Lutheran Spokesman

"…the Scriptures cannot be broken." John 10:35


Jesus is True Man

Written by Joseph Lau | February, 2014
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Post Categories Apostles’ Creed,Series

CATECHISM SERIES: Studies in The Apostles’ Creed 

I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth.
And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, who was conceived  by the Holy Ghost, born of the virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried; He descended into hell; the third day  He rose again from the dead; He ascended into heaven  and sitteth on the right hand of God, the Father Almighty; from thence He shall come to judge the quick and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Ghost; the holy Christian Church, the communion of saints;  the forgiveness of sins; the resurrection of the body; and the life everlasting. Amen.


(About Redemption)
And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried; He descended into hell; the third day He rose again from the dead; He ascended into heaven and sitteth on the right hand of God, the Father Almighty; from thence He shall come to judge the quick and the dead.
What does this mean?
I believe that Jesus Christ, true God, begotten of the Father from eternity, and also true man, born of the virgin Mary, is my Lord. He has redeemed me, a lost and condemned person, purchased and won me from all sin, from death, and from the power of the devil, not with gold or silver, but with His holy, precious blood and His innocent suffering and death. He did this that I should be His very own, live under Him in His kingdom, and serve Him in eternal righteousness, innocence, and joy; just as He is risen from death, lives and reigns in eternity. This is most certainly true. 
(Martin Luther’s SMALL CATECHISM, Sydow edition, 2000) 

“Jesus wept”

(John 11:35)


1) Jesus is true God

2) Jesus is true Man

3) Jesus has redeemed me

4) Jesus has made me His own

5) Jesus calls me to serve Him

This passage has the distinction of being the shortest recorded in Holy Scripture.

We know that “all Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable…for instruction in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16). Why then is the short passage above so important? The fact that the Lord Jesus wept is one of many evidences of His being truly human. Jesus felt the emotions of a human being. On this occasion it was in response to the death of His friend Lazarus and the sorrow it caused Lazarus’ family and friends.

Holy Scripture provides many other examples of Christ’s humanity. Jesus was born to the Virgin Mary (Isaiah 7:14; Luke 2:11-12). Jesus grew in height and in wisdom (Luke 2:52). He experienced hunger and thirst (Matthew 4:2; John 9:28). He grew tired and slept (Mark 4:38). He was tempted (Hebrews 4:15).

We should find comfort in the fact that Jesus experienced the same things that each of us faces daily. What better Advocate with the Father could one ask for? Jesus can empathize with us. “For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin” (Hebrews 4:15).

Why was it necessary for God to become true man in this way? God’s plan of salvation required Jesus to be true man for two important reasons.

First, He had to be ‘under the law.’ “But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons” (Galatians 4:4-5). Unlike the mythological gods of the ancient Greeks and Romans, Jesus had to fulfill God’s law perfectly. One sin on His part would have made His sacrifice worthless. The Passover Lamb had to be without spot or blemish. “Therefore, in all things He had to be made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation [atonement] for the sins of the people” (Hebrews 2:17).

Jesus’ perfect fulfillment of God’s law is often referred to as His “active obedience.” On our behalf He did what we could not do.

The second reason Jesus had to be true man is in order that He could die and rise again. God’s plan of salvation required that His Son must die! He is described in Philippians 2:7-8 as “taking the form of a servant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.”

Jesus’ suffering and death in our stead is referred to as His “humiliation,” part of His “passive obedience.”

Let us return to Lazarus’ grave to see what this all means for us. Upon seeing Jesus weeping, some Jews said, “Could not this Man [Jesus], who opened the eyes of the blind, also have kept this man from dying?” (John 11:37) We know the answer is “Yes.” Jesus could have kept Himself from dying just days later. But without His death as true man and God, Lazarus’ death and our deaths would have been eternal.

He [Jesus] cried with a loud voice ‘Lazarus, come forth!’” (John 11:43) Lazarus did come forth after four days in the grave. Jesus too rose again, in the flesh, after three days in the grave. He told His disciples: “Behold, My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself. Handle Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see I have” (Luke 24:39).

For this reason we are assured of our own physical resurrection so that we can join Job in confidently saying, “For I know that my Redeemer lives, and He shall stand at last on the earth; and after my skin is destroyed, this I know, that in my flesh I shall see God…” (Job 19:25-26).

Jesus, true Man and true God, come quickly! Amen.



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