Water for the Thirsty
Weekly Devotional

Water for the Thirsty

The Humanity of Jesus

Weekly Devotional

‘As the deer pants for streams of water so my soul pants for you, O God’. (Psalm 42:1)
‘…Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink”…’ (John 7:37)

8th May 2011

It has not been uncommon for Christians to overlook the theological significance of Jesus’ humanity.

But it is important for us to realise that,

‘Both the one who makes people holy [Jesus Himself] and those who are made holy [human beings] are of the same family...’ (Hebrews 2:11)

That is why,

‘Jesus is not ashamed to call [us] brothers and sisters’. (V.11)

The writer of Hebrews goes on to say,

‘Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity…’ (V.14)

This implies that flesh and blood was something not intrinsically his, but something he had to take on. Hence,

‘The Word became flesh…’ (John 1:14),


‘[Jesus], being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man…’ (Philippians 2:6-8)

Jesus took on flesh and blood in order to humble Himself,

‘…by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!’ (V.8)

Something he could never have experienced if he had not taken on flesh and blood.

Jesus died on a cross,

‘…so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil— and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death’. (Hebrews 2:14-15)

Jesus did not don the nature of angels, He was not an angelic being, ‘For surely it is not angels he helps…’ (V.16). Rather, He became a human being, a human being with a genuine lineage, the lineage of Abraham (V. 16).

If He was to serve as mediator between God and human beings, ‘he had to be made like them, fully human in every way…’ (V.17), which presupposes that he already was like God in every way.

So it was entirely fitting, then, that God should ‘…make the pioneer of [our] salvation perfect through what he suffered’. (V.10)

The idea is not that Jesus gains through suffering a moral perfection He otherwise would have lacked, but that the perfection of His identification with us depended on participating in our human suffering.

The writer of Hebrews has already hinted at the problem that Jesus came to resolve. Originally human beings were made to be God’s vice-regents over the entire creation, a point not only made by the creation accounts (Genesis 1—2) but also in Psalm 8 (which is quoted in Hebrews 2:6-8).

But of course, we do not yet see everything under our feet, as Genesis 1 and Psalm 8 envisage. The Fall has intervened, and death takes its unyielding toll.

But what we do see is ‘…Jesus, who was made lower than the angels for a little while, now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone’. (V.9)

The point here is not so much that Jesus is the “man” envisaged in Psalm 8, as if he were being prophetically described, but that by his identification with us, and by his death, he becomes the first human being to be crowned with such glory and honour, as he brings many sons, a new humanity, to glory.

Have a good week reflecting on the grand theological truth of Jesus’ humanity.

Pastor Barry

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