Summary: Christ: the Perfect Teacher, Example, Sacrifice and Advocate, also considering some of the heresies surrounding his person and nature
"And the Word was made flesh" (KJV)
"The Word became a human being" (GNB)
"The Word became flesh" (NIV, RSV, Ricker Berry)
In becoming human, Christ becomes...
1. The Perfect Teacher, a model of how God thinks and how we should think (Phil. 2:5-11).
Question: In what ways did Jesus take upon Himself human nature?
• Born of a woman.
• He was hungry, thirsty, ate, drank, slept, was weary, felt pain, wept, rejoiced, marvelled, was moved to anger and to compassion.
• He prayed, read the Bible, was tempted, submitted His human will to the Father.
• In this body, He suffered, died, was buried, rose again, ascended into heaven.
Question: How can Jesus be both God and man?
2nd of 39 Articles:
"The Son, which is the Word of the Father, begotten from everlasting of the Father, the very and eternal God, and of one substance with the Father, took man’s nature in the womb of the blessed Virgin of her substance: so that two whole and perfect natures, that is to say, the Godhead and the manhood, were joined together in one Person, never to be divided, whereof is one Christ, very God and very man."
"Christ is God and Man; God of the substance of the Father, begotten before the world, and man of the substance of His mother, born in the world; perfect God and perfect man. Who, although He be God and man, yet He is not two but one Christ; one not by conversion of the godhead into flesh, but by taking of the manhood into God."
• Jesus has never not been human since the incarnation- not when he walked on water, not when he raised the dead, not in His resurrection body, not when He ascended into heaven.
4. The Perfect Advocate, being both God and man, He can sympathise with us, and intercede for us. He can "lay his hand upon us both" (Hebrews 2:17 (quickview) , Job 9:33 (quickview) ).
"The first Adam was only man, and so he fell. The second Adam was God as well as man, and so He completely conquered" (Ryle).
Note: this is the last time John uses the name, ’The Word’.
Question: why does the text say ’flesh’ and not ’man’?
Westcott suggests that "the Lord’s humanity was universal, not individual, as including all that belongs to the essence of man, without regard to sex or race or time".
The nature of the Word who became flesh:
• I am what I was, that is God