The Question Column
QUESTION: The Lord Jesus appeared in bodily form, we know, but was that form truly human as we understand, or was it a fantasy, a mystical wonder, as some of the cults hold?
ANSWER: The following facts, in my judgment, give a very positive answer.
We know that the Lord. Jesus was fully conscious of His divine origin, His divine destiny, and His divine power: “Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things unto His hands, and that He was come from God, and went to God …” (John 13:3). But there were other personal facts of which He was constantly aware. He was absolutely cognizant of His real humanity.
The Lord intimated that repeatedly in the language He used at different times. For example, to critical Jews, who afterwards took up stones to stone Him, He affirmed, “Now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth, which I have heard of God” (John 8:40).
At Caesarea Philippi, where Peter boldly declared, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God,” the Lord replied, “Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona; for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father, which is in heaven” (Matt. 16:16-17). These words bear a very probable reference to His physical image.
Later, as Christ instituted the Lord’s Supper, He made a further important reference to His humanity: “He took bread, and gave thanks, and broke it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you; this do in remembrance of me. Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you” (Luke 22:19-20). These blessed elements were symbols of blessed physical realities —my body, my blood.
As the Lord anticipated His death at Calvary, He disclosed His feeling when He said, “My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death” (Matt. 26:38).
After His resurrection, the Lord Jesus showed His hands and His side to His disciples (John 20:20). He encouraged them to “Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself; handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have. And when He had thus spoken, He showed them His hands and His feet” (Luke 24:39-40).
The Lord Called Himself a man. He spoke of His body and His blood. He also talked about His soul, about His hands and side, and about His flesh and bones. With such extensive evidence that the Lord knew all about His own humanity, it would be blatant incredulity to cast any uncertainty upon the full knowledge of the Lord Jesus concerning His perfect, immaculate, human personality.
— James Gunn
(Please send all questions to Dr. James T. Naismith, 1121 Hilltop St., Peterborough, Ont. K9J 5S6.)