Q&A: Jesus is still human after all these years ..., or is he?

Jesus is still human after all these years ..., or is he?

Question

I want to ask you a question about the humanity of Jesus. I had heard a reformed pastor that preached about the eternity of human nature of Jesus. I think this idea is wrong. Is this idea from what's heresy? Thank you.

Answer

After his resurrection Jesus appeared to the disciples and others clothed in perfect humanity (1 Cor. 15:1-4). As is evidenced in John 20:24-29 Jesus, after his resurrection, was/is still fully human having scars yet in his hands and feet, etc. John 20:27 says, "Then [Jesus] said to Thomas, Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe." Jesus is forever the God-man - fully God and fully man. Though he is in all his glory, he is still a man - see Revelation 1.

Note what Acts 1:9-11 states:

As [the disciples] were looking on, [Jesus] was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes, and said, "Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven."

Jesus ascended with a human body (cf. Col. 3:1). He sits now in God's presence clothed in his humanity. Jesus will return "in the same way as you saw him go into heaven" - clothed in his humanity.

In addition, Paul in Philippians 2:5-8 speaks about Jesus taking our likeness. However, just as surely as he took it, so he also keeps it. In Philippians 3:20-21, Paul writes:

Our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.

Jesus did not shed his human skin like a snake. He still has a body - a "glorious body," a perfected human body, a resurrection body (1 Cor. 15:35-58), a body like we have not yet experienced but one day will experience when he transforms us.

Moreover, Paul also makes reference to Jesus' continuing humanity in 1 Timothy 2:5. He says, "There is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus." Here Paul is writing after Jesus' ascension to heaven and he still refers to Jesus in the present as "the man Christ Jesus;" and he would surely know (Gal. 1:11-24)!

Jesus' work as the perfect mediator between God and man (cf. 1 Cor. 8:6) is not only dependent on his actual physical and literal death at the Cross, but also in his continuing humanity (cf. Rom. 5:10; 8:34; Heb. 7:25; 1 John 2:1). In his humanness (Matt. 1:21), we are united to him by faith, and only in him are we united to God (cf. John 1:14).

Related Links:

The Full Humanity of Jesus: What Kind of Man Was Jesus?

Answer by Dr. Joseph R. Nally, Jr.

Dr. Joseph R. Nally, Jr., D.D., M.Div. is the Theological Editor at Third Millennium Ministries (Thirdmill).