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Jesus: God AND Man

Christian, tell me why do you say that Jesus is both God and Man? Which is it? Why does it matter?
Because…Only as a man can God really identify with humans and be able to represent them. Only as God could a man act as sacrifice to redeem all of mankind.

Jesus is fully 100% God and fully 100% Man. We tend to focus on one or the other, at the expense of appreciating all that He is. If we focus on “Man”, then we think “Oh, what a nice guy and great teacher he was! It would have been fun to meet him.” If we focus on “God”, then we think “What amazing miracles He did! Of course, that was easy for Him. He should see how hard life really is for us humans.”

I know: That makes 200% in a single person, and that is impossible. How on earth could “God” be crammed down into a “Man” without one or the other being compromised? No one has ever been able to understand the “how”. But the Bible insists that is the case, and provides evidence to support the claim.

Evidence that…

…Jesus was (and still is) a human Man.

…Jesus was (and still is) God

Why It Matters

That combination of both God and Man makes Jesus uniquely able to solve humanity’s problem with sin. Sin separates rebellious humans from a holy, righteous God. That barrier must be removed before we can be reconciled and get back to the relationship that we need, that we were created to have. Removing the barrier requires someone who is NOT separated or rebellious to carry it away. That’s what Jesus did for us.

A man, Adam, had introduced sin into all his descendants…the entire human race. Since a man caused the issue, a man had to solve it. But the solution requires transferring the sin-debt onto a sinless substitute. That substitute would have to die, taking the sin along with him. The problem is: No human being could ever qualify for that position.

God, in His own nature, is without sin. (Of course: He could hardly rebel against Himself, could He?) But, in His own nature, God is infinite and everlasting. He cannot die, so He couldn’t kill sin.

By taking on human nature, while keeping His God-nature, Jesus was able to do what no one else — even God Almighty — could have done. He represented humanity, had no sin of His own, carried our sin, and died in our place to pay our debt.

If He Was Only…

…a human Man

  • He would not be able to be sinless, so would be useless as a sacrifice.
  • He would have stayed dead, so would not have power worth trusting.

If He was only Man, then all of His claims to be God would mean that He was not even a nice man, or a good teacher. As C.S. Lewis said:

I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him [that is, Christ]: ‘I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept His claim to be God.’ That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic–on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg–or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse…. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come up with any patronising nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.

C.S. Lewis in Mere Christianity


  • He could not act as a representative for humans.
  • He could not die as a sacrifice.
  • He would always be “out there”, never really experiencing what we do.

If He was only God, then He was faking it for His entire life. He was floating through, only pretending to be a man. That level of deception would mean that, even if He was God, He would not be a God that anyone would want to worship or trust.

Because He is Both…

Because He is 100% fully both, then He is the Savior we need. He is the One who understands us, knows us from the inside out, can represent us as one of us. Yet He is also the One who is able to live in complete righteousness, die as a perfect sacrifice, triumph over death, and share that triumph with those who accept it. The universal shorthand for this paragraph, really this entire article, is:

Jesus is Lord!

…God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself…

2 Corinthians 5:19

For as through the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous.

Romans 5:19

Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and might free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives.

Hebrews 2:14-15

But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things to come, He entered through the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this creation; and not through the blood of goats and calves, but through His own blood, He entered the holy place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption.

Hebrews 9:11-12

See also articles Trinity, Authority, and Atonement.

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