The Coming of Christ (5)
The Humanity of Jesus Christ(E)
A. Jesus counted it not robbery to be equal with God.
B. Angels worshipped and served 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
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."
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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."
1. Jesus Christ went through the same growth stages that any normal person goes through; i.e., childhood, adolescent, young adulthood, death, etc.
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.
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.
2. Jesus knew hunger.
3. Jesus knew poverty.
4. Jesus knew weariness.
III. JESUS HAD REAL HUMAN FEELINGS AND EXPERIENCES.
A. Jesus was born to experience the same human experiences we all must face.
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
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
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.
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!