The New Testament Books of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, and the first chapter of Acts, are a brief overview of the Life of Jesus Christ on this planet. In those ancient documents, we learn Who and What He is and what He did for the world. As we saw in our last study, the Son of God became flesh and dwelt among us (John 1:14). However, as clear as it seems by reading the Gospels, many believe God’s Son was an apparition, an illusion, and never became flesh. That kind of teaching is what the Apostle Paul called “a different gospel” (Galatians 1:6). People who teach a different gospel do so to trouble you and “pervert the gospel of Christ” (Galatians 1:7) Anyone who teaches any other gospel than what Paul taught will be “accursed” (Galatians 1:8)
If I may add a personal note – this is a life and death topic. Whether Jesus was and is Human is not a light discussion. It has eternal consequences. To believe that Jesus was not human is to disbelieve the entire Bible. The Old Testament pointed to the time when God’s Son would become human and die for the sins of the world. The New Testament reveals the time when God’s Son became human and died for the sins of the world. There is no other way to see it from the plain reading of God’s Word.
Jesus began His Public Ministry by being baptized by the Prophet John the Baptist. He went into the water and came up out of the water (Matthew 3:13-17; John 1:9-11; Luke 3:21-22; John 1:29-34). Water baptism is a physical act. An illusion could not be baptized. It would be obvious to everyone watching, especially John who did the baptizing, if Jesus was an illusion. There is no touching an illusion and water would not be disturbed by something that was not physical.
Jesus left John the Baptist and went immediately into the wilderness – “Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry.” (Matthew 4:1-2) Illusions don’t fast and don’t get hungry because they don’t eat. Illusions and apparitions are not physical, so they do not need physical food.
As you look at Satan’s testings of Jesus, each one is physical in nature: (1) command that stones become bread, (2) throw yourself down from the top of the temple to show that the angels will bear you up “lest you dash your foot against a stone” to prove you’re the Son of God, (3) worship Satan and he will give you all the kingdoms of the world and their glory (Matthew 4:3-11) If Jesus was an illusion, an apparition, Satan’s tests would not have been physical in nature.
The evidences of the Humanity of Jesus are so numerous that I could fill many pages naming each one. Here are some from Matthew’s Gospel you may find helpful when sharing with someone about Jesus being Human. Look for the physical act in each example that an illusion or apparition could not do (e.g. touching, being touched by others, sitting, walking, eating, sleeping, etc).
“And behold, a leper came and worshiped Him, saying, ‘Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.’ Then Jesus put out His hand and touched him, saying, ‘I am willing; be cleansed.’ Immediately his leprosy was cleansed. ” Matthew 8:2-3
“Now when Jesus had come into Peter’s house, He saw his wife’s mother lying sick with a fever. So He touched her hand, and the fever left her. And she arose and served them.” Matthew 8:14-15
“And Jesus said to him, ‘Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.” Matthew 8:20
“And suddenly a great tempest arose on the sea, so that the boat was covered with the waves. But He was asleep.” Matthew 8:24
“Now it happened, as Jesus sat at the table in the house, that behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and sat down with Him and His disciples.” Matthew 9:10
” And suddenly, a woman who had a flow of blood for twelve years came from behind and touched the hem of His garment.” Matthew 9:20
“But when the crowd was put outside, He went in and took her by the hand, and the girl arose.” Matthew 9:25
” Then He touched their eyes, saying, ‘According to your faith let it be to you.” Matthew 9:29
“On the same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the sea. And great multitudes were gathered together to Him, so that He got into a boat and sat; and the whole multitude stood on the shore.” Matthew 13:1-2
“And He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, He blessed and broke and gave the loaves to the disciples; and the disciples gave to the multitudes.” Matthew 14:19
“And when the men of that place recognized Him, they sent out into all that surrounding region, brought to Him all who were sick, and begged Him that they might only touch the hem of His garment. And as many as touched it were made perfectly well.” Matthew 14:35-36
“Jesus departed from there, skirted the Sea of Galilee, and went up on the mountain and sat down there.” Matthew 15:29
“And He took the seven loaves and the fish and gave thanks, broke them and gave them to His disciples; and the disciples gave to the multitude.” Matthew 15:36
“But Jesus came and touched them and said, “Arise, and do not be afraid.” Matthew 17:7
” Then Jesus called a little child to Him, set him in the midst of them.” Matthew 18:2
“Then little children were brought to Him that He might put His hands on them and pray, but the disciples rebuked them. But Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.’ And He laid His hands on them and departed from there.” Matthew 19:13-15
“So Jesus had compassion and touched their eyes. And immediately their eyes received sight, and they followed Him.” Matthew 20:34
In this last verse, we also see one of the many human emotions Jesus expressed while He was on earth, compassion. Jesus had human emotions and human experiences – because He was and is Human.
In our next study, we will see the strongest argument in the Gospels for the Humanity of Jesus Christ.
In Christ’s Love and Grace,
Building Confidence Through Evidence
“Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.”