The Humanity and Divinity of Jesus Christ
The Bible emphatically teaches there is only one God and Jesus Christ is that one God manifested in the flesh. The Incarnation, which is the most fundamental and central doctrine of the Bible, is crucial in understanding who Jesus really is. The unique fusion of Jesus’s humanity and divinity is truly an exceptional combination which establishes an almost incomprehensible mystery. In order to grasp the Incarnation, let's quickly look at a few scriptural passages which declare the oneness of God, the complete humanity of Jesus, and the undeniable divinity of Jesus, and will then culminate with a final summation.
Scripture proves there is only one God. The Old Testament is replete with proclamations declaring that God is one. A prime example is the Shema, which reads, “Hear O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD:” (Deut 6:4). The Jews are monotheistic; therefore, they believe in one God who cannot be divided and cannot have an equal. David Bernard expounds on the classic Scripture recited by the Jews. He says, “We cannot separate the Shema from the command to love God (Deut 6:5); in this context “one” means one and only, unique, no other options or rivals, no one else to worship.” The Old Testament prophet Isaiah reveals that the Mighty God and the Everlasting Father will be fulfilled in Jesus Christ (Isa 9:6). The Scriptures declare Him Immanuel, which means “God with us” (Isa 7:14; Matt 1:23). The Oneness or Apostolic viewpoint is that when we speak of God as the everlasting “Father,” we are referring more exclusively to the intangible, infinite spirit of God. God is the one Father and Creator of all life and matter (Mal 2:10). God desires all people to know Him as the only God with none else beside Him, positionally or authoritatively (Isa 45:22). When Jesus declared, “He that seeth me seeth him that sent me” (John 12:45), He was speaking from the perspective of His full, authentic humanity.
The Incarnation was God’s own plan and idea from the beginning, that He, Himself, would someday become an authentic, genuine human being. In other words, God desired to add the components of flesh and blood to His deity, or divinity. This addition did not diminish His deity in any way. David Norris makes one of the most powerful statements regarding God’s Spirit overshadowing Mary when she conceived Jesus Christ as the Son (visible, physical, human flesh) of God. He states, “At that moment God took up new residence. Although the Incarnation stretches our limits to conceive of it, in actuality, God’s dwelling place was now in that tiny embryo. Think of it! The One who ruled the cosmos lived in a fetus.” God did not simply inhabit a body. He actually combined Himself with it. Now that the mighty God was a true authentic human being, He possessed all the traits and characteristics of a real and tangible man. As a human being, Jesus Christ grew physically and spiritually (Luke 2:51–52). He also experienced hunger (Luke 4:2). He became tired (Mark 6:31). He felt compassion (Matt 14:14). He was sorrowful and felt depression (Matt 26:37; Mark 14:34). He rejoiced and gave thanks (Luke 10:21). He expressed anger and was grieved (Mark 3:5). Jesus felt the shame as He hung on the cross (Heb 12:2). He was repeatedly mistreated, beaten, and scourged (Matt 26:67; 27:26–31). Jesus even knew what it was like to be tempted (Matt 4:1–3). At the end of His life, He died a bloody, painfully slow, tortuous death on the cross (Matt 27:45–50). The Bible plainly reveals that Jesus was a literal and physical man who experienced weakness, pain, shame, and hunger, as well as the various human limitations. The ultimate purpose in becoming an authentic human being was to shed innocent blood for the redemption of all mankind.
Along with the human elements of flesh and blood, Jesus was simultaneously divine. In His humanity, Jesus was the only begotten Son. In His divinity, Jesus was the embodiment of God the Father. The apostle Paul rightly proclaimed that only in Jesus Christ “dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily” (Col 2:9). Jesus Christ was God in flesh (1 Tim 3:16) and His activities as well as conduct revealed His divinity. As earlier stated, Matthew 4 gives witness that Jesus experienced temptation. Nevertheless, He never committed a sin (1 John 3:5); His perfect and sinless life confirmed His divine nature. Jesus demonstrated His divinity by performing many supernatural miracles throughout the Gospels. In His divinity, Jesus healed the leper (Mark 1:40–42). He raised Jarius’s daughter back to life (Matt 9:18–26). Jesus commanded the elements of weather to obey Him (Mark 4:41). The power of Jesus Christ was so extraordinary He changed the law of physics and nature (Matt 14:25). He healed a devil-possessed man (Matt 8:28–34). Undoubtedly, Jesus performed the greatest miracle of all when He rose from the grave (Luke 24:3–6). The miracles that Jesus performed convinced many that He was who He claimed to be; however, some still did not believe. Perhaps the most recognized title controversy known to Jesus is that of the “I AM” assertion in John 8:58, which referenced Jehovah’s declaration in Exodus 3:14. Norris descriptively states, “His claim of absolute deity was delivered into the teeth of His enemies.” The Jewish leaders did not believe and immediately picked up stones to cast at Him.
The Scriptures are clear in showing the distinction between Jesus’s humanity and deity. Jesus, as the Mighty God, possessed all power, despite it being humbly and willingly hidden in His humanity. Jesus left no question as to who He is in the Godhead, as declared in Colossians 2:8–10. God came to mankind through Jesus Christ, and now mankind may come to God through Jesus Christ. Jesus is not a separate person from God. The distinctions between the body of flesh and the Spirit of God do not create a contravention. God was in Christ: the Spirit fused with human flesh and blood. The New Testament validates that Jesus Christ became the visible, tangible manifestation of the God of the Old Testament.
Thank you for reading my post. Be blessed.
The Glory of God in the Face of Jesus Christ: The Deification of Jesus in Early Christian Discourse by David K. Bernard
The Oneness of God. Rev. ed. Series in Pentecostal Theology 1 by David K. Bernard
I AM: A Oneness Pentecostal Theology by Dr. David S. Norris