Jesus’ Humanity and Divinity – Another Look
Jesus’ humanity is referred to in Revelation as:
1. “Male child” and “firstborn of the dead.” The male child of Rev 12 refers to Jesus’ birth and incarnation.
2. God cannot die, but humans are born and die.
- a. Jesus experienced birth, death and afterwards resurrection.
- b. He was truly human. However, he was not a sinner.
3. Revelation calls Jesus the Holy One and the True One (Rev 3:7), which is a title for God (Rev 6:10).
4. John doesn’t say, like in other places or like other NT authors (2 Cor 5:21; 1 Pet 2:22: 1 John 3:5). Jesus did not sin.
5. Jesus was addressed as the Holy One of God by demons and his disciples (Mark 1:24; Luke 4:34; John 6:69).
- a. These verses point out Jesus’ sinlessness as a human being while stressing his divinity. “He is the embodiment of absolute sanctity and truth . . . .”
- b. Revelation presents an exalted Christology.
Revelation stresses Jesus’ humanity, a number of the designations and titles used for Jesus’ highlight divinity, some because Jesus shares them with the Father. Revelation speaks of others because they point to a divine being or are attributed to God in the OT:
- The “True/Amen”
- “Son of man”
- “Son of God”
- “Word of God”
- “Alpha and Omega”
- “First and Last”
- “Beginning and End”
I like the way Erickson put it when he talks about the complexity of the human-divine nature of Jesus. He writes:
“It is also helpful to think of Jesus as a very complex person. We know some people who have straightforward personalities. One comes to know them fairly quickly, and they may therefore be quite predictable. Other persons have much more complex personalities. They may have a wider range of experience, a more varied educational background, or a more complex emotional makeup. When we think we know them quite well, another facet of their personality appears that we did not previously know existed. Now if we imagine complexity expanded to an infinite degree, then we have a bit of a glimpse into the “personality of Jesus,” as it were, his two natures in one person. For Jesus’ personality included the qualities and attributes that constitute deity. There were within his person dimensions of experience, knowledge, and love not found in human beings . . . the person of Jesus was not simply an amalgam of human and divine qualities merged into some sort of tertium quid. Rather, his was a personality that in addition to the characteristics of divine nature had all the qualities or attributes of perfect, sinless human nature as well”.
What human, pea brain, would seek to rob God of His divine nature? CM
- James D. G. Dunn, “Christology” in The Anchor Bible Dictionary, edited by David Noel Freedman (New York: Doubleday, 1992), I:987.
- Millard J. Erickson, Christian Theology, second edition (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1998), 754.
- “Tertium quid” --- “a third thing that is indefinite and undefined but is related to two definite or known things”. Historically, Tertium quid refers to an unidentified third element that is in combination with two known ones. The phrase is associated with alchemy. It is Latin for "third something", a translation of the Greek triton ti. The Greek phrase was used by Plato, and by Irenæus.