church life / etc. etc. etc.
      • "He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal." (John 12:25).
    • His sinlessness,
      • we know that our Lord Jesus Christ stands in a category by Himself.
      • His character was more wonderful than the greatest miracle.
      • He was tempted to sin, yet the conflict left Him immaculate.
    • What He Himself thought.
      • on 3 occasions He stated directly that He was without sin. John 8:1-11, 29, 46, 14:30
      • His sinlessness was a fact so obvious to Him that it hardly required emphasis. It was implied, rather than asserted. For example, consider His I AM's - John 6:35, 8:12, 10:7,14, 11:25, 14:6, 15:1.
      • He went through life free from all moral discontent, and with a sense of; unclouded fellowship with God.
      • if there had been any sin, His keen moral judgement would have spotted it (Jn 2:25)
      • such self-conscious purity is unlike the experiences of the saintly, who constantly bemoan their worthlessness.
      • "The fact that He never confessed sin implies, in His case, that He never did sin" (T. C. Edwards).
    • What His friends said.
      • Their witness is especially valuable. They lived in close intimacy with Him. They would not have attributed sinlessness easily, because of their Old Testament background. Their witness is more credible because it is indirect.
      • Their estimate can be read in Acts 3:14, 1 Pet 1:19, 2:22, 1 John 1:8-10, 3:5, 2 Cor 5:21, Heb 4:15, 7:26.
    • What His enemies conceded.
      • The demons recognised His character and identity. Mark 1:24.
      • His enemies made many accusations - Mk 2:1 - 3:6 records. accusations of blasphemy, evil company; frivolous religion; and Sabbath breaking
      • But when He was on trial for His life, they had to resort to false witnesses who could not agree amongst themselves (Mk 14:56). Finally the charges had to be political, not moral. Meanwhile the testimony to His sinlessness kept flowing - Matt 27:3-4, 19, 24, Lk 23:15, 41, 47.

Could Christ have sinned?

      Two main views have been held:-

      • He was able to sin, but didn't.
        • but :-
        • He was the God-Man. His divine and human natures were indissoluble united in one Personality. If He could have sinned, then God could sin. This is unthinkable.
        • If He could have sinned then, He could sin now, for He is "the same yesterday, and today, and for ever" (Heb 13:8). This also is unthinkable.
      • He was not able to sin.
        • It is only because He was sinless that He is the Saviour !!
        • We are saved on the basis of our union with Christ :-
        • Our sins are reckoned to His account. If He had had sins of His own to die for, He could not have been punished for ours. Isaiah 53:5-6, 2 Cor 5:21, 1 Pet 2:24, 3:18.
        • His righteousness is reckoned to our account. If His life had not been perfectly acceptable to God, we could not be accepted in this way. Rom 3:20-22, 5:12-21, 10:4, Eph 1:6.
      • It is because Christ alone is sinless that Acts 4:12 is true :-
      • "Neither is there salvation in any other for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved."

His prayer-life.

      • our Lord's deity did not affect the reality of His human nature.
      • He was entirely dependent on His Father for all - and so He prayed.
      • In this, and in all else, He has left us a wondrous example.

      The posture of His prayers.

        • posture is not everything, but it is something
        • we read that He prayed :- standing, Matt 14:19, Jn 11 41-42
        • reclining, Jn 17:1, see 13:23
        • kneeling, Lk 22:41
        • and on His face, Matt 26:39.

      The place of His prayers.

        • the solitary place - Matt 6:6, Mk 1:35, Lk 5:16, 6:12, Matt 14:23
        • in company with others - Matt 19:13, Lk 9:28, 11:1, Jn 17.
        • the solitary place in company with others ! - Lk 9:18.

      The occasion of His prayers.

        • daily habits Mark 1:35, 6:46
        • at great milestones - His baptism - Lk 3:21-22
        • His choice of the Twelve - Lk 6:12-13
        • His revelation of His cross - Lk 9:18, 21-22
        • His transfiguration - Lk 9:28-36.
        • before great accomplishments :- feeding miracles - Matt 15:36, Jn 6:11
        • walking on the sea - Matt 14:23-33
        • raising of Lazarus - Jn 11:41-42
        • healing of demoniac boy - Mk 9:14-29
        • after great accomplishments :- feeding of 5,000 - Matt 14:23
        • preaching, exorcising, healing - Mk 1:32-35
        • when exceptionally busy - Lk 5:15-16, 4:40-42, Jn 6:15
        • at times of inward agony and sorrow - Jn 6:15, 11:41-42, 12:28, Matt. 26: 36-46
        • at the moment of death - Lk 23:46.

      The character of His prayers.

        • as a Son - Matt 11:25, 26:39, John 17:1,11,25
        • with thanksgiving - Matt 11:25, 15:36, Lk 22:17,19, Jn 11:41
        • never confessing a sin - Jn 8.29
        • the emphasis was on communion with God - Jn 12:27-28, chapter 17.
        • there was some petition and supplication - Matt 26:39-44, Lk 22:31, 23:34, John 17:9, 15, 17, 20 24.
        • and His prayers were always answered, - Jn 11:41-42, Matt 26:53, Heb 5:7.
        • His prayerfulness made a deep impression on His disciples
        • They did not ask Him to teach them to preach, or teach, or heal but " LORD, TEACH US TO PRAY " ( Lk 11:1).

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