There are many people in the Bible whose lives and accomplishments can be called incredible. Moses parted the Red Sea. Elijah was fed by ravens directed by God. Many miracles showcase the power of God.
Perhaps the most incredible person to walk the earth was Jesus Christ. He lived a sinless life, died on the cross but rose from the grave three days later, and willingly shed His blood so other people could be forgiven.
More incredible than these facts, Jesus was, during His earthly ministry, also fully God. Before He was born to Mary, Jesus existed as part of the Triune God, before the Creation of the world. God’s nature is to be three yet one, one in three. There is the Father, the Son, and the Spirit.
During His earthly ministry, God the Son chose to live as fully man and have every human experience. At the same time, He remained fully God, able to summon the angels at a moment’s notice and live in perfect righteousness and unity with the Father and the Spirit.
Was Jesus both Fully God and Fully Man?
Jesus’ humanity is seen through the observation of the course of His human life, yet during that life He did things and made claims that only God can do and that only God can make. As a man in his early thirties, He forgave sins.
commanded the elements and performed miracles affirming His deity, but did it while being subject to the same weaknesses of the body as other humans.
Evidence in the Bible Jesus was both fully God and fully man:
“And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, ‘Son, your sins are forgiven.’Now some of the scribes were sitting there, questioning in their hearts, ‘Why does this man speak like that? He is blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?’And immediately Jesus, perceiving in his spirit that they thus questioned within themselves, said to them, ‘Why do you question these things in your hearts? Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise, take up your bed and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins’ — he said to the paralytic — ‘I say to you, rise, pick up your bed, and go home” (Mark 2:5-11).
“Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up” (John 2:19).
“Who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross” (Philippians 2:6-8).
“Waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works” (Titus 2:13-14).
How Do We Know Jesus Was Fully Man?
Throughout the accounts of Jesus’ life in the Gospel, there are hallmarks of the life of a mortal man. He was born a baby and grew physically; He followed the law during His earthly life; He felt pain and sadness and experienced temptation; He had friendships.
The biggest evidence that Jesus was living a life as a man in the truest sense was that He died when the Romans crucified Him. In His existence before His conception, He was not capable of dying.
Evidence in the Bible Jesus was fully man:
“And after fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry” (Matthew 4:2).
“And the child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom. And the favor of God was upon him” (Luke 2:40).
“And he said, ‘Where have you laid [Lazarus]?’ They said to him, ‘Lord, come and see.’ Jesus wept. So the Jews said, ‘See how he loved him!’” (John 11:34-35).
“After this, Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said (to fulfill the Scripture), ‘I thirst’” (John 19:28).
How Do We Know Jesus Was Fully God?
Throughout His time on earth, Jesus would demonstrate that despite taking on flesh, He was not influenced by it in His Spirit, which had not changed. Because His nature before His conception was the same as God the Father and God the Holy Spirit, His soul and spirit had not changed.
He was God robed in flesh in the same way humans are soul and spirit enrobed in flesh. His deity was affirmed by His own words and actions, as well as by the Apostles.
Evidence in the Bible Jesus was fully God:
“So that all will honor the Son even as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him” (John 5:23).
“Thomas answered and said to Him, ‘My Lord and my God!’” (John 20:28).
“See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority” (Colossians 2:8-9).
Was Jesus Fully Human before Being Born to Mary?
There are some skeptics and sects of Christianity who argue that Jesus may have been granted deity after living a perfect life on earth, but that He did not exist before His conception. The Bible does not support this interpretation.
Jesus openly contradicted this idea when speaking to the Pharisees, as recorded in the Book of John:
“Jesus answered, ‘If I glorify myself, my glory is nothing. It is my Father who glorifies me, of whom you say, ‘He is our God.’ But you have not known him. I know him. If I were to say that I do not know him, I would be a liar like you, but I do know him and I keep his word. Your father Abraham rejoiced that he would see my day. He saw it and was glad.’ So the Jews said to him, ‘You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?’ Jesus said to them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.’ So they picked up stones to throw at him, but Jesus hid himself and went out of the temple’” (John 8:54-59).
In the original text, the word used when Jesus identifies that before Abraham was, I AM, the word translates to YHWH (יְהוָֹה) – I Am that I Am – the proper name of God. The reason the crowds attempted to stone Jesus is because in this moment, they recognized that He identified Himself as God, which would have been blasphemy if it were not true.
He also clearly states He existed before Abraham, which was thousands of years before the conception and earthly ministry of Jesus.
He was not an immortal man before His birth either. His deity before His birth is supported and explained best in the first chapter of John:
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it…And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John bore witness about him, and cried out, ‘This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks before me, because he was before me’” (John 1:1-5, 14-15).
Before anything existed, God existed, and Jesus was there – he was the Word that engaged in the Creation process. Only God can create from nothing, and since Adam was the first man, Jesus was not fully man at this time.
Was Jesus the Only Person Who Was both Fully God and Fully Man?
If anyone who walked the earth had the same authority of God, it would be an incredible thing, and it would directly contradict the Bible. Understanding that Jesus was the only person who walked the earth as a man, but with the power and authority of God.
Can help someone identify a false teacher, someone speaking with the spirit of antichrist, or avoid a cult. Jesus’ sole claim to be fully God and fully man is stated most plainly in the Gospel of John: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
In the King James Version, it even clarifies “begotten,” meaning born into the world as a man. At no other point in history did the Spirit or the Father take a physical form, and Jesus only did it one time.
When He returns, it will not be as a shepherd, as a teacher, or a prophet, but as a king in full power and authority. The Book of Revelation states, “Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse!
The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war. His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems, and he has a name written that no one knows but himself.
He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God….On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords” (Revelation 19:11-13, 16).
His return will not be in an obscure village or as a preacher, but as the king. If someone claims to be Jesus, they are lying.
Why Does It Matter That both of These Are True?
If Jesus came in full power as God, He would not have had the experience of living a sinless life, because He could not suffer as men suffer. If He came as fully man, but without His righteousness, His death would not have served as the perfect sacrifice to pay the price for humanity’s sins.
Jesus had to be both to fulfill God’s sovereign purpose of bringing humanity back to Himself, redeeming anyone who will accept Jesus as Lord and Savior. Salvation is free to anyone who puts their faith for salvation in Jesus Christ.
He lived a sinless life because of His divinity, and in spite of His humanity. He broke the curse of Adam, and overcame death and the world. Believers can put their hope, trust, and faith in Him, that He will be faithful to keep them as His own, and will join Him in eternity.
“Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:14-16).
Casey, Michael. Fully Human, Fully Divine An Interactive Christology. Liguori/Triumph, 2017.
Lepke, Margaret, and June Young. The Lord Jesus Christ Fully God and Fully Man. 2017.
Wellum, Stephen J. God the Son Incarnate The Doctrine of Christ. Wheaton: Crossway, 2016.