How Can Jesus Be Fully God and Fully Man?


(Carson Weitnauer) #1

Hi friends, in a few weeks I am teaching on the topic, “How Can Jesus Be Fully God and Fully Man?”

I’m starting my research now. Do you know of any good articles, books, or illustrations?


Question about Jesus
(Dave Kenny) #2

Hi Carson. The emphasis of my theological studies have been bending in the direction of Jewish/Christian relations and theology. Would you benefit from a Jewish perspective? I could dig up a couple of dandy’s that I’ve come across along the way… (Messianic Jewish theologians)


(Dave Kenny) #3

Hi Carson… I just jumped the gun. Here is an article by one of the Messianic Jewish Theologians I have come to most respect. The entire article is worth the read, although his Trinitarian comments represent only about a third of the article. This article is published and is therefore public.

Find our way through nicea - kinzer.pdf (212.9 KB)


(SeanO) #4

@CarsonWeitnauer First, a confession - never read any of these, but you got me curious.

Athanasius’ “On the Incarnation” kept appearing in people’s lists. And one guy had the following list that looked legit, though I am uncertain why he included “On Fairy Stories” in the list.

Biblical
The God Who Became Human, Graham Cole

Theological
The Man Christ Jesus, Bruce Ware

Philosophical
Philosophical Fragments, Soren Kierkegaard

Skeptical
Christ Actually: The Son of God for a Secular Age, James Carroll

You should post what books turn out to be the most helpful for you - would be very interested to see that list!


(Jimmy Sellers) #5

@CarsonWeitnauer, your topic got me to wondering is Jesus still fully human now in heaven?


(Dave Kenny) #6

Hi Jimmy. I found exploring this topic to be one of the most exciting topics I had ever really explored. While I don’t want to rob anyone of the journey itself (and I hope everyone tries to discover the answer to this question themselves) I will share one or two things I discovered along the way.

I have become convinced that it is good theology to say YES to your question, is Jesus still fully human now in heaven.

Revelation and Hebrews are the two books that I discovered the most incredible picture of this reality. Why I was so blessed from this study is because it leads you into the path of discovering the true dignity of humankind… that God (Jesus) still is and unashamedly remains fully human, the FIRST BORN of the new creation is a remarkable (and I have come to believe necessary) truth. Now the incarnation has an even more incredible meaning… Jesus didn’t borrow the existence of humankind for a little while… he made the choice to enter into humanity for eternity… and now… sitting at the right hand of the father in the great throne room of heaven is our Great High Priest… our Great Mediator and representative… Jesus… the only reason we will be allowed to be in God’s presence is because Jesus goes ahead of us… Anyways… enough preaching from me:slight_smile:
Here is a lecture to help wet the appetite.

Dave


(Jimmy Sellers) #7

@CarsonWeitnauer, Here are a couple of quotes that might get your class thinking. You could also throw in C.S. Lewis’ quote on Jesus as liar, lunatic or God… as liar to be punished, as lunatic to be pitied as God to be worshipped.

“He ate, drank, slept, walked, was weary, sorrowful, rejoicing, he wept and laughed; he knew hunger and thirst and sweat; he talked, he toiled, he prayed … so that there was no difference between him and other men, save only this, that he was God and had no sin.” Martin Luther

“The Jesus of the gospels, precisely as a human being, believed himself called to do things, and to be things, which only make sense if it was God himself who was doing them and being them.” Dean Tom Wright

“Light is both a wave and a particle, and it is both a wave and a particle at the same time. This conclusion embodies a mystery, one that no subsequent analytical efforts have dissolved. The mystery will not appear entirely unfamiliar to Christians persuaded of the threefold aspect of the deity. If light is a particle and a wave, religious believers might observe, God is a Father, a Son, and a Holy Ghost. This is not an analogy that has captured the allegiance of scientific atheists.”
David Berlinski The Devil’s Delusion

@Dave_Kenny, thanks for your thoughts. I too take get comfort in knowing that He is our fore runner and our brother.

I will proclaim your name to my brothers;
in the midst of the assembly I will sing in praise of you.” (Heb 2:12).

I will listen over the holidays.
But I still wonder how human is human if there will be no marriage in heaven?


(A S FLINT) #8

Wouldn’t Jesus have a supernatural body? Jesus was a man, the first raised from the dead because he was man he showed us the way we as man could follow in His footsteps. I would think even as Jesus is fully GOD, the humanity He took on would include how we will be in eternity, although we are NOT GOD.


(David Cieszynski) #9

Hi Carson,

Will you be able to make your notes available or is it a private / corporate event?


(Carson Weitnauer) #10

Hi @David_Cieszynski, if the talk turns out well, I’ll be glad to share the notes! It is a “public” talk, open to all, at my church home in Atlanta. Thanks for asking!

@Jimmy_Sellers, thanks for the quotes! As for your question, “Is Jesus still human?”, I found this article to be on point: https://www.desiringgod.org/articles/jesus-is-still-human (@Flint, you might like this too).

@Sean_Oesch, thank you for these recommendations. This gives me a good place to start looking.

@Dave_Kenny, thank you for sharing these resources. Considering this perspective from a Messianic Jewish angle will add to the richness of my study.


(Dave Kenny) #11

Hi Jimmy,

I’m interested to see where your question about humanity and marriage come together… could you put a little more flesh on that one? Are you suggesting that without marriage, we lose an aspect of our humanness? Its an interesting thought…


(Jordan Weeks) #12

Hi @CarsonWeitnauer, I found this article by Paul Copan helpful on this question. He deals with some of the difficult texts in the gospel to square with the doctrine.
Blessings
COPAN INCARNATION FINAL (CH 15).pdf (122.1 KB)


(A S FLINT) #13

Thank you for that article.

I heard a man speak about Jesus will have a flesh and bone body but I could not find it in the Word. He stated that Jesus would not have blood… and that blood happened as a result of the disobedience. I have pondered this but I have no scriptural proof… Have you heard of this?


(Melvin Greene) #14

I was just reading everyone’s posts on this subject of how Jesus could be fully God and fully man. I think this is one of those topics that is beyond my understanding. This something that I will look into more deeply. Thanks for posting these articles and resources. I don’t mean to muddy the waters any more than it already is, but another question came to my mind that goes along with this topic. If Jesus is fully human, then was it possible for him to have given in to the temptations that he endured? If he was tempted, then doesn’t that mean that there was a possibility that he could have sinned? To be honest, I feel a little uneasy about even asking that. After all, he was also fully God, and I know that it is impossible for God to act contrary to his character. But, if it was impossible for Jesus to sin, then how could he have been tempted? What do you all think?


(SeanO) #15

15For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. 16Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. Hebrews 4:15-16

From that passage it is clear Jesus was tempted just as we are - which means he could have sinned, but did not. The way I think about it is that Jesus had the ‘capacity’ to sin but that He, unlike any of us, walked in perfect obedience to the Father even when tempted.

Here is an article that goes into lots more detail on this subject if you’re interested: https://www.crossway.org/articles/could-christ-have-sinned/


(Melvin Greene) #16

Thanks Sean.

That was an very interesting article. I found it interesting that the author seemed to have said, in regards to the question could Jesus have sinned, yes and no. Correct me if I’m wrong, but what I got out of that article was that in his humanity the temptations were very real (in fact they were more real than we could imagine), yet due to the fact that he had no predisposition to sin and no love of it, and since he is also God, he could not have sinned.

Let me ask you this, Sean. Romans 7:17 says, “So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.” ESV For some reason this verse came to me as I was reading the article and thinking about all this. Now, I’m not suggesting that in Jesus’ humanity sin was dwelling. But do you think, possibly, that this verse contains a clue, or an insight, into this doctrine of Jesus being fully God and fully man? So, I guess what I’m asking is that since scripture tells us that Jesus suffered temptation in his humanity, yet is also God who cannot be tempted to do evil, that there is a separation of sorts between his divinity and his humanity?


(SeanO) #17

@Melvin_Greene I’ve always liked a quote from Tolkien that says “Go not to the elves for council, for they will say both ‘yes’ and ‘no’”. However, in this case, I think we just need to make the question more precise by splitting it into two questions. The word ‘could’ is making things unclear.

  1. Was the option to sin open to Jesus in His humanity? Yes

  2. Would Jesus have sinned in His divinity? No

Regarding Romans 7, it is my belief that in that chapter Paul is describing the experience of a fallen human trying to keep the law of God written on their heart. They want to keep it with their mind, but because of the weakness of their flesh they fail. The answer, as we seen in Romans 8, is the power of the Holy Spirit to put our flesh to death and empower us to keep God’s law.

I do not think Romans 7 applies to Jesus because He never gave in to the temptations of the flesh. He was always the Maser - always in command.

Honestly, your final question about the separation between Christ’s divinity and humanity seems to be asking, “Explain the nature of the incarnation.” As far as I am concerned, there is a mystery in the incarnation that is beyond my capacity to understand.

But, I do think it is helpful to consider what it means to be human. We are spirit + body. So, if God is spirit then what keeps Him from taking up residence in a body? When we die, our body does not go with us. It is our spirit that survives. I think on some level we imagine God to be too big to fit into a human body or something like that, but what is “spirit”?

That’s just a thought exercise. There is definitely a mystery here…


(Melvin Greene) #18

@Sean_Oesch,

I like that quote, Sean. I’m a fan of Tolkien myself. I agree with you. It seems to be a yes and no answer. I also agree that the incarnation is a mystery. There are things that we will not be able to understand, completely at least. One of the things I need to be careful of is to go in search for answers that I will not understand.

In regards to Romans 7, I just want to clarify that I was not trying to apply the whole chapter to Jesus. I was focused on verse 17, and 20. In these verses it seems that Paul is making a distinction, or separation between the spirit (maybe the soul) and the flesh, in particular the sin. Incidentally, it almost sounds like Paul is referring to sin as a separate entity. I must admit that I don’t think I fully grasp the meaning of these verses.

I had always understood Romans 7 to referring to a Christian’s walk. It might be because it sounds a lot like my own experience from time to time. I’m not always the bright and shining example of a Christian that I should be. Furthermore, when I wasn’t a Christian, I didn’t care about doing right in God’s eyes. I don’t recall having these internal battles of wanting to do right, but doing something else instead. It was only after I became spiritually alive in Christ that these battles started.


(SeanO) #19

@Melvin_Greene

Which Tolkien book is your favorite? I have recently read a compilation of short stories by Tolkien called “Tales from a Perilous Realm” that was great. The last two chapters of the Return of the King always make me long for a world where justice flows like a river and to live in a world where God’s holiness pervades all things unhindered by any darkness.

Regarding Romans 7, here is a link to a series of articles from the Gospel Coalition that you may find interesting. It is a discussion of 3 views - that it describes a non-believer, a believer and a 3rd view.

Maybe you can start a new thread on Romans 7:17-20 if you want to discuss those specific verses more.


(Melvin Greene) #20

Thanks @Sean_Oesch for sending me that article. I’m excited to read it. I can’t imagine what the third option would be.

As for my favorite Tolkien book, I would have to say The Hobbit. I read it my freshman year in high school. Wow! That seems like a hundred years ago now! I just remember how much I loved how Tolkien wove the story together in a way that just swept me along with Bilbo and the company of dwarves. I think I remember feeling a connection with Bilbo. Of course, I enjoyed the Fellowship of the Ring books also. One of these days I would like to read them again.