Is Jesus God or Man?
Is Jesus God, or is Jesus man? Or is He both, a God-man? As one of the most complicating matters in the New Testament, let us spend more time to enter into this marvelous mystery—the mingling of God with man for our experience and enjoyment of the Triune God in His dispensing.
Jesus Christ, the God-Man
Jesus Christ is a wonderful person. He is wonderful because He is both God and man. He is not merely a good man, a wise man, a prophet, or a teacher. He is a God-man. Speaking seven hundred years before the birth of Jesus, the prophet Isaiah said, “For a child is born to us, a Son is given to us;…and His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6). The child born to us is human, yet this human child is called Mighty God. This is Jesus, the God-man, the One who is both God and man.
His Birth and Human Living
The birth of Jesus, the God-man, was marvelous and mysterious. Every human being is conceived of a human father and a human mother. However, Jesus Christ was not conceived of a human father; He was conceived of the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of God, in the womb of a human virgin. Matthew 1:18 says, “Now the origin of Jesus Christ was in this way: His mother, Mary, after she had been engaged to Joseph, before they came together, was found to be with child of the Holy Spirit.” Since He was conceived of the divine Spirit and born of a human virgin, Jesus Christ is both divine and human. He is the complete God and the perfect man—a God-man. After His birth Jesus lived on the earth for more than thirty years. In the human life of Jesus, God and man lived together as one. In this life the divine attributes of God, such as love, light, holiness, righteousness, and compassion, were expressed in the human virtues of the man Jesus. In Jesus’ every thought, feeling, word, and action, the divine glory was manifested in human beauty. Thus, the human life of Jesus was unique; it was the living of God in man, the living of a God-man.
His Death and Resurrection
At the end of His life Jesus Christ was crucified. The death of Jesus also was unique. It was not only the death of a man; it was the death of a God-man. It was a man who died, but this man was also God. As a genuine man without sin (Hebrews 4:15), Jesus was qualified to die for the sins of men. On the cross He bore our sins in His body so that we no longer need to bear them (1 Peter 2:24). Since Jesus is the eternal God, what He accomplished for us on the cross is eternally effective. His death as a God-man fully satisfied the requirements of God’s righteousness for all men and for all time and eternity. Because of this, God, in His love for us, can freely forgive all our sins (1 John 1:9). On the third day after His death, Jesus Christ, the God-man, rose from the dead (1 Corinthians 15:4). He was resurrected in His humanity by the power of His divinity. After His resurrection He is still a God-man—still fully God and still truly human. Now He lives forever as a resurrected God-man. Through His resurrection the God-man Jesus became a life-giving Spirit (1 Corinthians 15:45). The life that He gives is the eternal life of God. As the life-giving Spirit, Jesus is as near to us as the air around us. In order to receive the air, we simply need to open our mouth and breathe. Likewise, in order to receive Jesus as the life-giving Spirit, we only need to open our heart and our mouth and speak to Him:
“Lord Jesus, how wonderful You are!
You are God, and You are man.
You died for my sins and rose from the dead,
and now You live forever.
Lord Jesus, I want You to live in me.”
When Jesus comes into us, He imparts to us all the riches of His divinity and His humanity. By receiving Him, the God-man, we become God-men—the same as He is.