A Guide to Christian Theology - Lesson 21

Humanity of Jesus

This lesson delves into the nature of Jesus, emphasizing both his divinity and humanity. It explores various aspects of Jesus' human experience, including his emotional life, complex emotions, limited knowledge, and the question of whether he had sinful desires. Additionally, the lesson touches on Jesus' relationship to Adam's sin and his role as the Second Adam. Throughout, the analysis provides insights into the theological implications of these aspects of Jesus' life and nature.

Gerry Breshears
A Guide to Christian Theology
Lesson 21
Watching Now
Humanity of Jesus

I. Introduction

A. Importance of Jesus' Deity and Humanity

B. Jesus' Birth and Growth

C. Jesus' Normal Human Life

II. Jesus' Emotional Life

A. Love and Compassion

B. Desire for Friendship

C. Sense of Humor

III. Complex Emotions of Jesus

A. Anger and Grief

B. Troubled Heart

IV. Jesus' Knowledge and Temptation

A. Limited Knowledge

B. Temptation and Overcoming

C. Sinful Desires and Temptations

V. Jesus' Relationship to Adam's Sin

A. Jesus in an Adam-Scarred World

B. Role as the Second Adam

VI. Conclusion

A. Recap of Key Points

B. Theological Considerations

  • In this lesson, explore the significance of systematic theology, blending academic insight with personal devotion. Learn to interpret biblical texts, understand how theology shapes beliefs, and fortify your faith against deception. This study fosters personal, biblical, and responsible theological growth, vital for spiritual development and discipleship.
  • Learn diverse ways to tackle theological questions, focusing on Holy Spirit baptism. Understand deductive, inductive, and retro-abductive methods. Acts 17:11 and Acts 15 show how community perspectives contribute to nuanced theological discussions, promoting unity amidst differing viewpoints.
  • This lesson provides insights into theological certainty levels, categorizing beliefs into "die for," "divide for," "debate for," and "decide for," highlighting essential doctrines, divisive issues, passionate debates, and less crucial matters, while underscoring the significance of understanding diverse perspectives and theological terms across different Christian tribes.
  • Explore general revelation through creation and conscience (Psalm 19, Romans 1). Responding leads to God, though not salvation alone. Special revelation possible. Diverse salvation views, favoring knowing Jesus. Seared consciences don't always void salvation.
  • Gain deep understanding of special revelation: history, divine acts, and communication revealing God's character and redemptive plan via Messiah. Lesson highlights Bible's key role, conveying God's nature, guidance, and transformative power, emphasizing ongoing divine-human communication.
  • This lesson delves into the concept of divine inspiration in Scripture, citing 2 Timothy 3:15-16 and 2 Peter 1:16-21. It explains "God-breathed" as a term highlighting God's creative influence on words, rejecting mere concepts or dictation. Inspiration involves human authors, their personalities, and styles, conveying God's message to the entire church.
  • In this lesson, you will gain a comprehensive understanding of the characteristics of God, including their definitions, biblical support, and implications and applications.
  • In this lesson you will gain insight into the Bible's clarity, sufficiency, and authority, and the Canon.
  • In this lesson, you'll grasp a deep understanding of God's character. His foremost quality is compassion, like a mother's love. He's gracious, patient, loving, faithful, and forgiving, extending favor even to the undeserving. Yet, He's just, not sparing the persistently rebellious. This lesson dispels misconceptions, urging contemplation of God's profound blend of love and justice.
  • This lesson delves into holiness via Isaiah 6, emphasizing dedication over separation from sin. It challenges misconceptions and calls for church reform.
  • This lesson delves into the fundamental characteristics of God, particularly the Trinity, emphasizing God's essential relational nature within Himself and its biblical implications, while also addressing theological controversies and highlighting the complexity of the Trinity.
  • This lesson explores different approaches to knowing God, inspired by Thomas Aquinas, discusses the doctrine of immutability, and highlights how God can change in his attitude and actions based on biblical evidence, emphasizing the value of in-depth Bible study and open dialogue in understanding God's nature.
  • This lesson covers key theological concepts: sovereignty, election, and free will. It explores differences between Calvinist and Wesleyan-Arminian views on God's sovereignty, impacting God's plan and human responsibility. Emphasis on defining terms to prevent disputes. Speaker is a "Calminian," blending Calvinism and Arminianism for a balanced perspective. Valuable insights into theological complexities and scripture interpretation.
  • Exploring various theological views and problematic issues surrounding the concept of providence, we will gain a comprehensive understanding of the role of prayer in providence, as well as the compatibility of God's sovereignty and human responsibility.
  • You will gain knowledge about anthropology and its biblical foundations, creation of human beings and the image of God in humans, fall and sin and their implications on human nature, redemption and sanctification, and human destiny and eschatology, including views on heaven and hell and the return of Christ.
  • This lesson offers valuable insights into the multifaceted nature of providence and its profound implications for our comprehension of God's role in the world.
  • The lesson touches upon various types of suffering, categorizing them into six different types: moral evil (e.g., rape), natural evil (e.g., cancer), persecution, sharing the suffering of another, punishment for sin, and suffering caused by the devil.
  • Learn to discern God's will by cultivating a Christ-like character, living by moral principles, seeking counsel, embracing uniqueness, and praying. It's about aligning with your long-term happiness and godly desires, offering a balanced approach to life decisions.
  • Explore Jesus' nature and incarnation. Learn how He balanced divine and human attributes, challenging traditional views. Reflect on His mission and ours, empowered by the Holy Spirit, bridging divinity and humanity.
  • This lesson delves into the incarnation of Jesus, explaining his dual nature as both God and man during his earthly mission, supported by Old Testament, Gospel, and epistle references. It acknowledges the complexity of his divinity and humanity, even after his ascension.
  • This lesson explores Jesus' dual nature, divine and human, delving into emotions, knowledge, sin, and his role as the Second Adam, offering theological insights.
  • Learn about Jesus' life and mission, challenging traditional beliefs like the virgin birth. Explore his spiritual journey, resurrection, and more, fostering critical thinking and alternative perspectives.
  • This lesson provides a comprehensive examination of atonement, its various dimensions, and the theological concepts surrounding it.
  • Learn about the Holy Spirit, baptism, and its role in Christian faith. Understand diverse perspectives on its workings in believers' lives, emphasizing its incorporation at conversion and empowering influence, supported by biblical insights.
  • Gain insight into the relationship between spirit baptism and conversion, the various terms used in Scripture, and the importance of ongoing fillings with the Holy Spirit for special ministry tasks, character, and as a command for all believers.
  • This lesson explores the role of the Holy Spirit and spiritual gifts. It challenges traditional definitions, proposing that any ability empowered by the Holy Spirit and used in ministry is a spiritual gift. The primary gift is the Holy Spirit himself.
  • Learn about the theological debate on spiritual gifts like prophecy and miracles. Explore four perspectives: cessationism, continuationism, functional cessationism, and word of faith. The instructor, a continuationist, emphasizes discernment and scripture while promoting respectful dialogue among believers with differing views.
  • This lesson explores the Bible's view of humanity, emphasizing humans as God's unique creation, made from dust and breath, in His image. It delves into human origins, our role as covenant partners, and the interaction between spirit and body, supported by biblical passages, offering a holistic perspective on being human in God's eyes.
  • This lesson redefines humans as image-bearers of God, emphasizing the role of reflecting divine attributes in all work, gender equality, and growth in Christ-likeness. It promotes dignity for all, with potential for deeper reflection as faith matures.
  • In this lesson you will explore the origin of sin, rejecting dualism in favor of a Christian perspective where sin arises from the choices of morally responsible creatures. The lesson introduces the idea of a pre-creation rebellion by Satan, emphasizing that humans are called to engage in spiritual warfare by doing good and promoting Shalom in the world.
  • You will gain knowledge and insight into the nature, marks, purpose, structure, and sacraments of the Church and learn about the different views and definitions used to define it.
  • This lecture discusses the leadership offices of a church, including eldership, deacons, and church members, and how they function according to biblical principles of polity, which prioritize following what the Bible prescribes, closely following what it describes, and using wisdom and being Spirit-led in matters it is silent about, all with the aim of effectively sharing the Gospel and achieving unity and focus.
  • In this lesson, you will explore baptism's significance, modes, and theological perspectives, and learn its role in church membership, unity, discipleship, and spiritual growth.
  • This lesson provides an overview of the historical, biblical, and theological aspects of Communion, including practical considerations for its practice.
  • You will gain a good understanding of death and its theological implications, including the biblical view of death, consequences of death, and resurrection and the afterlife. The lesson covers the definition of death, cultural views, and the portrayal of death in the Old and New Testaments. You will also learn about the physical and spiritual consequences of death, as well as the Bible's teachings on resurrection and the afterlife.
  • From this lesson, you gain insight into the biblical concept of God's Kingdom, its significance in Christian theology, and its impact on eschatology, social justice, and the Church's role.
  • In this lesson, you gain insight into eschatology, examine biblical perspectives, explore key events like the Rapture, Tribulation, Millennium, and Final Judgment, and learn the significance of eschatology for today's believers.
  • By studying the eternal state, you gain insights into the new heaven and earth, resurrection, judgment, and eternal life, deepening your understanding of Christian hope and assurance.
  • Through this lesson, you gain insight into the crucial role of church leaders, their essential qualities, and the challenges they face, while discovering the importance of support and encouragement for their growth and effectiveness in ministry.
  • In this lesson, you gain an understanding of the nature of Scripture and learn to interpret the Bible within its historical, literary, and canonical contexts while addressing challenges in biblical interpretation.
  • This lesson delves into the structure and authority of a church, examining different leadership models and emphasizing the overarching role of scripture as the final authority, while also highlighting the need for congregational involvement in decision-making processes and the unique nature of the apostles in early church leadership.
  • Learn Dr. Breshears' local church leadership principles: focus on equipping, inspiring, empowering, unifying, exemplifying, caring for, overseeing, and shepherding members. Rooted in biblical teachings, emphasizes servant leadership. The lesson discusses congregational decision-making, women in church leadership roles with respect for differing views.
  • Learn about church leadership principles, roles of elders and deacons, active membership, mutual commitment, gift utilization, and clear processes in this comprehensive lesson.
  • This lesson explores sacraments, focusing on baptism and diverse theological views. Baptism signifies a profound commitment to Christ within a believer community, emphasizing understanding and promptness post-conversion.
  • In this lesson, you'll grasp the essence of baptism, its questions, and debates. Discover belief's role, its confession, and the link to repentance and faith. Explore diverse views on baptism performers, methods, and locations. Gain insights and wisdom for informed baptism decisions in your faith community.
  • From this lesson, you will gain a comprehensive understanding of Communion, also known as the Lord's Supper or Eucharist. It will provide you with insights into the controversy surrounding its terminology and the theological background of Communion, primarily focusing on 1 Corinthians Chapters 10 and 11. You will learn about various theological perspectives on the real presence of Christ in the Communion elements and explore different viewpoints on the frequency, leadership, eligibility, and practical aspects of Communion. Overall, this lesson will equip you with the knowledge to better understand and participate in the Communion meal.
  • This lesson delves into two ends: individual death and the end of the age. It explores human death, material and immaterial aspects (Ecclesiastes 12:7, Genesis 3), fear, loss of autonomy, cremation, death determination, rewards, and urges preparation to meet Jesus, facing the undeniable reality of death.
  • Learn about the Kingdom of God, its aspects, Christ's return interpretations, and key concepts like inaugurated, Messianic, and millennium kingdoms. Emphasizing humility and mission in theological debates, it prepares you for insightful discussions on Christ's return and tribulation.
  • Learn about Christian views on heaven and hell. Hell is punishment for those who reject Jesus; heaven is eternal bliss with Him on a renewed Earth. Explore differing views respectfully.

Understand the core topics of systematic theology, from what we know about God to the future state of humankind. Special emphasis is given to such topics as Christ, salvation, the church, and the future.

A Guide to Christian Theology
Dr. Gerry Breshears
Humanity of Jesus
Lesson Transcript

Well, we've talked about a deity of Christ, and reasonably can think about it, deity is really important, because if we talk about the deity of Jesus that means he really is God with us. He didn't just send an angel, he sent himself, which is so incredibly important. He didn't send a representative or ambassador, he came himself. I don't know where I ran across it, only God could love all of us. I never heard it quite that good. But the other side is only the holiest of God who could redeem all of us, and only the power of God can defeat all of us cosmic evil.

So it's really important that Jesus be God with us, but it's equally important that Jesus be fully human. There's a lot we could do with that, and I've got a lot of it summarized here in the notes. Jesus, if you follow the pattern of Luke chapter two, what we find is that he was born in a very normal kind of way. I'm just as convinced as anything that the way the chosen portrayed the birth of Jesus was right on. Mary embarrassed, there's no anesthesia, nothing, she's feeling the full effect of pain, and it is painful. But boy, when that little boy pops out she is just absolutely delighted, it's a marvelous presentation. But he's born in the normal way, he grew up and developed normally.

I always wonder if you are there, so Ericksonian stages, the second stage is individuation. So at two years old every kid has to say no, otherwise you become enmeshed independent. Two years old is the stage where you have to individuate, but as we all know there's another side, this called the terrible twos. So as a parent, we have to know the difference between no and no. One is essential individuation, one is rebellious snot-nosed two year old that needs to be corrected. Did Jesus go through terrible twos? Well, we don't know. He had normal kinds of things, he was hungry in the desert, he's hungry, he's thirsty on the cross, he's tired, sleeping in a boat in the middle of a storm. He socialized, actually apparently a good party guy, got invited to a lot of ...

So he's a normal human being, lives this normal life from birth to death. He obeys his parents, he obeys the traditions, he obeys the government. Obedience is a good thing. He's religious, he worships, he does all the normal things, he prays, he trusts God. The thing that's a little more challenging of course is emotional life. When you look at Jesus, he's a man who loves. After Lazarus' death and he's so taken, looked at how much he loved them, Mary and Martha. The love that Jesus has is a powerful love, it really goes very, very strongly. His compassion, that's the most common emotion word applied to Jesus is compassion. Again, that's not a real surprise, because he is from God, but he's also the Colossians 3:12 human, and that compassion is what drives him to heel and to do things.

I'm intrigued to think that he has a desire for friendship. In the garden when he's going to that terrible trial there before his crucifixion, he takes disciples with him, takes the three, Peter, James and John who are closer to him, and takes them aside. Then he goes and they fall asleep, and when he comes back, at least as I read it, couldn't you watch with me for one hour? I needed you. I think he needed his friends to be with him in that terrible time. He's understanding, the spirit is willing, the flesh is weak. You're exhausted, but still couldn't you watch with me for one hour? I think the need for friends, why else would he take them with him? The other times he drove by himself, but there he took guys with him, that he needed friends. I think there's a real humanity with that.

A sense of humor.

Well, it's funny, because it never says Jesus laughed. It says he wept, but it never says he laughed. We read humor into some things, and I think it's there, I think there's an ironic humor, but you only have to go back two generations and Jesus never laughed. Only two generations back, Jesus does not laugh. Look at the pictures of Jesus, Solomon's Head of Christ, that brown-toned thing, no emotion on his face at all. The perfect Jesus has no emotions. Come on, impassable, no emotions. That was the highest humanity was the unemotional one. That's only two generations back.

If you look in the whole Eastern Orthodox and their icons, there's no emotion whatsoever in the face of Jesus to the contemporary icons. We put what we think is the perfect humanity into Jesus, and recognize that's me not text. Did Jesus have a sense of humor? I think so, but it never says Jesus laughed. So those are the kinds of things we will all read Jesus through our lens, and one of the things I've done a lot of study on is looking at portraits of Jesus and you can tell it wasn't that many years ago when Jesus started laughing. Now Jesus doesn't laugh, he's a stick in the mud and nobody would like him. So that's just, what do you do with that sort of thing?

When I look at some of the things that come up, I look at Jesus in John 11, Mary comes up, he sees her weeping, Jesus along with her also weeping, he's deeply moved in spirit and troubled. Regulating, come and see, and Jesus wept. They said, "See how he loved him?" Now deeply moved in spirit and troubled, and weeping, it's not a few tears running down his cheeks, this is deep wracking sobs kind of word. There's a full, full emotion that comes up there. So deep grief, very emotional, but the thing I look at in like Mark chapter three, the complex emotions, again I'm a fan of the Chosen, almost all of it, but they're portraying things imaginatively, which I think is fun.

But they have the picture of Jesus healing the man in the sabbath and he walks into this little synagogue and everybody knows who he is, and this guy with a withered hand is sitting off to the side, and he went into the synagogue and the man with the shriveled hand is there. They're looking for a reason to accuse Jesus, they're watching him closely. Jesus said to the man with the shriveled arm, "Stand up in front of everyone." Now, you're a man with a shriveled hand, what's the last thing you want? Somebody, "Hey, you, shriveled guy, get up here." I just can't ... Well, I can imagine what's going through his heart, but he stands up.

Then he turns to him, "What is lawful on the sabbath, to do good or to do evil? To save life or kill?" We all know who he's talking about, and they remain silent. At 3:5, "He looked around them in anger and deeply grieved at their stubborn hearts." That's complex emotions. He is both angry at them for their murderous hearts, that's correctly so, but he's also grieved, hurt by their attitudes, their stubbornness. That complex emotion is the sort of thing we see in Jesus, and I think that's the mature humanity that can feel deeply competing emotions at the same time. Stretch out your hand, your hand is completely restored. I can read into the emotion of Jesus when he looks at these guys and said, "See?"

So complex emotions, same thing in John 11. He also has negative emotions, anger. When Paul says, "Don't hang onto your anger." But he has an anger that's a good anger. Then the garden, my soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death, anguish. What about John 14:1? Do you know the passage? John 14:1, take a look at it. John 14:1, separating discourse after he washes the feet and that sort of thing, he says, "Don't let your heart be troubled, trust in God and trust faults on me." What he is saying here is your heart should never be troubled if you trust God. I grew up in Spring Run's Church of the Brethren in what used to be Avery, Missouri, near Avery, Missouri, that town doesn't exist anymore. They're in Central Missouri six miles north of Springfield.

Behind the pulpit was a thing I looked at all the time growing up, Solomon's Jesus in the Garden, same guy that did the Head of Jesus. It's a picture of him with his hands up on the rock looking up to heaven, it's a blue-toned picture, and there's almost no emotion on his face as he looks up into heaven because he trusts God. But John 11, Jesus sees Mary weeping and the Jews, and he's deeply moved in spirit and what? Deeply moved in spirit and what? John 11:33, deeply moved in spirit and troubled. John 12, as he's looking toward the cross after the thing with the widow, or the woman who comes in and anoints his feet, and he's in trouble because of Lazarus. He says, "Now my heart is troubled. What should I say, 'Father, save me this hour?' No, this is the very reason I came is for this hour."

John 13, in the upper room, he says, "One of you is going to betray me." After that, he is troubled and he is troubled in spirit and testifies, "To tell you the truth, one of you is going to betray me." So what that means is Jesus is sinful, because if he really trusted God his heart would not be troubled. Right? Yeah, that's what it says. He is troubled on three different specific occasions. Huh?


No, troubled means troubled. See, I'm speaking against the spirituality that I was taught for most of my Christian life. If you trust God, you will never be troubled. It quotes John 14:1, "Let not your hearts be troubled, trust in God, also trust in me." But Jesus is troubled by John's own testimony three different times, and that's not counting the garden. John doesn't recount that story, but the other three do. The thing of it is in that context, Simon and Peter just said, "Where are you going?" And he said, "Where I'm going, you can't follow. But you'll follow me later." Peter is, "Wait a minute, why can't I go with you?"

In that context, Jesus said, "Don't let your heart be troubled, because I'm going to the Father." He's not talking about don't let your heart ever be troubled, he's saying don't be troubled that I'm leaving you, which is a major theme in John. So we overemphasize that and make that Jesus always feels completely peaceful, and if you trust God you will always be completely peaceful. Nonsense. If we're not troubled by evil, we're not being Christlike. He is angry, he is troubled, but it's the right way at the right time. There are things we shouldn't be troubled about.

So anger and anguish and troubled, let me trouble you guys a little bit more. Yeah, would you do that? Yep, sure enough. Hi. I've already talked about his limited knowledge in Mark 13:32 and Matthew 24:36, he says ... They say, "When is the day that you're coming?" He said, "I don't know." He said, "The angels done know, the sun doesn't know, only the Father knows the date of the second coming." How can the omniscient God not know? Well, I've already suggested to you he laid aside the use of omniscient, and the Holy Spirit didn't tell him that. So he doesn't know, he literally does not know, I think.

In their questions where they asked for information, he comes down from the mountain and treads figuration, and the people come up with him and that's the demonized boy, and they're in the midst of an argument and he says, "What are you guys arguing about?" I asked the question, "Does Jesus know the answer to this question?" Almost everybody says, "Well, of course, he's God." No, I don't think so. It's like where is Lazarus buried? He doesn't know, because the Holy Spirit hasn't told him. Well, he's God, he's got to know it. No, no, no, he has laid aside the use of his divine attributes, he is now human in ordinary information, except when the Holy Spirit gives him special information, which he does sometimes, but many times doesn't.

Now, there are times when he absolutely knows things. But he asks for information, doesn't know there will be a second coming. There are a couple of things that ... So that fill in the blank there is ignorance, where he's asking for information. Look at Hebrews 5:8, Hebrews is a very challenging book, lots of fun, challenging like crazy. Hebrews chapter five, verse eight. I'll start back on verse seven. "During the days of Jesus' life on earth," this is Hebrews 5:7, "he offered up prayers and petitions with fervent cries and tears to the one who could save him death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission." Man, his life is characterized by prayers, petitions, fervent cries and tears?

Then verse eight, "Son, though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered." How can the perfect son learn obedience? But look, verse nine it says, "Once being made perfect ..." So Jesus is not perfect at the beginning of his life apparently. Son, though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered and was made perfect. So that means he's sinful before? The word telias here means perfect, doesn't mean perfect if you use it, it means complete, something like that. As Messiah, he learns and grows through the course of his life, and once that work is done, complete, now he's ready and he does lean obedience, he learns what it means to be obedient through his suffering. That's what he's talking about.

See how this picture of Jesus is just God walking around pretending to be human, in fact it's the opposite. He is a human, he learns and grows, chapter two says that, and when he learns and grows he has to learn what it means to be obedient to the awful things that he does. He has to learn that. We have this picture. No, no, he's God, of course he didn't have to learn anything, he already knows it. No, he doesn't. As God-man, he learns obedience, he suffers and learns through that. He has ignorance, he asks for information, he's tempted. So again, Hebrews, go back to Hebrews chapter two, Hebrews 2, maybe start at verse one.

Well, let's not do that. That's another problem. So verse five, it's not the angels that subjected the world to come, but there's a place somewhere he testified that he quotes Psalm 8, "What other man did you care for? He made them a little lower than angels crowned with glory and honor." He goes on and says, "Well, we see him, that's Jesus who was made lower than angels for a while, now crowned with glory in his exaltation that he might taste for everyone." Meaning his sons and daughters. Skip down, there's so much in here. 2:14, "Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity, so by the death he might break the power, he knows the power of death." He shared in our humanity? Okay, that's full human. Keep going.

Look down at verse 17, "For this reason he had to be made like them, fully human in every way in order to become a merciful and faithful high priest." Made like them, that's like us, in every way like us. Like really? I don't know about you guys sitting here, but I know for me I do wrestle with some kind of ungodly passions and attitudes. Did Jesus wrestle with ungodly passions and attitudes?

Sounds like it.

Well, wait a minute, now you've got a sinful Jesus who's got to die for his own sin.

They didn't say he gave into it.

Well, but if he has sinful desires, we're now at a spot where there's a huge, huge debate. Let me just play with you a little bit. Could Jesus have sinned? Now, you're right, Ed, he did not sin. Scripture's really clear about that, he did not sin. Could he have sinned? This is our free will discussion again. Could Jesus have sinned? This is a logic that I was taught, I hear it all the time, God can not sin. True or false?


True. Jesus is God?


Okay, therefore Jesus ...

Could not sin.

Could not sin. There we go, okay? Logic is tight. Jesus, God can't sin, Jesus is God, therefore Jesus can't sin. The logic is absolutely tight. Let's try a little bit further here. Could Jesus have died? God can not die, Jesus is God, therefore Jesus can not die. What's the problem with that?

He did.

He did, his death in fact as a way of salvation on the world. How about this, could Jesus have been tempted? James is very clear, God can not be tempted. Jesus is God, therefore Jesus can not be tempted. See, the same logic that says God can not sin, Jesus is God, therefore Jesus can not sin, leads us to a false conclusion applied to other things. So where is the problem? God can not sin, true or false?


True. Jesus is God, true or false?

Well ...

See, here's the problem. When you say Jesus is God and put a period there, that period is literally heresy. When you say Jesus is there and put a period there, that's literally heresy. What are you denying?

His humanity.

Humanity of Jesus. See, Jesus is God with a period is literally heresy. If you get rid of the period, what happens? Put in Jesus is God-man. God can not sin, true. Jesus is God-man, and now we know nothing about whether he couldn't sin or not. We just know nothing about it. All we know is that he didn't sin. So could he have sinned? That's a very interesting question. The answer is we don't know. What we do know is he didn't sin. Now, here's the question I want to mess with you a little bit, and then we'll finish this up. Would I want to mess with you? Yeah, yeah. I would, I would. It's true.

Does Jesus have a sin nature? My besetting sin is I want to put stupid buttons on people, it's called contempt. It's a sin. But let me show you how stupid you are, gosh. You don't realize, you have no idea how stupid you are right now. Let me show you how stupid you are. I'm supposed to bless people and I end up contempt-ing them, it's sin. It's a besetting sin, it's hard to get away with. Did Jesus ever want to put a stupid button on Pharisees? Well, that's the question. Does he wrestle with sinful desires? The entire Western church says no, because if he had sinful desires that would show that he's a part of Adam's realm and therefore have to die for his own sin.

The entire Western church said he does not have sinful desires, because if he did, he would have to suffer, he would have to die for his own sin. They appealed to Hebrews chapter seven of verse 26, Hebrews 7:26, "Such a high priest truly meets our need, one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens, and he is not like us." But it said in Hebrews 2:17, "He is made like us in every way." The Western church says he did not have a sin nature, if he did, that would show he's a child of Adam and have to die for his own sin. The Eastern church says he did have sinful desires, but overcame them by the power of the Holy Spirit.

The Bible never says whether he had sinful desires or not, it's a theological construction. Where I come out on this is talk to me on a particular day. First of all, I say the Bible doesn't say. There are days I think, "No, he didn't wrestle with that. He is holy and set apart and all those things." Probably more days right now I'm thinking he probably did have sinful desires, but that may be me importing my stuff into Jesus. But whether he did or not, he clearly was able to calm ... He was tempted in every way, such as we are. I don't think ... So I'm inclined to make Jesus maybe more, certainly more human than most of the Western theology does in those kinds of things. But that's a question that comes up, and it's one that you'll have to answer for yourself.

But the Bible does not say whether he had sinful desires or not, it just says that if he did, he overcame them. If he didn't, he was still able to experience temptation like ours. Now, do you have to have sinful desires to experience temptation? The answer is no, not at all. In the book the Heavenly Man, which was very popular a few years ago, the Heavenly Man is a Chinese Christian who's been arrested by the Chinese Communist and is being tortured, and they want him to renounce his faith publicly because he's a public figure. He won't do it. He says, "You can kill me, you can torture me, I'll never deny my Lord."

But then they bring in his kids and have him meet the kids, and the kids tell him what they're suffering because he will not renounce his Christianity. It breaks his heart. There is no sinful desire in the man, as much as any human can do that, but what his temptation there is not to protect himself. His temptation is to protect his kids, which is a godly desire for a father. That's a temptation of virtue. I actually think that temptations to virtue are more serious and more difficult than temptations to vice. So the temptation for me to lust after a woman or exercise power in destructive kinds of ways, neither one of those are huge temptations for me, they're there but they're not powerful. To put stupid buttons, that one's powerful. I wrestle over different things.

But the temptation of virtue, which is when you become protective and where I become disabling to people and create dependency, that's a real temptation for me. It's a temptation of virtue, not vice. I'm not trying to overpower people, well, sometimes I am, but my protector side is really strong and I can become protective in a way that's disabling and creating dependency in other people. That's a temptation of virtue, not vice. So Jesus does not have to have sinful desires to experience deep temptation. So I think clearly he does, that doesn't mean he has sinful desires. So a bit of theological exploration in something we can't fundamentally answer, it's not given automatic answer either yet. Jesus was fully human in every way, it is clear, and it calls us to be like him because he lives in an exemplary life. Pretty powerful guy. I like this Jesus. Questions? Comments?

Did Jesus inherent Adam's defective, Adam's original sin?

Well, that's the question of the sin nature. Did he, is he of Adam, and therefore inheriting ... He certainly lives in an Adam-scarred world. The Bible talks about first Adam and second Adam, or the first man and the second man, and I'm inclined to think that he is ahead of a new humanity and not a part of the first Adam's humanity, in terms of heritage. So I would say no, he doesn't. But he does have a humanity like our humanity in a world impacted by the fall of Adam. So I don't think he's a part of an Adamic heritage, I think he's a part of the new heritage. But there's a lot of theological stuff that comes up in that, that I'll skip for this session anyway.


Log in to take this quiz.