Jesus was fully human. He was God fully, but He was also fully man. He had to go into a womb and develop. He had to be born. He had to be bathed and have his bottom wiped. While it is wild enough that Jesus would humble Himself to take on human form, to give up the throne to wait nine months in a womb and then thirty years to come into His ministry, the significance of His having gone through babyhood didn’t strike me until my mother-in-law became an invalid. She has to be bathed. She has to have her bottom wiped. Jesus was fully human. He knows the human experience. He knows the humiliation of needing someone else to care for you. Not that you have to be humiliated at needing care, but that it’s a completely humble position. You can’t do it for yourself. That’s the humility Jesus showed on earth – I can’t do anything on My own; I look to the Father for all things.
Jesus knows what it is like to grow up poor. We learn from the offering made when Jesus was presented at the temple that they were poor. They didn’t bring the required sacrifice, but the one allowed for those too poor for the regular offering.
Jesus knows what it is like to be a refugee. He spent his earliest developmental years in a foreign land that they fled to in order to preserve their lives.
Jesus knew what it was like to be tempted. He knew what it was to be betrayed by someone close to you. He knew what it was like to be discounted, falsely accused, mocked, beaten up, killed. His clothing was stripped off.
He even experienced sin briefly on the cross, which I believe was by far the worst of His experiences on earth. He experienced agony, wrestling in prayer.
He experienced hunger and thirst and being tired and in pain.
Read the verses for this lesson and thank Jesus for going through that for you. Thank Him for understanding everything you’ve been through and are going through. He knows you, sees you, hears you, understands you.
Philippians 2:5-8 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 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.
Leviticus 12:8a And if she cannot afford a lamb, then she shall take two turtledoves or two pigeons. Luke 2:24 …to offer a sacrifice according to what is said in the Law of the Lord, “a pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons.”
Matthew 2:13 Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Rise, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you, for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.”
Matthew 4:1-2 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And after fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry.
Luke 22:48 But Jesus said to him, “Judas, would you betray the Son of Man with a kiss?”
Mark 6:3 Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon? And are not his sisters here with us?” And they took offense at him.
Matthew 8:24 And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but he was asleep.
Mark 14:57 (NIV) Then some stood up and gave this false testimony against him.
Matthew 27:41 (NIV) In the same way the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders mocked him.
Mark 14:65 And some began to spit on him and to cover his face and to strike him, saying to him, “Prophesy!” And the guards received him with blows.
John 19:1 Then Pilate took Jesus and flogged him.
Matthew 13:33a And they stripped him.
2 Corinthians 5:21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
Luke 22:44 And being in agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.
John 19:28 After this, Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said (to fulfill the Scripture), “I thirst.”
Lesson Point: Jesus knew the human experience. He can empathize with our struggles as humans.
Challenge Question: Can you believe that Jesus understands what you are going through (or have been through)?