I’ve been working on writing a catechism, a distillation of the faith into concise questions and answers with brief supporting scriptures that could be the starting point for a conversation.
Cancer has gotten me off writing these for a few months now but, back by semi-popular demand, I hope to get back in the swing of things.
You can find the previous posts here.
III. The Son
9. What do we mean by saying Jesus was ‘truly human?’
We do not mean that Jesus was as fully human as you or me.
Jesus, as the God-Man, has no human existence apart from his divine existence and our humanity is not like that at all.
While it’s often proclaimed in sermons on Christmas and about the Cross that Jesus being ‘truly human’ means he’s as human as you or me, to suppose that Jesus is every bit as human as you or me might be correct in terms of the biological bits- if you’re a man- but, beyond biology, such a suggestion bends backwards the entire trajectory of Christian salvation.
The mission of Jesus from the Father is not the mission to be tortured and crucified; what the Father wished is that Jesus be human, truly and authentically human.
The grammar of Christian salvation is not that Jesus, the truly human one, is just like us, who are sinners through and through; the grammar of salvation is that, through Jesus, the truly human one, and by the power of Spirit and Sacraments, we might become as human as him.
We are not his aspiration.
He is ours.
To be fully, truly human- this is the command Jesus perceived to have been placed upon him by the Father. The fact that to be fully human meets with rejection, betrayal, torture and crucifixion is not something God the Father planned but is a consequence of the world as we’ve constructed it.
To be fully human is to love and to love, in the world as we’ve made it, is to suffer.
So then, to say that Jesus is ‘fully human’ is to confess that Jesus is the first human after a long list of begats in which God’s original intent for humanity came to fruition.
To live a fully human life, as Jesus does, is to embody the greatest commandment: to love self, neighbors and God without qualificaiton or fear.
From the very beginning this was the intent for humans made in the image of 3-Personned God, who just is Love and Friendship.
To profess that Jesus is fully human then is not to argue that he was really like us.
To profess that Jesus is fully human is to express the hope that we can become as human as him.