How can Jesus be a human person and God at the same time?

Pastor Jeff Struecker

We have just started studying the huge theological topic of the person and the work of Christ. Who Jesus is and what the Bible teaches us about him. We’re going to start talking about the person of Jesus, and if I can be honest, this question has challenged people for thousands of years because when they begin to ask, “Is Jesus really God?”

Yes, of course, the Bible says he is absolutely God. Hey, I thought Jesus was also a man. Yes, the Bible tells us that he is 100% man. That’s where people start to struggle. How can he be 100% God and 100% man at the same time? Both of these things are true. It’s not like Jesus was 50% God from the waist up and 50% man from the waist down. No, he was all the way God and all the way man at the same time.

And I want to help you learn a little bit about how the church had to wrestle through this question. Now, before we get into some theological words here, I want us to go to a key verse from the Bible. So as a church, would you memorize Colossians chapter 2:9? Here’s what it says.

Memory Verse

I want you to notice something about that verse. It just said that all of God’s nature and God is so big and so amazing that our small minds can’t understand it. But it says that all of that dwells inside Jesus. But did you notice the word bodily? It says it dwells inside a man with a physical form. That man, of course, is Jesus. And I’ll be honest. The church has wrestled with this question for a long time. In fact, for hundreds of years. The church asked, “How can God, who is infinite and God who is so big that we can’t even look at him with our own eyes? How can He become a man? And here’s what the great fathers of the church determined.

These two things are happening both at the same time, and one doesn’t pull away or doesn’t minimize the other. So when the church fathers wrestled with Jesus’s two natures. They came away with these four words:

  • Unconfused

  • Unchangeable

  • Indivisible

  • Inescapable

First is unconfused, meaning that becoming man didn’t make him less of a God, and God didn’t become less of a man. Those two things were not confused when God became a man in the form of Jesus. The next word is unchangeable: although God became a man, God’s nature remained unchangeable, even when he was on Earth in bodily form, as Jesus walked among us. The third thing is indivisible. You cannot separate Jesus’s deity from his humanity. You can’t separate that he was 100% God from 100% man, which is very dangerous because, for hundreds of years, Christians believed that while he was a man, he wasn’t God, and a lot of terrible heresies came out as a result of this. And then fourth says that they are inescapable, that for Jesus to be the perfect, sinless sacrifice, God’s son would have had to be both 100% God And 100% man.

And I’m about to ask you a tough question about this, a question that I want you to think about, and a question I want you to talk about.

A Challenge

Notice the quotation marks around the word “born”? If God has no beginning, middle, and end. Became flesh and took on flesh, then how on Earth is it that God who has no starting point can be born of a virgin? Hey, I’m a guy who believes that Mary was a virgin and this was a supernatural act of God. Still, I’ll be honest; even I struggle to understand how an eternal God can be born of a physical act, like the delivery, the labor, and the delivery Mary underwent.