Why is Jesus Human?

May 19, 2015 J. R. Daniel Kirk

For the past six and a half years I have been working on a book whose end is now in sight. I’m calling it A Man Attested by God: the Human Jesus of the Synoptic Gospels.

The question that has pushed me to endure through all of the trials and tribulations of the writing has been this:

What does it matter that Jesus was fully human?

Through no fault of the churches I grew up in, I think that I had a fairly flat understanding of the identity of Jesus and what it meant:

  1. Jesus is God. Therefore, all of the awesome stuff Jesus does he does (a) because he is God and (b) for the express purpose of demonstrating his deity.
  2. Jesus is human. This is because (a) we suck, so (b) Jesus has to be able to die for us.

The only value to be found in his humanity was his death. Or, if we wanted to expand it a little bit, as in Hebrews, we might say that he occupied the same sucky existence we have (temptations to sin and the like) but managed to get to the cross unscathed.

So he could die for us.

Because we suck.

But the tide began to shift in my own thinking when I realized that proposition (1) above really only approximates the narrative strategy of John’s Gospel. When I tried to read the Mark with that same lens, the story didn’t hold together.

Read more at http://www.jrdkirk.com/2015/05/19/why-is-jesus-human/


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