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        The Coming of Christ (5)

        The Humanity of Jesus Christ(E)

        Jim Davis

        Introduction

        A. Jesus counted it not robbery to be equal with God.

        Phil 2:5-8
        Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation,  taking the form of  a bondservant,  and coming in the likeness of  men.  And  being found in appearance as  a man,  He  humbled Himself and became obedient  to the point of death, even the death of the cross.

        B. Angels worshipped and served him.

        Hebrews 1:6
        But when He again brings the firstborn into the world, He says: "Let all the angels of God worship Him."

        C. Jesus was God's Son.

        1.  Jesus proved the legitimacy of his claim to be the Son of God, not by acting like a supernatural being or stunning men with his wisdom or communicating knowledge of higher worlds.

        2.  Jesus, who could have truthfully said of  himself,  "I am wise  and powerful"  chose  instead to  say "I  am gentle  and humble in heart"  (Matt. 11:29). Gentleness appears to be weak but  is  actually  quite  powerful  and  it  makes  a   person attractive to others.  ("Opposites Attract" by Jim Long. Campus Life, May/June 1990. Pages 23-25. Via InfoSearch Database)

        3. "A son of God who defends his title  with the arguments that he is the brother of even the poorest and the guilty and takes their burden upon himself:  this is a fact one can only  note, and shake  one's  head in unbelief--  or one  must worship and adore."  ("Why  I celebrate  Christmas"  by  Helmut  Thielicke. Christianity Today, Dec 9, 1988. Pages 21, 22. Via InfoSearch Database)

        D. Jesus was human; he was one of us.

        1. The man.

        1 Timothy 2:5
        For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;

        Heb 3:3 For this man was counted worthy of more  glory  than Moses,  inasmuch as  he  who hath builded the house hath  more honour than the house.

        Heb  7:24 But this man,  because he continueth ever,  hath  an unchangeable priesthood.

        Heb 10:12 But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;

        2. Jesus refers to himself as the "Son of Man."

        Luke 5:24
        "But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to  forgive  sins"--  He  said  to  the  man  who was paralyzed,  "I say to you,  arise, take up your bed, and go to your house."

        a. He was a typical human being.

        b. He is so human that it masks his deity.
         

        I. THE HUMANITY OF JESUS CHRIST.

        A. Jesus grew up in Nazareth, which was sixty miles from Jerusalem. The city is not mentioned in the O. T.  The population was small and the neighborhood was very poor.  It was a poor neighborhood of bad repute, a place of bad morals and lack of intelligence.

        John 1:46
        And Nathanael said to him,  "Can anything  good come out of Nazareth?" Philip said to him, "Come and see."

        B. Jesus was born among men.  He was completely human.  He did not have a spotless pedigree.

        James Farmer tells about a wealthy woman who hired an author to write her biography.  The author discovered that one of her grandfathers had died in the electric chair at Sing Sing.  The woman wanted that information so written that the black spot in her family's past would not be obvious.

        So the author put the facts together in this way:  "Her grandfather occupied the chair of electricity in one of America's most noted institutions.  He was very much attached to his position and literally died in the harness."

        C. The reason that the common man gladly heard Jesus was because he was so common.

        Matt 13:53-58
        When Jesus had finished these parables, he moved on from there. Coming to his hometown, he began teaching the people in their synagogue, and they were amazed. "Where did this man get this wisdom and these miraculous powers?" they asked. "Isn't this the carpenter's son? Isn't his mother's name Mary, and aren't his brothers James, Joseph, Simon and Judas? Aren't all his sisters with us? Where then did this man get all these things?" And they took offense at him. But Jesus said to them, "Only in his hometown and in his own house is a prophet without honor." And he did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith.

        1. The neighbors were unconvinced that Jesus was anything special.  The neighbors were in effect asking, Isn't this the kid my kids were raised with?  Isn't He the one who, years ago, played hide'n seek with them around the corner?  Isn't this the same One we saw grow up in His father's carpenter shop?  He's the same one who repaired our cabinet?  He's the same Jesus isn't he?

        2. The neighbors brought forth every piece of evidence possible to prove that he was human.  They were very familiar with his humanity.

        3. Are you aware that there was a time in Jesus' earthly life when His own flesh and blood considered Him insane?

        Mark 3:21
        But when His own people heard about this, they went out to lay hold  of  Him,  for they  said,  "He is out  of His mind."

        D. He was so common that the inscription over his head was written as mockery of his claims, "King of Jews".  The Jews were so offended by it that they wanted to change it to read "He claimed to be king of the Jews".

        II. THE EARTHLY LIFE OF JESUS CHRIST.

        A.  Jesus spent  the  first thirty  years of  His life  simply growing in stature  and in favor with God and man.  It is easy to focus on his origin while losing sight of the real life he lived.

        1. Before He launched any kind of messianic ministry, he took a lot of time to establish credibility  among His relatives, neighbors, and fellow Israelites.

        2. He knew what it  was like  to have to  struggle to  earn  a living.

        3. It was in the home, the marketplace, and the carpenter shop where He developed  His  character.  It was through  these experiences  that He  gained  His  understanding  of  ordinary people.

        B.  We have seen sixteen  century art  portraying  Jesus  as effeminate,  we have thought of  him as holier than thou,  but Jesus was human.

        1. His name was Jesus ...  a very common name in his day.  His name would have been found  a number of times on any role book in school.  Jesus himself was so common that if walked through one of our malls today no one would take notice of him.

        Isaiah 53:2
        He grew up before  him  like a tender shoot,  and like a root out of dry ground.  He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him,  nothing  in his appearance that  we should desire him.

        2.  The common man heard him gladly.  There was not one person who was reluctant to approach him for fear of being rejected.

        Mark 12:37 "...And the common  people heard Him  gladly."

        3. Man seems to love to create a distance between  himself and God. But it is man who creates the distance.

        C. It is true that Jesus counted it not robbery to be equal to God, but it is also true that when he descended to this earth he  gave  up  equality  with  God.  He had  the  same  earthly limitations that you and I do.  He had a human brain,  a human body.

        Matthew 9:5-8
        "For which is easier,  to say,  `Your sins are forgiven you,'  or to say,  `Arise and walk'?  But that you may know that  the Son  of Man  has power on  earth to forgive sins"--  then He said to the paralytic,  "Arise,  take up your bed, and go to your house." And he arose and departed to his house.  Now when the multitudes saw  it,  they marveled and glorified God, who had given such power to men.

        Acts 2:22 "Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a Man attested by God to you by miracles,  wonders,  and signs which God did through  Him  in your midst,  as  you yourselves also know--"

        Luke 22:69 "Hereafter the Son of  Man will  sit  on the  right hand of the power of God."

        John  17:5
        "And  now,  O  Father,  glorify  Me together  with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.

        1.  Jesus Christ went  through the same growth stages that any normal person goes through; i.e., childhood, adolescent, young adulthood, death, etc.

        Luke 2:40
        And  the  child grew,  and  waxed  strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him.

        2. He grew in stature and in favor with God and man.

        D. Jesus grew among men; he did not come from heaven like some android programmed and ready to go.  He was formed in the womb of his mother and born among men.

        Galatians 4:4
        But when the fullness of the time had come,  God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law,

        E. I wish we could bring Jesus down to earth in our own thinking so that he would be allowed to walk through life with us as our friend and counselor.

        1. Jesus knew sorrow.

        Matt 26:37
        And  He  took  with Him Peter and  the  two sons of Zebedee,  and  He began to be sorrowful and deeply distressed.

        2. Jesus knew hunger.

        Luke 4:2
        " . . . being tempted  for forty days  by the  devil.  And in those days He ate nothing, and afterward, when they had ended, He was hungry."

        3. Jesus knew poverty.

        Luke 9:58
        And Jesus said to him,  "Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests,  but the  Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head."

        4. Jesus knew weariness.

        John 4:6
        Now Jacob's well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied from His journey,  sat thus by the well.  It was about the sixth hour.
         

        III. JESUS HAD REAL HUMAN FEELINGS AND EXPERIENCES.

        A. Jesus was born to experience the same human experiences we all must face.

        Romans 5:12
        "Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man,  and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men..."

        Heb  4:15
        For  we  do not  have  a  High  Priest  who  cannot sympathize with our weaknesses,  but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.

        Heb 5:7
        During the days of Jesus' life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who could save him from death,  and he  was  heard because of  his reverent submission.

        B. He ministered to humanity with human strength.

        "God  collapsed,  somewhere  in  the  narrow,  winding  street leading out of the city,  His bloodied back gave way under the weight of a large wooden  cross...Nowhere can we  see God more with us,  more immanent..."

        1 Peter 2:20-23
        But how is it to your credit if you receive a beating for doing wrong and endure it? But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it,  this is commendable before God. To this you  were called,  because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example,  that you should follow in his  steps. "He committed  no sin,  and  no  deceit  was  found in  his mouth."  When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered,  he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly.

        B. He had to learn obedience.

        Hebrews 5:8 Although  he was a son,  he learned obedience from what he suffered.

        1. Christ experienced the full discipline of obedience --- even in suffering.

        2. Heb 5:9
        "... once made perfect,  he  became the source  of eternal salvation for all who obey him..."  He is the perfect High Priest, because he learned through his own personal suffering.  He was the pioneer of our salvation.

        C. His approach was much different.

        He did go to the synagogue for worship  and  to teach,  but He spent most of His time ministering at parties,  on  boats,  in fields,  and along the road. The main focus of Jesus' ministry was building people. Sometimes it's called discipleship.

        It meant that He shunned crowds and popularity for quiet times alone with just  a few men and women who on the surface seemed unlikely to  ever  amount to much,  but He saw that they  were ready to learn.

        Jesus Christ shunned institutions to perpetuate the gospel, he chose men to perpetuate his teaching.

        He  did not hesitate to respond with compassion  to women  who had been immoral and men who were corrupt.

        D. Jesus came to this earth to sanction humanity. We see God on his knees in the upper room washing the disciple feet. (John 13)

        E. Jesus came to earth to recognize the imperfections of humanity and offer man a remedy for his imperfections.

        Conclusion:

        After Jesus' resurrection he met Mary and he said, "Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God." (John 20:17) Through Jesus God made a painstaking effort to identify with the human experience.  He says, "my brethren" and "my Father, and your Father." He didn't come to rise above us in greatness but to live among us as you would live with a family. He wants us to know that he is our brother, and his Father is our Father.

        Hallelujah What A Savior!
         

 

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