The Unity of Jesus’ Person

Pastor Jeff Struecker

Let’s start talking about the union between Jesus’ human and divine sides. It’s called the unity of Jesus’s person. And basically, the Bible is saying that Jesus is both God and man, and we’re going to tackle how that’s possible today. 

Each week we do this memory verse, and it’s not designed to be a ritual. It’s not supposed to be legalistic. We’re trying to put God’s Word in our heart and hide it there so that it will light up our path when we walk down the way. We hide it in our hearts so that when we need it, it’s available for us, and we don’t have to pull out our phones and open up a bible app. 

The guy who wrote the book of John was an eyewitness who was able to see Jesus with his eyes. Sat down and ate meals with him, could touch Jesus with his hands and hear him with his ears. John wants you to understand who this guy was and describes that for us in John 1:14. 

Memory Verse

Now, did you notice the word “Word” in there? I know that capitalization is a little bit awkward because it’s not a proper name. It’s John’s way of saying that the Word became flesh and dwelt among us. That, in the beginning, was the Word, the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 

John is shamelessly saying, Jesus is God, and he became flesh and dwelt among us. And then John says this, we beheld him, and he had Glory and truth. 

John is saying that was a man in front of us, but that man was also God, and many people over the centuries really struggled with this concept of the deity of Jesus Christ. 

How can a man be God? How can God, who is powerful, be constrained or limited to human flesh? For hundreds of years, the church wrestled through controversies about the two natures of Christ. And here are some of the heresies about Jesus’ nature. The word heresy means false doctrine. Now, maybe these guys didn’t set out to deliberately distort people. But what happened is people just struggled with this concept. These foreign words below described the heresy because the words refer to the person who taught the heresy.

  • Eutychianism

  • Nestorianism

  • Apollinarianism

The first is Eutychianism, a man named Eutyches who had this idea that Jesus was part God and part man. But he wasn’t all the way God and all the way man. 

So then there was another guy who took that idea and took it a half step further. A guy by the name of Nestorius and is referred to as Nestorianism. It says there’s a 50% God and 50% man in Jesus, and sometimes Jesus was acting out of his 50% man side, sometimes Jesus was acting out of his 50% God side, but he really wasn’t all the way man and all the way God at the same time. 

Then there was a guy by the name of Apollinaris. He came up with the idea that became known as Apollinarianism, which is that Jesus was God and he was a man. Still, he didn’t have a soul because men have souls. God is spirit, and maybe he was all the way God, but he wasn’t all the way man because he doesn’t have a soul like you and me. 

The problem with that is what defines a man or a woman; what makes humans different from all other creatures is our soul. And for Jesus to be man, he really had to have a soul. For hundreds of years, good, well-meaning brothers and sisters in the church struggled with these heresies until a Latin phrase helped people understand this concept of Jesus’ nature. It’s called the Hypostatic union. 

Hypostatic means Jesus was all the way God and all the way man. And these two things weren’t different or distinct; they were in union with one another. So he was 100% God at the same time that he was 100% man. And it was possible through this.  

Today, I want to ask you a question, and I hope this question blesses and encourages you. Here it is:

A Challenge

You see, the name Jesus means Yahweh rescues, and he’s 100% God and 100% man. He came to Earth for one purpose. He repeatedly says, “I came to seek and to save those that are lost.” What was that? What does that say about you?