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The Blue Letter Bible

Don Stewart :: Was Jesus a Human Being?

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Don Stewart

Throughout the centuries there have been those who questioned the humanity of Jesus. Some have contended that He was not fully human but only "appeared" to be. The Bible makes it clear that Jesus was fully human. This is seen in the following ways. Jesus had a human birth, Jesus had a human ancestry, Jesus developed like a normal human being, as the promised Messiah Jesus had to be human, Jesus had the essential elements of a human being - body and spirit, Jesus was given human titles, Jesus was called a man, and finally he showed all the traits of being human.

1. Jesus Had A Human Birth

The circumstances around the conception and birth of Jesus show that he was fully human.

Jesus Was Given A Human Name Before His Birth

Before Jesus was born the angel told Joseph that Mary was going to have a child and that Joseph was to name him Jesus.

And she will bring forth a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins." So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: "Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel," which is translated, "God with us" (Matthew 1:21-23).

Consequently he was given a human name before birth.

Jesus Had A Normal Human Birth

Although Jesus was supernaturally conceived, the biblical account of His birth demonstrates that He was a fully human child with a normal human birth.

And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling cloths, and laid him in a manger (Luke 2:7).

His birth was a natural human birth like any other child.

Jesus Was A Human Child

When the shepherds saw the newborn babe, they quickly spread the news to others.

Now when they had seen him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning the child (Luke 2:17).

When He was eight days old, Jesus was circumcised and brought to the temple for dedication.

And when eight days were completed for the circumcision of the child, his name was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb. Now when the days of her purification according to the Law of Moses were completed, they brought him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord (Luke 2:21,22).

In this description of His birth, there is no hint that He was anything other than human. Mary conceived a child; the shepherds spread the word about a child that was born. In the temple He was dedicated in the same manner as any other male child. Although His conception was supernatural, His birth was that of a normal, fully human child. The Apostle Paul wrote:

But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under law (Galatians 4:4).

2. Jesus Had A Human Ancestry

The genealogy of Jesus Christ links Him to humanity. In Luke's Gospel His family line is traced all the way back to Adam.

The son of Enosh, the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God (Luke 3:38).

His family line consists of human beings. They are actual historical characters - many of whom the Bible speaks about.

Therefore everything that Scripture has to say about His birth indicates that Jesus was a genuine human child.

The remainder of Jesus' life testifies to the fact of His humanity.

3. He Developed Like A Normal Human Being

The Scripture states that the child Jesus grew in both stature and wisdom.

And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and humanity (Luke 2:52).

Growing in size and intellectual ability is a human trait. Therefore, this summary statement of His early years testifies to His humanity.

After the boy grew to be a man, there is further testimony to His humanity.

Jesus Was Part Of A Family

The New Testament says that Jesus had a family. His mother was named Mary and He had four brothers and at least two sisters.

Is not this the carpenter's son? Is not his mother called Mary, and his brothers, James and Joseph and Simon and Judas? (Matthew 13:55).

4. As Messiah He Would Be Human

The promised Messiah of the Old Testament was to be a human being.

He Was A Physical Descendant Of David

Jesus was the promised Messiah. The Messiah was to be a physical descendant of King David - a human being. God promised David.

When your days are fulfilled and you lie down with your ancestors, I will raise up your offspring after you, who shall come forth from your body, and I will establish his kingdom (2 Samuel 7:12).

Paul wrote.

Concerning his Son, who was born of a descendant of David according to the flesh (Romans 1:3).

The Messiah Was To Be The Seed Of The Woman

He was the predicted "seed of the woman." This indicates true humanity.

And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; he shall bruise you on the head, and you shall bruise him on the heel" (Genesis 3:15).

The Messiah Is A Prophet Like Moses

The Messiah was to be a prophet like Moses - a human being.

The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own brothers. You must listen to him (Deuteronomy 18:15).

Moses said the Messiah would be like him in the sense that He would be from Israel. The Scriptures are clear that the Messiah was to be a human being.

He Was From The Nation Israel

Jesus was recognized as being from the nation Israel.

Who are Israelites, to whom belongs the adoption as sons, and the glory and the covenants and the giving of the Law and the service and the promises, whose are the fathers, and from whom is the Christ according to the flesh, who is over all, God blessed forever (Romans 9:4,5).

We read in John's gospel.

The Samaritan woman said to him, "You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?" (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans (John 4:9).

Later we read in John.

Then the Jews said to him, "You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?" (John 8:57).

5. Jesus Had The Essentials Elements Of A Human Being - A Body And A Spirit

The Bible says that Jesus possessed the essential elements of human nature - a human body and human spirit. It is obvious that He had a body in that He could touch people.

Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. "I am willing," he said. "Be clean!" Immediately he was cured of his leprosy (Matthew 8:3).

His body could bleed.

Instead, one of the soldiers pierced Jesus' side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water (John 19:34).

Christ also had a spirit.

Immediately Jesus knew in his spirit that this was what they were thinking in their hearts, and he said to them, "Why are you thinking these things" (Mark 2:8).

6. Jesus Was Given Human Titles

Human titles were ascribed to Jesus.

He Was The Son Of Man

Jesus favorite way of describing Himself was with the title, "Son of Man."

For the Son of Man came to seek out and to save the lost (Luke 19:10).

This title emphasized His humanity. Jesus spoke as a man teaching in human terms with human illustrations.

Jesus Was The Last Adam

Jesus was called the last Adam

And so it is written, "The first man Adam became a living being." The last Adam became a life-giving spirit. However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural, and afterward the spiritual (1 Corinthians 15:45-47).

Jesus Is The Mediator Between God And Humanity

Jesus was called a mediator between God and humanity.

For there is one God; there is also one mediator between God and humankind, Christ Jesus, himself human (1 Timothy 2:5).

To be a mediator Christ had to be a human.

7. He Was Called A Man

Jesus was called a man.

Jesus Called Himself A Man

Jesus expressly called Himself a man.

But now you are trying to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. This is not what Abraham did (John 8:40).

Jesus never gave the impression that He was non-human in any way.

Others Called Him A Man

The New Testament writers recognized the humanity of Jesus. Peter, Paul, and John all emphasized the humanity of Jesus in their writings.


On the day of Pentecost Peter said.

Men of Israel, listen to these words: Jesus the Nazarene, a man attested to you by God with miracles and wonders and signs which God performed through him in your midst, just as you yourselves know (Acts 2:22).


The Apostle Paul wrote about Jesus' humanity.

Who was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead, according to the Spirit of holiness, Jesus Christ our Lord (Romans 1:4).

Paul also wrote to the Romans.

For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh (Romans 8:3).

He wrote to Timothy.

By common confession, great is the mystery of godliness: He who was revealed in the flesh, was vindicated in the Spirit, seen by angels, proclaimed among the nations, believed on in the world, taken up in glory (1 Timothy 3:16).


John said that it was the false prophets that denied that Jesus came in the flesh - that He was a human being.

Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God; and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God; this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world (1 John 4:1-3).

John wrote.

For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is the deceiver and the antichrist (2 John 7).

He Was An Uncommon Man

Those who came into contact with Jesus realized that He was an uncommon man; nevertheless He was a real man. When the religious leaders sent their officers to apprehend Jesus they came back empty handed and said.

No one ever spoke the way this man does (John 7:46).

His disciples recognized His uniqueness. When Jesus calmed the storm on the Sea of Galilee they said.

They were terrified and asked each other, "Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him" (Mark 4:41).

8. Jesus Showed All The Traits Of A Human Being

Jesus demonstrated that he had all the traits of a human.

Jesus Was Tempted

Jesus was tempted by the devil.

Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil (Matthew 4:1).

Only human beings can be tempted.

He Experienced Hunger

After His baptism in the Jordan River, Jesus was led by the Spirit out into the wilderness.

And when he fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward he was hungry (Matthew 4:2).

Here Jesus exhibits the human trait of hunger. Like other human beings, a long period without food made Him hungry.

Jesus Experienced Thirst

Jesus also experienced thirst while suffering on the cross.

Later, knowing that all was now completed, and so that the Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, "I am thirsty" (John 19:28).

Jesus ate and drank with others; mingling among humanity as a fellow human.

Jesus Became Tired

Later in His ministry, the Bible speaks of Jesus being tired from a long trip.

Now Jacob's well was there. Jesus therefore being wearied from his journey, sat thus by the well (John 4:6).

Jesus Had To Sleep

We are also told that He needed sleep.

And suddenly a great tempest arose on the sea, so that the boat was covered with waves. But he was asleep (Matthew 8:24).

He had no special ability to stay awake all the time.

Jesus Asked Questions

Another indication of the humanity of Jesus is that He asked questions. Sometimes Jesus asked questions that were rhetorical-not expecting an answer. Others were intended to make his followers think.

So he said to them, "How is it you do not understand?" (Mark 9:21).

There were some questions that were asked with a genuine desire to gather information.

And he said, 'Where have you laid him?' They said to him, 'Lord, come and see' (John 11:34).

Jesus Showed Human Emotions

Jesus also expressed human emotions such as tears, love, compassion, disappointment, and anger.

At the tomb of His dead friend Lazarus, Scripture records, "Jesus wept" (John 11:35). He had human feelings that allowed Him to cry at a tragic situation. He also cried over the city of Jerusalem.

As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it (Luke 19:41).

Like other humans, Jesus could give and receive love.

Looking at him, Jesus felt a love for him and said to him, "One thing you lack: go and sell all you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me" (Mark 10:21).

Jesus could feel compassion for others.

When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd (Matthew 9:36).

Jesus could experience disappointment.

On the next day, when they had left Bethany, he became hungry. Seeing at a distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to see if perhaps he would find anything on it; and when he came to it, he found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs (Mark 11:12,13).

Jesus was angry for the way the religious rulers were corrupting the temple practices.

So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple area, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. To those who sold doves he said, "Get these out of here! How dare you turn my Father's house into a market!" (John 2:15,16).

He was upset at the prospect of having the penalty for the sins of the world placed upon Him.

Now my heart is troubled, and what shall I say? 'Father, save me from this hour'? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour' (John 12:27).

Jesus was troubled by the betrayal of Judas Iscariot.

After he had said this, Jesus was troubled in spirit and testified, "I tell you the truth, one of you is going to betray me" (John 13:21).

Jesus, Like Other Humans, Prayed

Only humans can pray to God. Jesus prayed often.

During the days of Jesus' life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. (Hebrews 5:7).

Jesus Suffered Pain

Jesus suffered pain like other humans.

And being in agony he was praying very fervently; and his sweat became like drops of blood, falling down upon the ground (Luke 22:44).

The Romans flogged Him.

Then Pilate took Jesus and had him flogged (John 19:1).

Jesus Experienced Death

Like other humans He died.

But when they came to Jesus and saw he was already dead, they did not break his legs (John 19:33).

If Jesus were not a real human being then His death on Calvary's cross was merely an illusion.

The United Testimony Of Scripture - Jesus Was Human

Thus the Scriptures are united in their testimony to the genuine humanity of Jesus. There is never any indication given that He was somehow non-human. He experienced growth, hunger, tiredness, sadness and death just as other human beings experience. He was not given any special immunity from these experiences.

Jesus Identified With Humanity

This is important for us to realize. He was born, He lived, and He died, experiencing the same things we do. Therefore, He is able to identify with our feelings when we pray to the Father through Him.

For in that he himself has suffered, being tempted, he is able to aid those who are tempted (Hebrews 2:18).

There was no special treatment given Jesus while here on earth. He felt the same things as every other human being feels.

The fact that Jesus' humanity was real is made clear by the entirety of Scripture. The genuine reality of the humanity of Jesus Christ must be at the basis of any true conception of His character and His work.


When we explore the subject of the humanity of Jesus the Scripture is clear, Jesus was indeed human. He had all the traits that make up a human being except that He was without sin. He was born into the world through a human birth. He was circumcised like other male Jewish children. His genealogy consists entirely of human beings. In addition, the Old Testament predicted the Messiah would be human - like Moses. He would be a physical descendant of King David. He had a family with four brothers and at least two sisters.

Jesus was a human child who grew to be a man. He possessed the essential elements of humanity - a body and a spirit. As a man He was hungry, tired, and needed sleep. Jesus Himself, as well as others, admitted that He was human. Jesus showed human emotions such as love, tears, hate, disappointment and compassion. Only humans can pray to God and we find Jesus praying to God. Finally we find that Jesus experienced pain and death. Therefore it is the united testimony of the New Testament that Jesus Christ was fully human.

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