I’ve heard many say that Jesus was just a man. Many say He was merely a good man and example; a good teacher. They are correct. But at the same time, they’re not even close.
The Gospel reveals that Jesus was God Himself. He is God Himself.
This crucial aspect of Jesus’s nature makes all the difference in the world. But first, let’s look to Scripture that points to Jesus’s divine nature.
Biblical Proof of the Gospel of Jesus
In Isaiah 7:14, Isaiah prophesies the virgin birth of a little boy, and in Isaiah 9:6, he further prophesies that among other names, the son will be called “Mighty God” and “Everlasting Father.” In John 8:58, Jesus declares that He’s existed before Abraham, and in Colossians 1:15-17 we read that “He is before all things.” Colossians 1:15-17 tells us that “all things were created through him and for him.” In Hebrews 1:3 and Colossians 1:15-17, we see that in Him, everything is held together. In the previous 2 passages cited along with 2 Corinthians 4:4, John 1:1-3, and Colossians 2:9, it is clear that Jesus is the very image of God—God in the flesh. In John 10:28-30, Jesus declares that He is “one with the Father” and the One who gives eternal life. And in John 8:58-59, Jesus uses the same expression as the one found in the Septuagint that God used when identifying Himself to Moses in Exodus 3:14.
There’s a multitude of other verses that testify to these aspects of Jesus’s nature and more, but these ones alone are overwhelming Biblical evidence that Jesus was not just a man. Jesus was fully man, but He was fully God at the same time. He “emptied himself by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men,” but remained the God of all creation nonetheless (Philippians 2:6-7). He didn’t lose any of His divine nature by humbly taking on human nature—a truth that is still difficult to wrap our minds around—but it’s clear from these passages in Scripture that He truly was (and is) the one and only true God in the flesh.
So why is the nature of Jesus so fundamental (apart from the fact that it’s true)? Because of what changes about the Gospel if it weren’t.
No Gospel If Jesus Was Simply A Man…
He wouldn’t have been able to pay for our sins.
From the moment that Adam and Eve disobeyed our Lord, we have come out of the womb and into the world as sinners. Every single human being who has ever and will ever walk this Earth has fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23), and all of us have turned away from Him and pressed into sin (Isaiah 53:6, Psalm 14:1-3, Psalm 53:1-3). Do you see it now?
If Jesus was simply a man, He would have been just as helplessly corrupt as the rest of us, unable to conquer His own sin, let alone the sin of the world.
No Gospel If God Did Not Take on Flesh…
Then we would never have had a Savior to save us from the righteous wrath of God owed to us.
No one is perfect except for God Himself, so unless He would subject Himself to a mere human body, a body that bears our likeness, and experiences all of the same temptations that we do—we who deserve death because of our inherent sin (Romans 6:23)—we would have had no one capable of paying the price. If I, a broken, sinful woman, attempted to die for anyone’s sins, it would be meaningless, because it would be just what I deserve. Can the blind heal the blind? Can the broken repair the broken? Neither can we who are infected with sin pay for the sin of others.
I pray now, friends, that God would graciously open your eyes as He’s opened mine to see that Jesus was not merely a man. This Jesus was and is the God-Man. He was God Himself, the Lord of every single atom in the flesh, the Son of God, the second Person of the Triune God. Without this fundamental aspect of the nature of Jesus, we rob the Gospel in a detrimental way, so that it is no longer the Gospel at all.
Only in God coming as a man can both the righteous justice and the everlasting love of God be fulfilled. Only when we acknowledge what God’s very Word declares about Jesus—that he was both fully God and fully man—does the Gospel come together.
But this is only the first link in the glorious chain of the Gospel. There’s so much more to cover—more than I’ll be able to write in a short series such as this! But even still, I hope you’ll join me next week as we cover another necessary truth of the Gospel.
More on the Gospel and Jesus’s Nature
- Desiring God: How Can Jesus Be God and Man?
- Denver Seminary: The Man Christ Jesus: Reflections on the Humanity of Christ
- Gospel Coalition: The Man Christ Jesus