How can Jesus be 100% God and 100% man simultaneously?

Pastor Jeff Struecker

As we start to study about who Jesus is. The theological topic we call Christology (the study of Jesus Christ). We talked about his names, titles, and how the Bible refers to him. Even Jesus’s favorite title for himself. Last week, we said Jesus was 100% God, and some false religions say, “He was a pretty good man, but he wasn’t really God.” Now last week, we nailed it down. He was 100% God.

This week we’re going to look at Jesus’ nature, how Jesus is human and how Jesus is God. We’re tying this week into last week and showing you this is the complete picture of Jesus. And what I ask you to do each week as a church is to commit a bible verse to memory. (John 1:14)

Memory Verse

This verse is a reference to Jesus. The Word is also a reference to Jesus. It’s a title for Jesus, and what the Bible is saying at the beginning of John 1:14 is Jesus became flesh, and John, who walked with Jesus on those dusty streets of Jerusalem, said, we beheld him, I could touch him and see him and hear him with my own ears. That verse is essential because, over the years, people have been confused and taught heresy about how Jesus can be all the way god. We learned last week that some of those heresies were not deliberately intended to disrupt people’s faith. It was just brilliant minds struggling to figure out how he could be God and man in the same person at the same time. Here are three ideas, and I will try to describe how these ideas have distorted the humanity and the physical nature of Jesus. 

  • Docetism

  • Apollinarianism

  • Kenotic theory

The first word Docetism states that Christ was God, he looked like a man and seemed like a man, but he wasn’t a man. But John, the follower of Jesus and who wrote John 1:14, said, “I watched that man eat food. I saw that man sweat and got tired. I could touch and hear him and was in his presence.”  The next word is called Apollinarianism. There was a teacher in the church by the name of Apollinaris. He had some followers and was taught that Jesus didn’t have a man’s soul; he was physical, but he didn’t have a man’s soul. Now, those first two heresies have been around for many, many centuries at the same time. 

The last one came around about 75 years ago. This idea is called the Kenotic theory. Some people thought Jesus was all the way God, but he was less, but he wasn’t all the way man. But now it’s time for me to ask you a question, and it’s a question I want you to spend some time thinking about before you answer it. 

A Challenge

You see, if Jesus was a man and Jesus’s death on the cross was a sacrifice made to God on your behalf so that your sins could be forgiven. Now, you and I have to answer the question: Does God approve of human sacrifice?