The apostle John had to combat false teachers who denied Jesus came in the flesh (1 John 4:1-3; 2 John 7). Jesus Christ was born of a virgin in fulfillment of a divine prophecy uttered over half a millennium beforehand (Matthew 1:23; Isaiah 7:14). It was not only the virgin birth that made Christ’s entrance into the world unique. God was manifested in the flesh (1 Timothy 3:16). This means Jesus Christ existed before His entrance into the world. He could most assuredly say to the Jews with whom He conversed, “before Abraham was, I AM” (John 8:58). He the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8). He is everlasting (Isaiah 9:6). He is God with us (Matthew 1:23).
Jesus Christ is distinct from the Father and the Holy Spirit. Matthew 3:16 and Luke 3:21-22 give the account of John immersing Jesus. Jesus came up out of the water, the Spirit descended in the form of a dove, and the Father said of Jesus, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” The Pharisees accused Jesus of not having a reliable message since He bore witness of Himself John 8:13. Under the law of Moses, the testimony of two or more was required (Deuteronomy 17:6). Jesus, however, had the right to bear witness of Himself because of His divine nature. Nevertheless, two witnesses were presented, “I am One who bears witness of Myself, and the Father who sent Me bears witness of Me” (John 8:18). This reply would be nonsense if Jesus and the Father were identical, just different names for one person. The Holy Spirit is also another distinct from Jesus (John 14:16). The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit make up the One God, but only the Son, Jesus Christ, came in the flesh to live as a human for a third of a century.
Jesus shared in the same part of human life, being flesh and blood, as you and I are presently experiencing (Hebrews 2:14). He became tired, hungry, thirsty, and sick. He was tempted in all points as we are, yet He never sinned (Hebrews 4:15). He can identify with us in our struggles. He was a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief (Isaiah 53:3). He offered up prayers to the Father in the midst of vehement cries and tears (Hebrews 5:7). He now stands as our mediator when we pray to God; He does not stand as God who never struggled with human frailties, but as the man Christ Jesus (1 Timothy 2:5). While those outside of Christ have trouble seeing the divinity of Jesus, in the church we may have trouble grappling with the humanity of Jesus. As we partake of the Lord’s supper together this first day of the week, let’s remember John 19:5, which says, “Then Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. And Pilate said to them, “Behold the Man!”