A very human Saviour

How can Jesus be truly human if is really God? How can God’s transcendent spiritual being be contained in a human body?

How can God’s omnipotence be limited by our frail bodies?
How can God’s omniscience be limited to what can fit inside our head? How can God’s omnipresence be limited to one location?

It seems both contradictory and a mystery that God’s glory could somehow be contained in the person of Jesus. Yet, that is crucial to our faith. If Jesus wasn’t truly human, then he cheated the tests. If Jesus wasn’t fully human, then then it was easy for him to resist temptation and to follow the will of the God, even to the cross.

Some of the early Christians got caught up in Gnosticism. Which is all about having a special knowledge of God…but one characteristic of these Gnostics was that they did not believe that Jesus was really human… that wherever he walked he did not leave a footprint, because he was just a spirit. The problem with this is, if Jesus is not fully human, then he could not relate to our circumstances; and if he is not fully God, he cannot do anything about them!

Jesus had a human body, emotions, mind, and will. And this in no way compromised his deity. When the Word became flesh (John 1)—when the eternal Son of God took on full humanity—he did not merely become human in part. He fully became truly human.

Today we focus in our Jesus’ temptations (Luke4).

I have a good friend from my time back in Canberra who, when asked if he would like a piece of cake would say, “I can resist anything except temptation”….which sort of goes contrary to Bible, which says in James 4:7 to ‘resist the devil, and he will flee from you.’

The place of Jesus’ temptation was one of the most desolate places on Earth… the wilderness between the mountains of Judea and the Dead Sea. So terrible was the parched land that the Jews of the ancient world called it by the name YeShimon, “Place of Desolation.” Against the backdrop of the wilderness, isolated and remote, two figures would come to do battle….

The Greek word which is translated “tempted” in this passage can have two possible meanings: ‘To solicit sin…’or ‘to test…’The temptation of Jesus had one fundamental difference from any temptation that we have ever experienced. It was not a temptation from WITHIN. As human we get enticed to do something because of our own weakness and lusts…(James 1:1-15). The bible says, that Jesus had no sin (Hebrews 4:15), so when the temptations were thrown at Jesus, Satan could not find a single weak spot. This was not the end of the temptations of Jesus. But it was the end for a time. It has been said that peace is that brief moment when everyone stops to reload. Satan is like that. His attacks sometimes cease, but that is only because he is waiting for a more opportune time.

Jesus became man in full so that he might save us in full. Hallelujah! What a very human saviour, what a very mighty God!

God bless,

Tim Winslade

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