Jesus – human and divine

This is the one who came by water and blood – Jesus Christ.  He did not come by water only, but by water and blood.  And it is the Spirit who testifies, because the Spirit is truth.
1 John 5:6 (NIV)

Read: 1 John 5:1-12

Consider: In today’s passage the Apostle John deals with the issue of Jesus’ humanity and his divinity.  There were some believers that were of the view that Jesus could not have been both fully human and also fully divine and this was causing division in the church.

The early disciples knew that Jesus was human; they walked, talked, ate, rested and slept in his company over a period of three years.  It was not his humanity that the disciples, crowds and religious leaders had a problem with; it was understanding his divinity.  Yet his humanity has a deeper meaning than just that he was human.  As Jesus was fully human, he could empathise with human beings when we are tempted. In Hebrews we read: For we do not have a high priest who is unable to feel sympathy for our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are – yet he did not sin (Hebrews 4:15).  Thankfully Jesus understands what it was like to be tempted.

But could he be divine at the same time as being human?  In today’s reading, John presents three proofs of the deity of Jesus when he says: This is the one who came by water and blood – Jesus Christ.  He did not come by water only, but by water and blood.  And it is the Spirit who testifies, because the Spirit is truth.  For there are three that testify: the Spirit, the water and the blood; and all three are in agreement (1John 5:6-8).

This might seem confusing, but John is referring to the witness of the Holy Spirit, while the ‘water and blood’ refer to the confirmation of Jesus’ deity through his baptism and through his death on the cross.  There is the witness of the Holy Spirit that descended on Jesus at his baptism (Matthew 3:16).  Also the witness of God the Father at Jesus’ baptism when he said: ‘This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased’ (Matthew 3:17).  Lastly, there is the witness of Jesus’ shed blood on the cross and his resurrection from the dead.  All three witnesses point towards an infallible truth, that Jesus is divine; thus John could say: ‘… all three are in agreement’ (1 John 5:8).  Jesus came not only to call us to repentance by the witness of his baptism, but also to wash us and cleanse us from sin with his blood.  John goes on to point out that:  We accept human testimony, but God’s testimony is greater because it is the testimony of God, which he has given about his Son (5:9).  In effect he is saying that if we are prepared to accept human testimony, then surely we should accept what God himself says about his Son, Jesus Christ.

This may be difficult to get our minds around, but we are left with the question:  Are we prepared to accept what God himself says about Jesus (as recorded in the Bible) and to which the Holy Spirit attests, or would we rather accept the ‘intellectual’ discussions of mankind?

In today’s passage John also speaks about life in God’s Son.  We will return to this passage in a couple of day’s time to consider what John means by ‘life in his Son’.

Pray: Father, we find it difficult to understand how Jesus could be fully human, yet fully divine.  May we accept your testimony about your Son, Jesus, together with what we learn from Jesus’ baptism, his death and resurrection.  When we read your Word, may we rely on the testimony of the Holy Spirit to our hearts.  Amen

Every blessing

© 2022

Author: profsloan

The purpose of this blog is to encourage others to read the Bible daily and to grow in Christ. Each day I will generally publish a devotional or a reading for the day, together with a prayer.

%d bloggers like this: