Monday, July 29, 2013

The God-Man Youth Sunday School Lesson

Is Jesus God or is He a Man?

Jesus claims to be God:
John 10:22-33 - 22Then came the Feast of Dedication at Jerusalem. It was winter, 23and Jesus was in the temple area walking in Solomon's Colonnade. 24The Jews gathered around him, saying, "How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly." 25Jesus answered, "I did tell you, but you do not believe. The miracles I do in my Father's name speak for me, 26but you do not believe because you are not my sheep. 27My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. 28I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. 29My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father's hand. 30I and the Father are one." 31Again the Jews picked up stones to stone him, 32but Jesus said to them, "I have shown you many great miracles from the Father. For which of these do you stone me?" 33"We are not stoning you for any of these," replied the Jews, "but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God."
John 14:8-11 - 8Philip said, "Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us." 9Jesus answered: "Don't you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, 'Show us the Father'? 10Don't you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. 11Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves.
But Jesus does not have all the powers of God:
Luke 2:52 - And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.

If Jesus is God and God is all-wise, how could Jesus grow in wisdom?  If Jesus is God, how could Jesus grow in favor with God? 

Does this mean that Jesus is just a man and not God after all?

Both are true!  Jesus is God, but He was limited.
John 1:1-2, 14 - 1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He was with God in the beginning.  14The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

Philippians 2:5-11 - 5Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: 6Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, 7but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death— even death on a cross! 9Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, 10that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Though we may not be able to understand everything about the Person of Jesus, the Bible does give us some clues concerning these questions.  Philippians 2:5-7 for example, tells us that though Jesus was God, He made Himself less than God while He was on earth.  Jesus came to be an example for us of how to live a life pleasing to God.  He could not do that unless He experienced all that humans do, which means that He had to limit Himself in some ways.

This passage also talks about Jesus’ death on the cross.  Jesus came and died in our place for our sins.  Jesus could not have been a substitute for us humans if He was not human like us.  

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