And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:14
Last night we watched a program, one of those many broadcast at this time of the year, in which Jesus was portrayed as an ethereal figure wafting slowly around as if in a trance, healing the sick, casting out demons and the like. It’s as if the creators of the program wanted to give the impression that Jesus was not really all that human, but just used a human body as a vessel to house God.
When ‘the Word became flesh’, the Son of God was born a real baby. As a person he grew in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and man (Luke 2:52). As a man he was a carpenter and one cannot imagine a carpenter undertaking his trade in anything but a very physical, robust and strenuous way, not drifting through his workshop serenely tapping nails and sawing wood which would miraculously come together to form a table or chair.
Throughout his ministry, Jesus was a person who truly loved, was disappointed, distressed; he grieved, cried, was angry – just like me. And he suffered as much and more than his fellows through the shameful and torturous death on a cross.
Jesus was as much a person as any on this earth past, present or future and he had a purpose which only a real human person could fulfil. We are told as much in Hebrews 2:14-18:
Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery. For surely it is not angels that he helps, but he helps the offspring of Abraham. Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.
And so our God and King condescended to become as we are in order to deal with the sin we are completely powerless to deal with ourselves.
Fully divine, fully human, Jesus Christ is worthy of all praise.