Summary: How many famous persons have you seen in person? God came in person in Jesus Christ to share with us the human experience.
GOD IN PERSON
How many famous people have you seen in person? In the TV world, all of us have seen
famous people on the screen. It almost appears as if we have seen them in person. We
have seen presidents, famous statesmen, movie stars, sport figures, and many other
famous people on television and other venues. However, how many of them have you
actually seen in person? Why do people flock to arenas to see the latest rock star?
They want to see them in person. What a thrill it is to shake hands actually and rub
shoulders with a famous person! I am going to date myself now, but I have seen two
presidents in person: Harry Truman and Dwight Eisenhower.
However, our text for today in Matthew 1:23 which is appropriate for the Sunday before
Christmas, speaks of Emmanuel meaning "God is with us". An angel revealed to Joseph
that Mary would give birth to a son who would be called by that name. In other words,
God is coming to us in person.
Why did God come in person, born of a virgin? In the world of theology and apologetics,
this is called the doctrine of the humanity of Christ or the incarnation of Christ..
Volumes have been written on it.
However, I want to share with you the premise that God came as a person that he might
share with us the human experience. God knew everything except how it felt to be a
There was an elder in one of my churches who furiously disagreed with me when I said
that God did not know how it felt to be human. "God knows everything," he blurted. Of
course, we know that the main reason Christ came was to forgive us of our sins and
grant us eternal life. I just want to reflect on the theory that God came in person also to
share with us the human experience. How can we know how something feels unless we
have experienced it ourselves? God's wisdom is all-inclusive. However, did God know
how the common human experiences felt?
I GOD CAME IN PERSON TO SHARE OUR HUMAN PHYSICAL EXPERIENCE
Jesus shared our human physical experience. In Mark 4:35 we read how Jesus was
asleep on the boat when a fierce storm came up. He awoke and calmed the storm. I am
glad he slept since it tells me that I can sleep in peace because Jesus will calm the
storms of my life..
When the devil tempted Jesus in the wilderness, he became hungry.(Matthew 4) That
tells me that Jesus will supply my hunger by feeding me physically and spiritually. In
John 4, Jesus told the women at the well that he was thirsty. He is also the one who
can give me water gushing up to eternal life. Jesus stopped at the well also because he
was tired. He is the one who can give me rest for my weary soul. Since Jesus
understands our physical experiences, he can use those experiences for our spiritual
benefits. One author writes in a poem "When I remember the hardships of life and when
the road is too rough, Jesus says, 'I understand. I walked it long ago.' " He understands
our human experiences since he walked this way before.
II GOD CAME IN PERSON TO SHARE OUR HUMAN EMOTIONAL EXPERIENCES
Jesus wept at the tomb of Lazarus. He wept even though he knew that in a few minutes
he would raise him from the grave.(John 11:35) This tells us that Jesus shares our
griefs and sorrows. He can tell us in the Beatitudes that we are comforted as we grieve
because he understands our sorrow and is grieving with us. Jesus also became angry
when he visited the temple in Jerusalem.(Mark 3:5) . However, he also taught us to be
angry without sinning. As I work as a mentor on a Christian website, I notice how many
people are facing emotional loneliness Jesus faced lonely hours in Gethsemane as he
prayed while the disciples slept. The same author also writes, " When I say I wish there
were friends with me who would make my way their own, He says 'Oh yes. Gethsemane
was hard to bear alone' "
iii GOD CAME IN PERSON TO SHARE OUR HUMAN SPIRITUAL EXPERIENCES
Jesus shared with us spiritual experiences by his example of prayer. Jesus prayed in
many ways and in many places as he offered up prayers and supplications. (Hebrew
for us who would believe in him through the teachings of the apostles. He showed us
how to live a spiritual life as evidenced by the fruit of the spirit: love, joy, peace, patience,