Jesus Christ: Fully God, Fully Man
by Michael Green
November 13, 2015
John 11:28-44 (ESV): 28 When she had said this, she went and called her sister Mary, saying in private, “The Teacher is here and is calling for you.” 29 And when she heard it, she rose quickly and went to him. 30 Now Jesus had not yet come into the village, but was still in the place where Martha had met him. 31 When the Jews who were with her in the house, consoling her, saw Mary rise quickly and go out, they followed her, supposing that she was going to the tomb to weep there. 32 Now when Mary came to where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet, saying to him, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” 33 When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in his spirit and greatly troubled. 34 And he said, “Where have you laid him?” They said to him, “Lord, come and see.” 35 Jesus wept. 36 So the Jews said, “See how he loved him!” 37 But some of them said, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man also have kept this man from dying?” 38 Then Jesus, deeply moved again, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone lay against it. 39 Jesus said, “Take away the stone.” Martha, the sister of the dead man, said to him, “Lord, by this time there will be an odor, for he has been dead four days.” 40 Jesus said to her, “Did I not tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?” 41 So they took away the stone. And Jesus lifted up his eyes and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. 42 I knew that you always hear me, but I said this on account of the people standing around, that they may believe that you sent me.” 43 When he had said these things, he cried out with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out.” 44 The man who had died came out, his hands and feet bound with linen strips, and his face wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.”
I love reading about this event because, embedded within the same passage, we see Jesus’ humanity and divinity clearly demonstrated. Now, at the outset, let’s establish that anything good comes from God in heaven. So, here what I mean by His humanity is that He was clearly one of us. Jesus suffered as we suffer. He got hungry as we get hungry. When Jesus was thirsty, He was really thirsty. And, in this passage, we see that He experienced emotion as we experience emotion, with one key difference: His emotions weren’t muddied by a sinful nature. That being said, God has designed humanity with a heart, mind and will, all of which were exhibited in Christ.
I think we sometimes picture Jesus as a stoic figure that slapped grand eternal truths on problems that people found overwhelming in the present. While that is certainly true in part, specifically in the fact that He never lost His eternal mindset or sight of the bigger picture, it is false if you carry it to the level of stoicism and a lack of an ability to empathize, like a rendition of our Savior found in some Byzantine painting. We see in this event that Jesus is “deeply moved in his spirit and greatly troubled” at the weeping of Mary and those around her. Jesus knows everything. Jesus is completely in tune with the purposes of God in the cosmos. He is God! Yet, He is “deeply moved” at the weeping of those He loves and “greatly troubled” by the situation. And, then, as if that was in doubt, we see in verse 35 that He actually begins to weep. Can you see the Son of God weeping? Can you see this grown God-Man crying, the very embodiment of knowledge and wisdom brought to tears?
Now, if weeping is the zenith of Christ’s humanity portrayed in this passage, then what better way to exhibit the divinity of Christ than raising someone from the dead? Lazarus had been dead for four days as Martha so descriptively reminds Jesus. But, Jesus is divine. He is fully God. So, death, along with everything else in the universe, bows to Him. As God breathed life into the dust of the ground and made man in the beginning, Jesus, in a word, breathes life into Lazarus’s dead bones, resurrecting him. And, as Jesus told Martha in verses 25 and 26, He can do that for anyone that trusts in Him.
Thus, having been reminded about both the human and divine nature of Christ, I can’t think of a more appropriate way to conclude than the passage below from the book of Hebrews. I certainly can’t say it any better than the God-breathed, life-giving Word.
Hebrews 4:14-16 (ESV): 14 Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.