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Lesson 3: The Reality of His Humanity *

Introduction: A friend sent me a video clip from an Oprah television show in which Oprah argued vigorously that there are many different paths to truth and heaven. She is not alone. This is the philosophy of the day - everyone has an equally valid opinion. The one exception would be if you did not agree. In that case your opinion would not be a valid "path." The Bible does not accept the "diverse opinions are equally right" theory. Rather, it teaches that you are either right or wrong. There is no neutral ground. One subject on which you are either right or wrong is the subject of this week's lesson: the humanity of Jesus. The Bible claims that Jesus is fully human and (as we studied last week) fully God. Let's dive into our study this week of the human "side" of Jesus!

  1. The Importance of Acknowledging His Humanity

    1. Read 1 John 4:1. What does this text say about the Oprah theory that all beliefs are equally valid? (It says we need to "test" theories to see if any are from God. A lot of falsehood is out there from people who claim to speak for God.)

    2. Read 1 John 4:2-3. What is the basis for deciding whose opinion is Godly and whose opinion represents that of the antichrist? (Whether the person acknowledges that Jesus "came in the flesh.")

    3. Read 1 John 4:4-6. Would you expect the world to listen to you? Would you expect them to think your path is "valid?"

      1. How many people watch Oprah and listen to her opinion? Does this text explain why? (The world listens to the viewpoint of the world.)

      2. How can the world and the church have such different views? Do they not use the same logic? (Notice that verse 4 states that the "One" in you is greater than the one in the world. For you Oprah fans, I do not know her views about Jesus. I'm just looking at what I heard her say about the "many paths" approach to truth.)

      3. How have we "overcome" the world through Jesus? (Jesus triumphed over sin and the grave! Part of this victory is that Jesus came in the flesh.)

        1. Why is Jesus' humanity so important? Why is it important to His victory over sin? Let's turn to that next.

  2. The Importance of Jesus' Humanity

    1. Read Hebrews 2:10. How can Hebrews talk about making Jesus "perfect?" He is God. What imperfection could He have?

    2. Read Romans 5:12-14. How did sin enter the world? (By the sin of Adam and Eve.)

      1. Notice that Adam is a pattern "of the one to come." Who is that?

    3. Read Romans 5:15-17. How is Jesus a counter-point to Adam? (Adam brought us sin and death. Jesus brought us salvation and eternal life.)

    4. Read Romans 5:18-19. Why does Romans concentrate on the disobedience of Adam and the obedience of Jesus? (Adam and Eve had a test: would they obey God? Would they believe and trust God, or would they distrust God and want to depend on themselves by trying to become like God? Adam and Eve failed the test. The logical result of this text is that Jesus took up where Adam left off. It is that reason Adam is called the "pattern" for Jesus. Jesus came to earth as a human, He believed and trusted His Father. He did not sin by disobedience and distrust. He did not sin even though He suffered.)

      1. What would be the point of all of this? (If God created a law that could not be obeyed then how can we be blamed for our sins? Sin would be a natural, inherent part of life. We would always live in a world plagued by sin and the suffering that results from sin. Jesus proved that sin is not necessary.)

    5. Considering the task before Jesus, can you now answer the question how a perfect God became ( Hebrews 2:10) "perfect" through suffering? (He became the perfect substitute. He became the perfect "Second Adam." He became the perfect "Lamb of God." His perfect life, His suffering for our sins, His death on our behalf gives us the opportunity for life eternal!)

    6. Read Hebrews 2:14-15. How does Jesus' death destroy the devil? (It takes away from Satan the power of death. When Adam sinned, we were all consigned to die for our sins. When Jesus showed that humans could live in obedience to God, when Jesus took our sins on His shoulders, when He died on our place for our sins, He took away Satan's power over us. He took away Satan's authority to insist on our death.)

    7. Read Hebrews 2:17. Why did Jesus have to be made like us "in every way?" (This is the key to the importance of understanding the reality of Jesus' humanity. He could not have stood in the place of Adam and defeated sin (won where Adam lost) if He did not become human.)

      1. Why is Jesus compared to a "merciful" High Priest? (The High Priest in the Old Testament sanctuary service offered the blood of the sacrifice in atonement for the sins of the people.)

      2. Read Hebrews 9:11-14. How is Jesus our High Priest? (Jesus offers His blood on our behalf for our sins in the sanctuary in heaven. Since He understands the pull of sin first-hand, He is merciful to us.)

    8. Read Hebrews 4:15-16. How could Jesus be tempted in every way that we are if He was not fully human?

      1. Was Jesus tested like we are or like Adam and Eve were? (It appears from the Genesis account that Adam and Eve had only one temptation. (Or at least one testing time before they sinned.) I have tests all the time. So did Jesus.)

        1. Let's look at a practical application of this. If Jesus was tested like me, but did not sin, do I have an excuse for sinning? (Adam and Eve were created perfect. The sense I have from Romans 5 is that Jesus came as Adam - in that Jesus was not predisposed to sin.)

        2. What would be my goal in trying to live a perfect life? Why would I want to do that? (All the texts in Hebrews that we have been reading which reveal Jesus' work in heaven as our High Priest, covering our sins with His blood, make it clear that we are not entering heaven by our own works. We should not aim to live a "perfect" life to enter heaven. On the other hand, Jesus went through all His suffering and pain to defeat sin. Why would I want to be involved in the very thing which Jesus defeated at a very great cost to Himself?)

  3. The Hope

    1. My daughter's mini-van just had a flat tire. It ruined the tire, so I ordered a new tire shipped to the gas station which had her wheel and ruined tire. Because we were going on a trip, it would be a few days before she could get back to the station and have the new tire mounted. This caused me some concern that the gas station might think she had lost interest and throw away her special(but not expensive)aluminum wheel. Once the gas station received the new tire I had less concern about the station thinking we were not coming back. What parallel do you see between my "tire thinking" and what we have been discussing about Jesus' sacrifice on our behalf?

    2. Read 1 Corinthians 11:23-26. What does this text suggest is the connection between our hope in Jesus' Second Coming and His death on our behalf? (After going through all of this - becoming a human, living a perfect life, suffering a terrible death, conquering death, do you think He is going to walk away from what He did?)

      1. Who does Jesus seem to worry about losing interest - Him or us? (Jesus considers His sacrifice on our behalf to be the key event to give us assurance He is coming again.)

    3. Friend, do you believe that Jesus was fully human as well as fully God? If, in His humanity, He made it possible for you to live eternally free from sin, death and suffering, would you be willing to share that fantastic news with someone else?

  4. Next week: The Wisdom of His Teachings.

* Copr. 2008, Bruce N. Cameron, J.D. All scripture references are to the New International Version (NIV), copr. 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society, unless otherwise noted. Quotations from the NIV are used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers. Suggested answers are found within parentheses. The lesson assumes the teacher uses a blackboard or some other visual aid.

© 2021 Bruce N. Cameron, J.D.
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