Jesus the man

Jesus is said to be 'truly and properly God and truly and properly man'. Jesus of Nazareth was truly human. His story is recorded for us in the Gospels.

A historical figure

Jesus lived 2,000 years ago, and the Gospels as well as other sources tell us about him. He was a Jew living in Palestine when it was a province of the Roman Empire. The account of his birth is linked to events in the time of Caesar Augustus (Luke 2:1-7). His life and his death on the Cross are referred to in other ancient manuscripts. His whole life and ministry must be seen in the context of Jewish religious life and history. Though his universal message and ministry broke the boundaries of Judaism, he belonged to the Jewish/Roman world of the first century AD.

Jesus was a historical person. In him, God has revealed himself and acted in history for us. If Jesus did not live, he did not die for our salvation, nor was he raised by God. Without the Jesus of history, there is no Christ of faith.

A real human being

The true humanity of Jesus is revealed in the Bible. The Gospels describe how Jesus possessed normal human faculties. He felt hunger and thirst and weariness (Mark 11:12; John 4:6), experienced delight, anger and grief (John 11:35), affection and compassion (Mark 1:41). He developed from childhood to adulthood (Luke 2:52). He learned facts by observation and could be surprised and horrified. He bled and died. In addition, the Gospels witness to the significance of his prayer life, the reality of his temptations (Matthew 4:1-11; Luke 4:1-13). the importance he gave to Scripture and the role of community and religious tradition in his growth and development. He was fully human.

His love for God, compassion for all people, personal freedom and moral integrity reveal to us the kind of life that God intended for all human beings. He is the true man.

A unique human being

In the human life of Jesus we are confronted with the biblical witness to his perfection. He is the true image of God for, alone among all human beings, Jesus lived without sin (Hebrews 4:15). This must be understood in the context of his unique relationship with God the Father (John 10:30; John 14:6-14; John 14:31). The very closeness of that relationship exposed him more intensely to all the realities of temptation, to real conflict with the powers of darkness, to suffering, isolation and death (Mark 14:32-42). In that loving relationship he was able to resist temptation and remain sinless, even to the point of death on the Cross (1 Peter 2:21-25).