Practical implications of the humanity of Jesus

Sometimes the simplest verses seem to be the hardest to live out.

Consider this one, “Whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked” (1 John 2:6).

The Bible teaches that Jesus was fully God. But if your portrait of Jesus is void of his humanity, his teaching and example will seem to be beyond your reach. Living just like Jesus will seem unreasonable. You might even wonder if it’s possible.

But here is a significant truth behind the incarnation of Christ: Jesus walked where you walk so that you might learn to walk like he walked.

If Jesus was fully human, as the Bible declares, then he lived out his entire earthly life under the intrinsic limitations of humanity.1 His victory over temptation was possible through his reliance upon the resources that are available to you and me today. Let that thought settle in. Jesus did not reach outside of his human limitations when being tempted to sin. He operated within the confines of his humanity when he battled temptation. That’s what it means to be tempted like we are yet without sin (Heb. 4:15).

To embrace Jesus’ full humanity is one of the most significant “how” factors for living the Christian life. Practically speaking, once you are in Christ, victory over the temptations with which you struggle, will not come from the latest trend, program, or motivational speaker – these will only bring temporary change. Your growth and change will take place only as you learn to avail yourself of the same resources that Jesus, being fully man, depended upon.

1 I am indebted to Dr. Doug Bookman presently with the Shepherd’s Seminary for the phrase, “the intrinsic limitations of humanity.” Several years ago I was preparing to teach the Life of Christ at the church where I pastor and a friend directed me to Doug Bookman’s teaching. He has great insights on both the deity and humanity of Christ.

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