Was Jesus Christ Subject To Human Limitations – Spiritual Reading.
But the reality and completeness of our Lord’s human nature comes out not only in the fact that He had a human parentage and a human body: we are also clearly taught that, while as God he possessed all the attributes and exercised all the offices of Deity, as a man He was subject to human limitations.
1. He was subject to the physical limitations which are essential to humanity:
In John 4:6 we read that Jesus Christ was weary. The words are “Jesus, therefore, being wearied with his journey, sat thus on the well: and it was about the sixth hour.” But God is never weary. We read explicitly in Isa. 40:28 “Hast thou not known? Hast thou not heard? The everlasting God, Jehovah, the creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary.”
We are told in Matt. 8:24 that Jesus Christ slept. But God never sleeps. We read in Ps. 121:4, 5, “Behold he that keepeth Israel shall [neither slumber nor sleep. Jehovah is thy keeper: Jehovah is thy shade upon thy right hand.” By comparison of these two verses, we see distinctly that Jehovah never sleeps. Yet Jesus did sleep, so while He was Jehovah, He was not Jehovah only. He was man as truly as He was God.
In Matt. 21:18 we read that Jesus Christ hungered; in John 19:28 we read that Jesus Christ thirsted; in Luke 22:44 we read that Jesus Christ suffered physical agony, His agony was so great that He was on the point of dying with agony; and in 1 Cor. 15:3 we read that “Christ died,” that His death is an essential part of the Gospel. Paul says in this passage, “For I delivered unto you first of all that which I received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures.”
It was no merely apparent death, it was a real death. It was no “illusion.” Our salvation depends on the reality of His death. “Christian Science” cuts the very heart out of the Gospel. We are oftentimes asked was it the human nature of Jesus Christ that died or was it the divine nature that died. It was neither the one nor the other, natures do not die, a person dies.
It was Jesus who died, the Person who was at once God and man. We are told in so many words in 1 Cor. 2:8, that they “Crucified the Lord of glory,” and we saw in the last chapter that the “Lord of Glory” is unquestionably a divine title. It was the one Person Jesus who was at once human and divine, who died upon the cross of Calvary.
2. He was also, as a man subject to intellectual and moral limitations:
We read in Luke 2:52, “Jesus advanced in wisdom and stature and in favour with God and man.” As we are told here that He grew in wisdom, He must have been more perfect in wisdom after He grew than He was before He grew, and as He grew in favour with God and man, He must have attained to a higher type of moral perfection when He grew than He had attained to before He grew.
While in the Babe of Bethlehem God was incarnate, nevertheless He was a real babe and grew not only in stature, but in wisdom and in favour with God and man. As a man He was limited in knowledge, He Himself says in Mark 13:32, “But of that day and that hour (i.e., the day and the hour of His own return) knoweth no man; no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son but the Father.” Of course, His knowledge was self-limited: to set an example for you and me to follow in His steps, He voluntarily as man put away His knowledge of the time of His own return.
Furthermore still, we are definitely and explicitly taught in Heb. 4:15 that Jesus Christ was “In all points tempted like as we are.” But in bearing this in mind as being clear and complete proof of the reality of His humanity, not only physical but mental and moral, we should also bear in mind what is stated in the same verse, that He was tempted “Apart from Sin,” i.e., that there was not the slightest taint or tinge of sin in His temptation, not one moment’s yielding to it in thought or desire or act.
Nevertheless, He was tempted and overcame temptation in the same way that we may overcome it, by the Word of God and prayer. He Himself voluntarily placed Himself under the essential moral limitations that man is under in order to redeem man.
3. He was also, as a man, subject to limitations in the way in which He obtained power and in which He exercised power:
Jesus Christ obtained the power for the Divine work that He did while here upon earth, not by His incarnate Deity, but by prayer. We read in Mark 1:35, “And in the morning, a great while before day, he rose up and went out, and departed unto a desert place, and there prayed.”
And we read also that before He raised Lazarus from the dead, called him forth from the tomb by His Word, that He lifted up His eyes to God and said, “Father, I thank thee that thou heardest me,” showing conclusively that the power by which He raised Lazarus from the dead was not His inherent, inborn, Divine power, but was power obtained by prayer.
It is mentioned not less than twenty-five times that He prayed. He obtained power for work and for moral victory as other men do, by prayer. He was subject to human conditions for obtaining what He desired. He obtained power for the divine works and miracles which he wrought by the anointing of the Holy Spirit.
We read in Acts 10:38, that “God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.” And we are taught, furthermore, that He was subject during the days of His humiliation to limitations in the exercise of power.
He himself said just before His crucifixion and subsequent glorification, in John 14:12, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; for I go unto my Father,” the evident meaning of which is, that during the days of His flesh there was a limitation to His exercise of power, but after His glorification, when He was glorified with the Father with the glory which He had with Him since the world was, there would be no limitations to the exercise of His power, and therefore, that we, being united, not to our Lord Jesus in His humiliation, but in His exaltation and restoration to His divine glory, will do greater works than he did during the days of His humiliation.
Excerpt From – The Fundamental Doctrines Of The Christian Faith By Reuben Archer Torrey.
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