The Person of Christ Part III: Jesus of Nazareth
In the last two weeks, we have seen that Mark presents Jesus to us not as a mere man, nor as some magnificent creature, but as the very Creator Himself, the Lord of all. But the denial of Jesus’ deity was not the only, nor indeed the most prevalent, error perpetuated in the early church. For there were some willing to grant that God Himself had been present in Jesus – but they were unwilling to grant that Jesus had been fully human. In various ways they denied not the deity of Jesus but his humanity. The Christ was not really a man, had not really assumed human flesh.
What was it that prompted these men to deny the humanity of Christ? Was there lack of evidence that Jesus was human? You may know, for instance, that one of the tactics of atheists like Richard Dawkins is to deny that Jesus ever existed. Frank Zindler, for example, concluded in The American Atheist in 1998, “I now feel it is more reasonable to suppose [Jesus] never existed.” There is, he maintains, a lack of evidence for the existence of Jesus. Is this what was motivating the early denial of Jesus’ humanity as well? Today we’ll find out as we explore the significance of Jesus’ humanity.
Stuart Bryan is the pastor of Trinity Church. He and his wife, Paige, have seven children, four homegrown, two adopted from the lovely land of Guatemala, and one adopted from Ukraine. Stuart earned his B.A. in Religion from Whitworth College and his M.A. in Theological and Historical Studies from Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando, Florida.