Monday 27 August 2012

The Humanity of Jesus Christ by David Heisler parts I - IX

These parts were published separately as online Facebook Notes. David Heisler is on Facebook. And there are at least 7 of them.

To say Jesus Christ is “divine” is easy.  If you are reading this chances are you have already made some profession of faith in the divinity of Jesus Christ.  That’s how you say you got “saved”, right?  But to say and truly embrace the fact and reality of His humanity - He is human - is not so easy.  Why is that?  Actually we do “accept” His humanity, but only in a cerebral manner – not in our hearts.  Because, to admit His humanity requires that we admit our own.  We don’t want to do that, because we think we can improve on our humanity and we really can’t.  We don’t like our humanity, that’s why we buy into the nonsense of self-improvement.  This is curious place we find ourselves.   For God so loved us He gave His only Son to die for us.  [John 3.16]  But, we don’t love us.  People want to take the simple truth of John 3.16 and qualify the truth of the statement.  We hear things such as, “God loves the sinner, but hates the sin”.  I don’t care how nicely a person makes such a statement, it always is interpreted, as “God hates me and would prefer that I change or become someone else.”

We neither understand, nor accept our own humanity and that‘s why we don't understand or accept the Savior’s humanity.  We have bought into one of the most insidious lies ever told – that our humanity is not God’s asset.  Our humanity is God’s asset.  Jesus was not just the Son of God – He was and is a man – a human being – exactly and precisely as we are.

The Humanity of Jesus Christ II

Why is it so important to embrace the humanity of the Savior?  Plainly said, that is the only way we will ever embrace our own humanity.  Why is that important?  Our humanity is all we have.  We were specifically designed and created to be the very individual human beings that we are.  Now, within that design we were meant to contain and express the deity within – the Savior, as we embrace the reality that we are really and truly Him in the very mundane and everyday normal lives that we live.  But, the expression of Him will operate in no other way other than by our humanness – our humanity.

So, let’s look at His humanness.

At the moment of His birth Jesus said to Himself, “I remember a moment ago, I was playing cards with the angels and now look at me – I’m a little baby.  Look at my little baby hands.  I wonder if I’m a cute baby.  Would someone please hand me a mirror.”


The Humanity of Jesus Christ III

The last statement I made, poking fun at the thought that Jesus “knew” His true identity from the moment of His birth, is of course silly.  Or is it?  I think it’s not far from how most conceive of the Savior.  I get this feeling at times that people think Jesus was basically playing at His humanity – that He had this special knowledge of His true identity and was therefore basically playing at being human – just going through the motions.

And we get this feeling that, because we often doubt our identity as redeemed persons, that we fall short.  Or, because we think we are lacking in faith, we feel that we are failures.  In our humanity, what if He was no different than us?  What if we are no different than Him?

Most believers will say that the key to salvation is belief in the divinity of Jesus Christ and that failure to so believe will buy you an eternal ticket to the “hot spot.”   However, do we know and understand the humanity of Jesus Christ?  Do we have to believe that he was a human being as well as God?  Or do we even consider the possibility that He was really, really human?  Do we consider that he was not playing at it?  Do we consider that every feeling, highs and lows and every perception we have of ourselves is exactly the experience of the Savior?

The Humanity of Jesus Christ IV

Here’s the point – you must understand His humanity to understand your own.  At least that's what I needed for my experience.  Understanding His divinity is easy – if you believe in Him at all.  Understanding His humanity and how that affects you and the world you live in is a different story and not so easy.

Is this important?  It means everything to the world we live in, because, “as He is so are we in this world.” [I John 4.17]

Well, what does that mean?  It means exactly what it says.  However or whatever way He is –we are exactly the same – no difference.  And, you can “but, but” all you want but that will not change the scripture and the truth that it states.  We don’t want this to be true.  We don’t want to be “as Him”.  We don’t want Him to be “as us”.  If we truly accepted the fact that “as He is, so are we”, then our self imposed, self-improvement religion would be revealed for what it is.  Self-improvement religion in any form or fashion is simply incorrect.  Becoming more “Christ-like” is just as wrong as ascending the steps to Nirvana in Buddhism or Hinduism.  Self-improvement is an incorrect concept in any format or religion.  The essence of your person – your self – will not ever improve.  But, you will accept, embrace and understand the truth of your union with your creator – a fact that we aren’t born knowing.  He wasn’t born “knowing” that either.

You will not walk in His footsteps.  He will walk as you in your shoes.

The Humanity of Jesus Christ V

In the last part I quoted I John 4.17, “as He is so are we in this world.”  Can you grasp the enormity of that statement?  “As He is” – we are the same in our world.  Life and reality don’t get any bigger for us personally.  John states this truth boldly, unabashedly and with the full expectation that each and every one of us will take this truth and run with it.  But we don’t.  We want self-improvement.  We want to wait until we get better or are more knowledgeable in scripture, or, perhaps, until we have more faith.

Do you see why it is so important to understand the humanity of this Man?  You will not walk in His footsteps.  He will walk as you in your shoes.  You will walk as Him, not like Him and not imitating Him.  Do you see the difference?  The difference is immense.

We must understand the truth of the fact that Jesus was not only divine, but fully and totally human.  The true understanding of the fact that Jesus was a human being, unfortunately, is lost on many.

“But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men.”  Philippians 2:7

The Humanity of Jesus Christ VI

“But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men.”  Philippians 2:7

We often have more of an academic understanding rather than an intuitive or heart understanding of the humanity of Jesus.  Although the verse says that He took on the “form” of a servant that does not mean that Jesus was not really a human.  He did not “fake” being a human.  It was not a game for Him.  The “likeness of men” does not mean “sort of like” a man – or that He simply “looked like a man” but inside he was all God and not man.  That’s nonsense.  He was a man – really, really, not “like” or “looked like” a man.

Why is this so crucial to understand?  Because, by the very same token, we are not to be “like” or “look like” anything or anyone.  We are to be ourselves - absolutely, 100%., and not just a “self”, but a redeemed self – a self that knows that we are His expression – but ourselves, none-the-less.  We are not to fake it in any fashion.

 “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” Hebrews 4:15

The Humanity of Jesus Christ Part VII

 “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” Hebrews 4:15

He was not only “tempted” to sin, but also that He was “touched with the feeling of our infirmities”.  Why is that so important?  It is important because He was a human being.  He was “touched” in the very same way we are and for the very same reasons.

Whatever “infirmities” touch us or others, touched Him.  An “infirmity” is an emotional or physical weakness.  Am I saying that Jesus had a weakness?  I’m not saying that.  Paul said it and I am inclined to agree with him.  What was Jesus’ weakness?  I don’t know, except, if you consider the fact that, by definition, a person must have weaknesses – that is part and parcel of being human. 

You see we want to perceive Jesus as One without weakness, perfect in all ways, including His faith and totally conscious of His eternal past.  Well, I don’t buy that.  It means nothing if Jesus had a human body but, had an eternal consciousness from his birth.  He was not born with a consciousness or memory of eternity.  He really didn’t remember playing cards or, for that matter shooting hoops or playing touch football with the angels.

The Humanity of Jesus Christ VIII

“And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground [body], and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life [spirit]; and man became a living soul.”  Gen 2.7

Jesus’ humanity had to be much deeper than his human body - his soul had to be human.  And what is a soul anyway?  Soul is the union of spirit and body.  And it is our soul that makes us human.  And Jesus had a human soul.  Please bear in mind in this discussion, that I never say or even hint that Jesus was not divine – the Son of God – God Himself, and the Savior of the Universe.  But, He did not live on that plane.  He lived a man’s life – a human.  I suppose somewhere, in eternity, He made that choice – but He was not conscious of that choice in His humanity.

Upon His birth He commenced a thirty-year process of knowing and settling in the knowledge His true identity as Messiah.  But He was not born with that knowledge.  And, when I say “knowing and settling” I don’t mean in the same way that we know two plus two equals four.  His “knowing and settling”, as ours, is neither math nor science – it is faith and intuition.  Am I saying that at some point Jesus had to step out in faith and assume the life that was intended for Him in the beginning?  Yes I am.  Am I saying that because it was faith and intuition that He never “knew” the reality in the same way we understand math or science?
Jesus’ humanity had to be much deeper than his human body - his soul had to be human.

The Humanity of Jesus Christ Part IX

I ended the last part posing a very serious question about what Jesus knew and didn’t know about His identity.  I suggest that He could not have know His identity in the same way we know that two plus two equals four.  When you think about it, even with math there are certain things we must take by faith.  I can acknowledge that ten times one million equals one billion, but I will never count that high.  I will never see or hold exactly one billion items in my hand.  So, do I really know that one billion exists?  Maybe.  Maybe there is some faith involved.

Search the New Testament and you will find the story of Jesus - what He did and what He said - but little of His psychological make-up – inotherwords, little, of what made Him human – with a few very notable exceptions.  And, maybe the reason why many do not believe in Him is that they cannot see or understand His humanity.  For that reason some don’t “connect” to Him or to us.  Often we don’t present His humanity or our own very well.  We set Him on a pinnacle that He never intended.

Okay, so what is, for me, the most significant “notable exception” – the most important verse that reveals the humanity of the Savior?  Here’s a clue – it is the shortest verse in bible.  You know which one.  It’s bible trivia time!  “Jesus wept”. [John 11.35]

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