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December 20, 2021 7:00 am
He had a proven ancestral line was born. Like any other baby.
He grew, he came into adulthood. He had skills he had family he had half siblings the syndrome. The truth is humanity's reading of this is compelling. Why is recognizing the humanity of Christ so important to Christians. That's a question Pastor Don Greene will answer today on the true pulpit as he continues our series.
The most blessed birth represents part one of the message titled, the reality of Christ's humanity. Hello again I go right and Don folks often downplay this aspect of our Lord don't think will bill. I suppose that's true, but is certainly unfortunate to the extent that it is because the humanity of Christ is the guarantee that we have that he understands us, and sympathizes with us in our weaknesses, because he is shared in like human flesh with us, the humanity of Christ is among other things, a promise that Christ receives us sympathetically.
When we come to him in our time of need friends. I hope you'll stay with us and learn more as we study God's word today on the truth.
Thanks Don and Frank.
Let's join our teacher now in the true pulpit. Consider the reality of Christ's humanity, I invite you to first John chapter 1 beginning in verse one, and it's important for us to remember to keep in mind that the humanity of Christ was necessary for our salvation. First John chapter 1 the first four verses say this. What was from the beginning what we have heard what we have seen with our eyes. What we have looked at and touched with our hands concerning the word of life and the life was manifested, and we have seen and testify and proclaim to you the eternal life which was with the father and was manifested to us what we have seen and heard we proclaim to you also so that you too may have fellowship with us and indeed our fellowship is with the father and with his son Jesus Christ.
These things we write so that our joy may be made to complete now. John opens up this letter reminding and instructing and telling his readers and by extension, telling us that he is writing about things with which he has direct personal experience that through the physical senses by which we all acquire knowledge and information and make judgments about reality.
He says I have with my physical senses. I am the group of the apostles that preceded me, and of which I am the last remaining member we the apostolic circle we saw him we heard him with our own ears.
We touched him with our own hands and from the very beginning of the ministry of Christ.
The public ministry of Christ.
John says we were with him and that's just such an important reminder for us as we live in the midst of an age which is just increasingly hostile to Christian thought to Christian people to Christian ethics is just so important for us to remember that what we believe and what we proclaim are not old wives tales there not fables are not cleverly designed stories designed to amuse or entertain people with no what we believe what we what we know what we rest our hope on our firmly grounded realities that occurred in time and space. Jesus Christ really did come from heaven to live on earth, and that is verified by hundreds of contemporary witnesses who saw him who heard him and who even saw him in his resurrected state. First Corinthians chapter 15 says are over 500 witnesses at the time these things were undeniable. These things were verified by many, and John goes immediately to that point as he opens his letter now as he was writing he was writing to defend his readers from a developing heresy, known as Gnosticism.
And what Gnostics believed without getting too technical here is very simple and you can see why the reality of Christ's humanity would be so important to John as he wrote Gnostics believed that the material world was bad things were tangible. The human flesh. All that was was evil. It was something that was to be avoided and it was the realm of the spirit that was holy and good, so they had this antithesis. They had this dichotomy that was grounded in bad theology, and the implication of that for them was a Jesus Christ could not have been a real human being based on their prior presupposition that the material realm was morally bad.
That meant that Christ could not possibly according to them, Christ could not possibly have been a man because that would mean that he had contact with evil humanity and therefore he was not a real human being. They said well how do you account for what people saw during the lifetime of Jesus and well what these teachers developed was a heresy that is known as DOS, autism, and this is as technical as I'm going to get here tonight so just stay with me. DOS autism teaches that Jesus only seemed to have a body it's from the Greek verb.02 seem to to appear. DOS autism teaches that it only seemed like Jesus had a human body, but he really didn't because if he did he would had contact with evil and that wasn't the case and so this was just all ate a big charade. It was an illusion. It wasn't what it appeared to be in Jesus therefore used in this illusion of appearing like a human being because he was a spiritual messenger who had come to enlighten them now that sounds kinda goofy and you'd be right. It is kinda goofy. It has nothing to do with the truth. But there's a persuasion about that. It is the nature of the fallen human heart to love esoteric things, at least for some people to be drawn away into mystical spiritual realms that where there's a secret knowledge to be had in and all of that and so Gnosticism appealed to that love for secret knowledge that it just seems to be endemic to the fallen human condition. What John is doing here is he is taking a a spirit inspired Cannon to blow that whole realm of thought apart and he's giving a forceful defense of the real humanity of Christ, and he says look. This was no illusion. This was not a figment of our imaginations. I as part of the apostolic circle we saw him with our own eyes we heard him. We touched him with our hands. Christ was no phantom he was no figment of our imagination. Remember speaking as in the sense in which John is communicating here and using the first person to do that. John saying remember that that we were with him for a period of three years. If this had been a figment of our imagination then it would become obvious, but there were 12 of us appointed disciples who were with him for 36 months and and we walked with him and we saw him and we had every opportunity to observe him personally and up close. We did and he was real. The idea that he was some phantom and that this was only an illusion is totally false and I'm here is an apostle John says to set the matter straight. And that's what he does as he goes through the book of first John, what we want to do is to take a look at some of the gospel.
Passages that would verify the assertion that John makes about the reality of Christ's humanity, and what this does is it gives us the fuller context of what we celebrate as we remember the birth of Christ, that his humanity, as he was a babe in his mother's arm led to a real human life that developed, it became an adult life and that his death on the cross for men was real and that it was a genuine human life that was offered on the cross for our salvation. One of the things that I find really fascinating about this whole topic as you look at the humanity of Christ is to recognize that the proof of it is forceful in the incidental, unassuming way in which human things are spoken about when it relates to Christ and so we see these things as will unfold them here as we go along. What's the first aspect of the human life of Christ that we could say number one.
He had a human lifespan. What I mean by that is that he was born he lived and he died and that's what were talking about here, and how do we see this human lifespan will first of all, we won't turn to these passages. Not all the passages here this evening, but think about this and I think is amazing. In Matthew chapter 1.
And in Luke chapter 3 you find records of the human ancestry of Christ.
Luke tracing through the line of Mary going back to Adam himself. Matthew showing the royal lineage and ending with the supposedly legal father of Jesus, not his human father, but ending in the line of Joseph, Matthew gives the legal line through Joseph, Luke gives the physical connection through Mary and all of this, indicating that just like you and I have parents and grandparents and great-grandparents and going all the way back however far you want to trace it. It was the same for Jesus his identity with our humanity was was like that his mother had a recorded genealogy that could be traced is legal father Joseph had the same thing through a different line and this tells us that his humanity was real. He had a demonstrable ancestral line just like you and I do now. Secondly, not only did he have an ancestral line.
There was the whole matter of his birth, his birth look at Luke chapter 2.
As we look at a familiar passage here and were not going to spend any time on any one particular point. Just looking at an overview Luke chapter 2, I just want to point out one thing about the familiar birth narrative to you in Luke chapter 2 will pick it up in verse three everyone was on his way to register for the census, each to his own city. Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to today it to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David in order to register along with Mary, who was engaged to him and was with child. And of course she was carrying our Lord Jesus.
At the time there was a real pregnancy that was fulfilled. A supernatural one a virgin conception, to be sure, but she carried him to full term. Like any other human mother did is and carries her baby she was with child, and then in verse six. You see, while they were there, the days were completed for her to give birth and she gave birth to her firstborn son and she wrapped him in cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the end all I want you to see were keeping things really simple on the surface here is that Mary gave birth to a real baby in the normal manner of the day she gave birth to a real baby in the normal manner of the day. What does that tell us for our thing is that Christ's humanity was real.
This wasn't a figment you know thing about it this way. This idea that Christ was an illusion of phantom or something like that. Try telling that to Mary after she delivered him those of you that have borne a few children, one or two or three or however many try telling Mary that that was a phantom that that she delivered. It's not gonna happen.
His birth was real, it's a sign of the reality of his humanity. Now going along and Scripture doesn't give us a a full biography of Christ doesn't give us a year-by-year account of his life. That's not the purpose of the Gospels to do that as though they were a historical biography in the sense that were used to reading today, but it gives us enough to help us realize that and enough highlights enough points to realize that there was a development in the life of Christ.
And so we see his ancestral line we see his birth and then we see that he had normal human growth and development normal sheet human growth and development you develop physically, he developed intellectually in his human nature. He grew physically. He grew taller.
He grew stronger. His mind developed and he increased in wisdom and the grace of God was upon him. So we see them growing from infant into adolescence with verse 42 when he became 12. They went up there.
According to the custom of the feast, and as they were returning after spending the full number of days the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but his parents were unaware of it. He was 12 years old. He was traveling with his parents. This is not a phantom. That's doing that this is not a ghost. This is not an apparition. This is a real human boy growing according to human development and Scripture records that and shows us this development as we go along. So you just see this picture of his growth you you get enough snapshots of these incidents during his youth to help you realize that he was growing like any other human baby did and he grew in reality, somewhere along the line he learned carpentry from his father, Joseph, not his biological father but is legal father, Joseph Mark chapter 6 go back to the gospel of Mark, Matthew, Mark, Luke go back to Mark in chapter 6, and now we are in the midst of his teaching ministry in Mark chapter 6 verse one we read this, Jesus went out from there and came into his hometown and his disciples followed him.
When the Sabbath came, he began to teach in the synagogue and the many listeners were astonished saying where did this man get these things and what is this wisdom given to him and such miracles as these performed by his hand. Notice the struggle that they were having it. They said who is this man. Where did he get this ability. He's a man. How how can he do miracles like this and they go on in their perplexity deepens as they remember the history of his prior life in verse three it says is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joseph's and Judas and Simon are not his sisters here with us and they took offense at him. The only point here being is that their struggle in understanding him there at a human level, their struggle in believing what was happening was that they knew where he came from. They knew his family and by every appearance. He looked like any other man. His humanity was full it was real. He had lived among them enough for them to say I know his family situation. I know his occupation. I know who his father is everything that you and I would recognize about one another, knowing each other's something about employment a little bit about where we came from the hometowns.
All of that was true of Jesus simply indicating that these were aspects of the reality of his humanity. He had a proven ancestral line. He was born like any other baby. According to the manner the day he grew he came into adulthood. He had skills he had family he had half siblings. These things are only true of his humanity is real.
This is compelling and it's only the start of everything that we sit look at to to know the reality of his human life now. What else can we say remember what were laying out here is that he had a human lifespan ancestral rebirth growth and development. Finally, we see that he had a he had a human death, in the manner of thousands like him in the day.
What we find. As we read the gospel accounts is that there was a finality to his human life span. Roman soldiers who were trained in this recognized his death and when they pierced his side. What came out. Physical bodily fluids flowed from his pierced sides, phantoms and ghosts don't do that fluid and blood doesn't come out the ghost comes out of real humanity and the piercing of his side. In addition to fulfilling prophecy was an indication that his humanity was real. Now the Roman soldiers were trying to prove that point and what they did, they were just doing their job and making sure he was really dead and that there wasn't going to be any problems when he was supposed to be, you know, executed but in Their Uncoerced Way, God proved another way, the reality and the genuineness of the humanity of Christ.
And so, from ancestry to birth to growth through human life to occupation to family associations to recognition by his contemporaries as a man, even to his death. Every aspect you see these marks of the reality of his humanity.
He had a genuine human life span that is recorded for us in Scripture. Now, so our Savior, our Lord Jesus when we say that the Word became flesh, God became a man, God in human flesh.
What were saying is, is that this was a real complete identification with our humanity. He had a real complete genuine human nature that was fully like ours except for the presence of sin. Everything else about his human existence was imperfect identity with hours. Secondly, there's more that we can say about this.
He had human needs.
He had human needs during his time on earth that were only going to touch on these issues ever so briefly just again just giving us sample a taste of these things and and to recognize that the humanity of Christ is verified force in Scripture by multiple perspectives by by many different ways that you look at it at any way that you would want to look at it you find the humanity of Christ affirmed in the clear teaching of Scripture. Now, as human beings we have needs and Christ felt those needs himself.
First of all, and here you can turn to the gospel of Matthew. If you would Matthew chapter 4 the spirit had led them into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And what happened there. Verse two after he had fasted 40 days and 40 nights. He then became hungry, he experienced hunger verse three the tempter came and said to him, if you are the son of God, command that these stones become bread. He was tempted to disobey God by the devil he experienced human hunger he experienced temptation without falling into sin the experience that the sense of temptation eat the appeal to sin against God, was presented to him in his humanity turned to the gospel of John chapter 4 and you'll see something else. He was tempted in. He was tired. He experienced human fatigue and experience. Also, human thirst, as we'll see here.
John chapter 4 in verses six and seven where he meets the woman from Samaria and discloses his messianic reality to her and John chapter 4 verse five. Let's start there. So we read the full sentence so we came to the city of Samaria called sidecar near the parcel of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph and Jacob's well was there. So Jesus now remember I told you how incidental these testimonies to his humanity art. Here's a just and incidental commented it almost seemed to be a throwaway statement, but it's not. Verse six so Jesus being wearied from his journey was sitting. Thus, by the well. It was about the sixth hour. This one who, at another time in his life had been hungry had been tempted. Now we see him.
Fatigue see him tired see him feeling the effects of the journey of the day and then in verse seven we see that he's thirsty and so we see that Christ is feeling, the limitations feeling the need of humanity. Just like you and I do so, Jesus had a human lifespan and a real human birth already. You realize this man was just like you and me, minus the sin nature. Next time pastor Don Greene will look at our Lord's emotions as he presents part two of the message titled, the reality of Christ's humanity. So join is that here on the truth pulpit but right now Don's back here in studio with some closing words. You know, friend.
I listen to a lot of Christian radio. Myself and I know how the game is played at this stage of the program.
People have something to sell to you or they make a strong ask for your support will that's not what I want to do today at all.
I just want you to know that our perspective on this ministry. Is this the truth pulpit exists for you to minister God's word to you. You do not exist in order to make this ministry possible. We trust the Lord for his provision and is been very generous to us. So please know that we love you, that we want you to benefit from our program and we have no expectations of what you're going to do in response. We just want you to hear God's word receive it, understand it and obey it, and we trust that God will bless you and us as a process exploits. Thank you, Don and Fred.
We hope you'll visit the truth. Pulpit.com soon I will write. See you next time. For more from the truthful