Friday, January 24, 2014

Fully Man

It truly is hard for me to comprehend the reality of Jesus being fully God and fully man. In most of the New Testament we see his godliness -- the miracles, prophesies, and judgements. In fact, almost every passage of the Gospel has been turned into a sermon that has been used to focus on Jesus being God incarnate.

So I love those passages when I can see human responses from the Son of God. they are true reminders that yes, he DID experience the things we do, and he DOES understand what we go through.

One of these passages is Mark 11:12 - 14

12 The next day when they came out from Bethany, He was hungry. 13   After seeing in the distance a fig tree with leaves, He went to find out if there was anything on it. When He came to it, He found nothing but leaves, because it was not the season for figs. 14   He said to it, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again!  ”   And His disciples heard it. (ESV)*

This passage has been referenced in many sermons to discuss the ened for Christians to actually bear fruit in their lives, not just to look like they are 'good church people'. It has also been interpreted as a parable of sorts to represent the Jewish nation -- the pharisees loved to look holy, but in reality were barren in their faith -- and as a result the nation withered up and died.

I am not a trained Bible scholar, so my take on this verse may be totally incorrect (and please tell me so if you ARE a Bible scholar -- I don't want to be communicating anything incorrectly). But it is one of my favorite passages because I see two human traits demonstrated here.

Jesus was hungry. I don't know if he skipped breakfast, if he'd stayed up all night and prayed, or if Mary and Martha cooked burned the eggs that morning (most likely he'd spent the night at their home). But he was hungry enough to seek out food from the side of the road -- and I bet everyone heard his stomach growl! I've never been starving, but I've felt hunger so strong that I wanted to stop somewhere and get food before going on my way. I like knowing that Jesus did, too.

The other thing that helps me realize Jesus' humanity is his response to reality. The tree promised some fruit by it's full leaves (which come out only once the fruit has started to produce), but it was barren. Jesus was disappointed, and so frustrated that he cursed the tree. Did he do this to teach a lesson to the disciples that they would only realize when they returned to Bethany that night and saw the withered tree? Or was it a statement of his frustration, born out of the gut-wrenching fear he was feeling about what faced him in just a few days in Jerusalem? We know he felt this fear from his prayers in the Garden of Gethsemane on the eve of his death. He knew what was facing him, and as a man he had to be a bit concerned about his ability to handle this.

I love getting to know Jesus better, and verses like these help me realize that he was more than just the Son of God, he was also the Son of Man, and as such he knows what we experience. Knowing that he was able to overcome the world gives me hope in those times when I am needy or frustrated. He's been there, and he will help me overcome those situations!

*B & H Publishing Group (2010-10-01). The Holy Bible: HCSB Digital Text Edition: Holman Christian Standard Bible Optimized for Digital Readers (Kindle Locations 52165-52169). B&H Publishing. Kindle Edition.

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