The verses just ahead of today’s reading in Mark (32-34) give us an image of an all-knowing Jesus who tells his Twelve that he, Jesus, will die and rise from the dead. Because of this and other statements, most Christians believe that Jesus knew everything that was going to happen. Through the centuries the Gnostics used that as evidence that Jesus was not human; only God could know everything.
Was Jesus human?
If we believe that Jesus was God filling the body of a man, then the answer would seem to be no. At the other extreme, if Jesus was simply, only, and always a man, then how can we claim that he is part of the Trinity?
The complete answer remains one of the Great Mysteries of God. It also remains a stumbling block for many. Can God be both One and Three at the same time?
Both readings from Job and Psalms give us a partial answer. While neither speaks directly about Jesus, they provide an image of God capable of anything; images of God without limit and limited man.
For Jesus to be considered fully human, he must be limited, just as you and I are limited. When he speaks to his disciples about the future, he is not speaking as God but as a prophet. All prophets are given information from God to share with the rest of us. In that respect, Jesus is not unusual; he is human, a unique human perhaps, but human.
In Hebrews, we see him at his most human as he pleads with God to find another way to save humanity. But we have seen it throughout his life. His birth happened in blood and pain, the same as for all of us. At twelve, he became so engrossed in the discussions at the Temple that he disobeyed his parents and caused them great anguish, a very human act. In his ministry, Jesus is often seen as tired and eager to get away from the crush of people.
Does all of this mean that Jesus was human? Is it possible for a human to be perfect? Adam and Eve were perfect, so it seems likely that God could have created a third perfect human. I suggest it as a possibility, not a given and certainly not a proven.
God called Jesus His Son, but we cannot forget that God called David son and before that Israel. Then say to Pharaoh, ‘This is what the Lord says: Israel is my firstborn son, and I told you, “Let my son go, so he may worship me.” But you refused to let him go; so I will kill your firstborn son.’ Exodus 4:22-23 NIV
When Israel was a child, I loved him,
and out of Egypt I called my son. Hosea 11:1 NIV
I will be his father, and he will be my son. 2 Samuel 7:14 NIV
You are my son;
today I have become your father. Psalm 2:7 NIV
Jesus called himself the Son of Man and never claimed to be God, only to do that which he was sent by God to do. He did not call himself the Messiah but allowed others to call him that. The Gospel of John went a step farther with the Word motif.
At the beginning God expressed himself. That personal expression, that word, was with God, and was God, and he existed with God from the beginning. All creation took place through him, and none took place without him. In him appeared life and this life was the light of mankind. The light still shines in the darkness and the darkness has never put it out. Phillips
For me, God exists as One True God. His being cannot be witnessed directly by humans, but we can sense the whisperings of His Holy Spirit and we can see and understand His Word when it comes to live with us in the flesh. To know Jesus is to know God. But God is One.
Be righteous and do good.