What Was The Human Relationship Of Jesus Christ To God – Spiritual Reading.
The completeness of the humanity of Jesus Christ comes out in still another matter, and that is, the relation that He bore to God as a man was the relation of a man, so that God was His God. He himself says to Mary in John 20:17, “Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended unto the father: but go unto my brethren, and say to them, I ascend unto my Father and your Father, and my God and your God.”
The evident meaning of this is that Jesus Christ’s relation to God, the Father, was the relation of man. He speaks of God the Father as “My God.” Though possessed of all the attributes and exercising all the functions of Deity, Jesus Christ the Son was subordinate to the Father.
This explains utterances of our Lord which have puzzled many who believe in His Deity, such utterances, for example, as that in John 14:28, where Jesus says, “Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: For my Father is greater than I.”
The question is often asked, “If Jesus Christ is God, how could the Father be greater than He?” The very simple answer to which is; that He, as the Son, was subordinate to the Father, equal to the Father in the possession of all the distinctively Divine attributes and exercising all the Divine offices, and as an object of our wholehearted worship, but subordinate to the Father in His office.
Jesus Christ’s relation to the Father is like the relation of the wife to the husband in this respect, that the wife may be fully the equal of the husband, but nevertheless, the “Head of the Woman is the Man,” she is subordinate to the man, just as we are told in the same verse (1 Cor. 11:12) “The head of Christ is God,” i.e., Jesus Christ the Son is subordinate to the Father.
It is evident from what we have read from God’s Word, that Jesus Christ in every respect was a true man, a real man, a complete man. He was made “In all things” “like unto his brethren” (cf. Heb. 2:17). He was subject to all the physical, mental and moral conditions of existence essential to human nature.
He was in every respect a real man. He became so voluntarily in order to redeem men. From all eternity He had existed “in the form of God” and could have remained “in the form of God,” but if He had so remained, we would have been lost. Therefore, out of love to us, the fallen race, as we are taught in one of our texts (Phil. 2:5-8), He “Counted not the being on an equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being made in the likeness of man; and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, becoming obedient even unto death, yea, the death of the cross.”
Oh, wondrous love! that out of love to us He should take our nature upon Him, turning His back upon the glory that had been His from all eternity and taking upon Himself all the shame and suffering that was involved in our redemption, and becoming one of us that He might die for us and redeem us!
Oh, how wondrous the “Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich yet for our sakes He became poor, that we through his poverty might become rich.” (2 Cor. 8:9.) He partook of human nature that we might become partakers of the Divine nature. The philosophy [of the divine and human natures of Christ, the philosophy of the New Testament, is a most wonderful philosophy, the most wonderful philosophy the world ever heard, and thank God it is a true philosophy.
But some one may ask, “How shall we reconcile the Bible doctrine of the true Deity of Jesus Christ with the Bible doctrine of the real human nature of Jesus Christ, the doctrine that He was real God with the doctrine that He was equally truly man?” The answer to this is very simple. Reconciling doctrines is not our main business.
Our first business is to find out what the various passages in the Bible mean, taken in their natural, grammatical interpretation. Then, if we can reconcile them, well and good; if not, we should still believe them both and leave the reconciliation of the two apparently conflicting doctrines to our increasing knowledge as we go on communing with God and studying His Word.
It is an utterly foolish and vicious principle of Biblical interpretation that we must interpret every passage of the Bible so that we can readily reconcile it with every other passage. It is this principle of interpretation that gives rise to a one-sided, and therefore untrue, theology. One man, for example, takes the Calvinistic passages in the Bible and believes them and twists and distorts the other passages; that teach the freedom of man, to make them fit with those that teach the sovereignty of God, and he becomes a one-sided Calvinist.
Another man sees only those passages that clearly teach man’s power of self-determination and seeks to twist all that teach the sovereignty of God and the foreordaining wisdom and will of God to fit into his ideas, and he becomes a one-sided Arminian, and so on through the whole gamut of doctrine. It is utter foolishness, to say nothing of presumption, to thus handle the Word of God deceitfully.
Our business is to find out the plainly intended sense of a passage that we are studying, as determined by the usage of words, grammatical construction and context; and when we have found out the plainly intended meaning, believe it whether we can reconcile it with something else that we have found out and believe, or not.
We should always remember that in many cases two truths, both clearly true, that at one time seemed utterly irreconcilable or flatly contradictory to one another, are now, with our increased knowledge seen to beautifully harmonise. So we should have no difficulty in recognising the fact that truths that still seem to us to be contradictory, do now perfectly harmonise in the infinite wisdom of God, and will some day perfectly harmonise to our minds when we approach more nearly to God’s omniscience.
The Bible, in the most fearless way, puts the absolute Deity of Jesus Christ in closest juxtaposition with the real manhood of Jesus Christ. For example, we read in Matt. 8:24, “And behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the boat was covered with the waves; but He (Jesus) was asleep.”
Here we have a plain statement of the real manhood of our Lord, but two verses later, in the 26th verse, we read, “And He saith unto them, why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then He arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm.” Here we have a clear shining forth of His Deity, even the winds and the waves subject to His word. No wonder the disciples asked one another, “What manner of man is this that even the winds and the sea obey him?” (Matt. 8:27). The answer is plain: a Divine Man.
Again we read in Luke 3:21, “Now it came to pass, when all the people were baptised, that Jesus also having been baptised, and praying, . . .” Here we see Jesus in His humanity, baptised and praying. Surely this is a man. But in the remainder of the verse and in the next verse we read, “And the heaven was opened, and the Holy Spirit descended in a bodily form, as a dove, upon him, and a voice came out of heaven, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased.”
Here God with an audible voice declares Him to be Divine, to be His Son. Again in John 11:38 we read, “Jesus, therefore, again groaning in himself cometh to the tomb. Now it was a cave, and a stone laid against it.” Here we see Jesus in His humanity, but four verses further down, the 43rd and 44th verses, we read, “And when He had thus spoken, He cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth. And he that was dead came forth.” Here again his Deity shines forth.
In Luke 9:28 we read, “And it came to pass about eight days after these sayings, that he took with him Peter and John and James, and went up into the mountain to pray.” Here we very clearly see His humanity, His limitation, His dependence upon God; but in the very next verse, the 29th verse, we read, “And as He was praying the fashion of his countenance was altered and His raiment became white and glistering.” Here we see His Divinity shining forth, and then again in the 35th verse, we read of the voice coming out of the cloud, saying, “This is my son, my chosen; hear ye him.” Here His Deity unmistakably is seen again.
In Matt. 16:16, 17, we read, “And Simon Peter answered and said, thou art the Christ, the son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-Jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my father who is in heaven.” Here is a clear declaration by Jesus Himself of His Deity. But four verses further down in the chapter, the 24th verse, we read, “From that time began Jesus to show unto his disciples that he must go up unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and the third day rise from the dead.”Here we have the clearest declaration of the reality and completeness of His humanity.
In Heb. 1:6, we read of our Lord Jesus, “And when He (i.e., God the Father) again bringeth in the first-begotten into the world he saith, and let all the angels of God worship him.” Here is a most unmistakable and inescapable declaration that Jesus Christ is a Divine Person, to be worshipped as God by angels as well as men, and two verses further down we read this further declaration of His absolute Deity, “But of the son he saith, Thy throne O God, is for ever and ever.”
Here again the Son is declared in so many words to be God, He is called God. But in the very next chapter, Heb. 2:18, we read, “For in that He himself hath suffered being tempted, He is able to succor them that are tempted.” Here we have the clearest possible declaration of the reality of His human nature.
In Heb. 4:14 we read, “Having then a great high priest, who hath passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.”Here we have a plain declaration of His Deity; but in the very next verse, we read, “For we have not an high priest that cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but one that hath been in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” One of the plainest declarations of the fullness and completeness of His humanity to be found in the Bible.
The doctrine of the Deity of Jesus Christ and the doctrine that Jesus Christ was a real man, go hand in hand in the Bible. What kind of a Saviour, what kind of a Lord Jesus, do you believe in? Do you believe in a Saviour that is a man and man only? Then you do not believe in the Saviour that is presented in the Bible. On the other hand, do you believe in a Saviour that is God and God only? Then you do not believe in the Saviour of the Bible.
The Lord Jesus, our Lord and Saviour, presented to us in the Bible, is very God of very God and at the same time He is our brother, our fellowman, and is not ashamed to call us brethren. Oh, I thank God that I have a Saviour that is God, possessed of all the attributes and powers of Deity, all the perfections of Deity, a Saviour for whom nothing is too hard.
I thank God that my Saviour is One who made the heavens and the earth, and who holds all the powers of nature and of history in His control; but I equally thank God that my Saviour is my brother man, One who was tempted in all points like as I am, One who is in a position to bear my sins, on the one hand because He is God, on the other hand because He is man.
A merely divine Saviour could not be a Saviour for me. A merely human Saviour could not be a Saviour for me. But a Saviour in whom Deity and humanity meet; a Saviour who is at once God and man, is just the Saviour I need, and the Saviour that you need, a Saviour that is able to save to the uttermost all that come unto God through Him.
Excerpt From – The Fundamental Doctrines Of The Christian Faith By Reuben Archer Torrey.
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