Is Jesus Both God and Man?

by Sean Finnegan

“…How in the world could Jesus be omnipresent if he couldn’t be in two places at once?” I asked. “How could he be omniscient when he says, Not even the Son of Man knows the hour of his return? How could he be omnipotent when the gospels plainly tell us that he was unable to do many miracles in his hometown?” —Lee Strobel, Case for Christ, p. 158.

In the foyer of our church, is a tract that says on its cover “Did Jesus Think He Was God?”

Below, I have reproduced the chart found in it, enumerating 11 points as to why Jesus could not be God.

If Jesus is God then…

  1. How could he have a beginning (Matthew 1:18; Romans 1:3), since God has always existed (Isaiah 43:13)?
  2. How could he keep “increasing in wisdom”(Luke 2 : 5 2 ), since God’s “understanding is infinite” (Psalm 147:5)?
  3. Why did he say, “I can do nothing on my own initiative” (John 5:30), whereas God “can do all things” (Job 42:2)?
  4. Why did he spend “the whole night in prayer to God” (Luke 6:12), as there is never a time when God prays, but only receives prayer from others?
  5. How could he learn obedience and become perfect (Hebrews 5:8 and 9), since God invented obedience and is already perfect (Matthew 5:48)?
  6. Why doesn’t he know the day and hour when he will return, and yet his Father, God, does know (Matthew 24:36)?
  7. Why didn’t he know who touched him (Mark 5:30), whereas God knows everything (Isaiah 46:10)?
  8. How could he be tempted by the devil (Matthew 4:1), yet “God cannot be tempted by evil” (James 1:13)?
  9. How could he die (Philippians 2:8), if God “alone possesses immortality ” (1 Timothy 6:16)?
  10. How could he be in subjection to the Father [if he were the Father] for all eternity, (1 Corinthians 15:28)?
  11. Why was he asleep on the cushion (Mark 4:38), yet God never sleeps or slumbers (Psalms 12:14)?

Though these reasons may appear very conclusive to most Unitarians and non-Christians, they are not by most mainstream Christians. When I speak to orthodox Christians along these lines, the person often responds “You misunderstand the dual nature of Christ.” Their reasoning continues, “In his divinity, he is God; but in his humanity, he is man. When he performs miracles, that is a manifestation of his deity. When he suffers or is limited in any way, that is a manifestation of his humanity.” Thus, a dual nature proposition is given as the explanation as to why Jesus did not exactly match the attributes recorded of God.

But why is this doctrine necessary? Why do people believe that Jesus is God? The main reason given for why Jesus would be God is that he did things that only God can do–he raised the dead, walked on water, exorcised demons, forgave sins, and lived perfectly. Each of these will be taken in its turn.

Jesus raised the dead. Jesus raised Lazarus, Jairus’ daughter, and the widow’s son. If raising the dead makes Jesus God, then Elijah, Elisha, and Peter are also God, because they also raised the dead.

Jesus walked on water. Jesus confessed the source of his miracles when he said, “the Father abiding in me does His works” (John 10:25, 32, 37; 14:10) and, “the son can do nothing of himself” (John 5:19). Jesus walked on the water because God empowered him to do so. (And Peter walked on the water also.)

Jesus exorcised demons. Often, Jesus came face to face with the spiritual forces of wickedness. He never struggled but cast them

out with a few words. However, he is not unique here either, the 12 also cast out demons, as well as the 70. Besides, Jesus clearly stated, “I cast out demons by the spirit of God” (Matthew 12:28). God empowered His Messiah to do these things.

Jesus forgave sins. When the paralyzed man was brought to Jesus, he said, “Take courage, son; your sins are forgiven” (Matthew 9:2). It is alleged that since all sins are ultimately an affront to God (Psalms 51:4), that only God can forgive sins. This reasoning is logical, but what if God conferred His right to forgive sins onto His earthly agent–the Messiah. “But when the crowds saw this, they were awestruck, and glorified God who had given such authority to men” (Matthew 9:8). Similarly, the disciples of Christ are authorized to forgive or retain sins (cf. John 20:23).

Jesus lived perfectly. Adam was made in God’s image–perfect. God’s plan was for him to stay sinless, live forever, cultivate the garden of Eden, rule over the earth, and produce many children. Jesus also was made in the image of God (Colossians 3:10). He was divinely created [begotten] (Luke 1:35; Matthew 1:20) in the womb of his mother, Mary; Adam was also divinely made (Genesis 2:7). Thus, Jesus falls in the category of one who began as perfect and who needed to maintain his perfection (i.e. the second Adam), rather than one who had inherited the fallen sin nature. Because of what Christ has done, we can now mortify the deeds of our old man and live as he lived (Romans 8:10, 13).

One other argument that often surfaces is that if Jesus was not God, then his sacrifice would not have been sufficient to redeem all of humanity. This assertion seems logical on its surface, but there are four problems with it.

  • Nowhere in the Bible is this stated.
  • God cannot die (1 Timothy 1:17 says He is immortal).
  • A sacrifice is sufficient because God accepts it, not because its value equals the offense.
  • According to their view, only the body (the humanity) of Jesus died; his spirit (the deity) continued to live. Thus, the God portion of Jesus did not die.

Besides, is it fair to split Jesus in any way? If Jesus were fully God and fully man, then everything Jesus experienced, both his divine and human natures also experienced. For example, if I could ask them, “How can Jesus be God if he doesn’t know everything?” They would respond, “In his humanity he didn’t know, but in his divinity he is omniscient.” However, this is impossible. One cannot both know everything and not know everything at the same time! If Jesus had claimed ignorance about his second coming when he was really omniscient, would this not be deceptive? To illustrate this, consider the analogy below.

Fred asked Laura for $5, and she responded, “I don’t have $5.” But then 10 minutes later, Fred noticed that she was holding $5 in her hand and questioned her why she had lied. Laura replied, “When I said I didn’t have $5, I meant in my right hand I did not have it; although it is true that in my left hand I do have $5.” Would this not be immediately exposed as deception? Either the person has the $5 or not. One cannot both have and not have $5 at the same time.

Jesus always spoke the truth. If he said he did not know something, then all of Jesus did not know it. If he died, then he was not immortal. If he slept on the boat, then he cannot claim to be the God Who never sleeps, etc. All of this confusion can be avoided if we understand Jesus as a human–a sinless man who, like Adam, was directly made by God but, unlike Adam, did not grasp at equality with God. There is nothing complicated about that. Jesus is a real human who really died for our sins.

Our entire faith depends on this truth. It is a simple fact: if the whole Jesus did not really die, then the whole of our sins are not really paid for. Thanks be to God who would not leave us in such a predicament.

11 thoughts on “Is Jesus Both God and Man?

      1. You say on your blog, that Jesus is your Lord…. How can he be your Lord, if you do not believe that He is God and man at the same time? In the Gospel of John, it ways that the Word was God….. Jesus is called the Word in the Bible….. The Epystles of Apostle Paul and others start with the grace and peace be to you from God the Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ….. How can we get peace and grace from Jesus, if he is not Omnipotent, present everywhere?

      2. I just want to say that it would be best if you read some of my posts on the subject of the trinity because I have addressed many of your questions. I will not be able to go backwards and forwards answering your questions.

        Answer to why I call Jesus my Lord.

        In the New Testament, “Lord” is the Greek kurios, which simply means master, whether referring to God (Matthew 1:20), Jesus (Matthew 7:21), or a general authority (Matthew 18:27). It also translated to master depending on the context.

        Major confusion comes when readers try and equate the LORD (YHWH) of the Old Testament with the word Lord (Kurios) in the New Testament. Kurios does NOT denote deity at all. Only a higher authority and thus master. This has led many to assume that Jesus is deity and therefore part of the Godhead. This then forms part of Trinitarian theology. The context can be used to decide if it is speaking about God the Father with the word Lord in the New Testament.

        So therefore Jesus is my Master.

        Answer:- Jesus supposedly being the “Word”

        Is Jesus really called the Word in the Bible or is that something the trinitarian translators imposed on the text.

        John 1:1 should say:- In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and the word was God.

        Who decided that logos should be capitalised? It is not indicated to be a person in the Greek text.

        Jesus of Nazareth is what the Word (God’s Wisdom) of John 1:1 became (John 1:14). He is unique expression as a human being, of the Wisdom of God. It was the Wisdom of God existed from the beginning, and that Wisdom became a person at the conception of Jesus.
        Paul says that the Son of God “came into existence” from a woman and from the seed of David. (Galatians 4:4 and Romans 1:3)
        Galatians 4:4 But when the time was right, God sent forth His Son, who came into existence [1170] from a woman and under the Law,

        [1170] Paul does not use the ordinary word for being born or begotten (gennao) but the word ginomai, “to come into existence.” This is a reference to the virginal begetting of Jesus in Mary. Cp. Romans 1:3 and note the parallel with Gen. 2:7 (egeneto, came into existence), where Adam came into existence. Jesus is the second or last Adam, the head of a new race of human persons. His existence began in Mary, not in eternity, which would make the parallel with Adam impossible. Jesus came into existence as the seed of David (Rom. 1:3; 2 Tim. 2:8; Mk. 10:47-52; 11:10). See Mt. 1:18, 20; Lk. 1:35; Isa. 9:6 (“begotten [by God]”); Ps. 2:7; 1 John 5:18, not KJV. John 1:13 is most likely a reference to the virginal begetting of Jesus (see Jerusalem Bible).

        The Trinitarian translations look like this :-
        Gal 4:4 NKJV But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law,

        Answer to the peace and grace question. Firstly Paul said to the Galatians 1:3. “Grace to you and peace from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ”.
        Notice that the Holy Spirit is not mentioned at all. Paul uses this same phrase as a greeting in all of his letters except Hebrews. So if the Holy Spirit is a person why is his name not mentioned. Does he not want to send the Christians grace and peace? What I have come to understand is that the Holy Spirit is a limited extension of our Father God’s power. So the Holy Spirit is not an individual person. It is part of the One God the Father.
        Why does peace and grace have to come from deity? Where does it say that in scripture.
        We can declare grace and peace on brothers and sisters in Christ instead of judgment because we know that Christ has taken their sins upon himself. We can declare “grace and peace to you” because God the Father has already promised it to believers through God the Son.
        Only from God the Father and through the accomplishments of the Son do we have such grace and peace.
        G1515 Eirēnēn Peace Probably from a primary verb eiro; peace; by implication, prosperity.
        This is not financial but overall prosperity, having what we need when we need it.


      3. What do you mean the Holy Spirit is not a Person? The Bible clearly shows that the Holy Spirit speaks, and can be grieved…. A power can not speak and be grieved… That is only happening to a person…

      4. As I state in my previous comment. The Holy Spirit which is literally in the Greek sanctified breath which is also referred to as the Spirit of God is Gods power extended down to us on earth. So you should not blaspheme God’s spirit should you. You are thinking with a Greek mindset and not with Hebrew. So the Holy Spirit is not a separate person as the Trinity doctrine teaches. It belongs to God the Father./

      5. Here is a simple question on the who or what if the Holy Spirit.
        You believe the Holy Spirit is a separate Person which makes up the One God.
        Matthew 1:18 states :- Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit. 
        And the parallel scripture Luke 1:35  And the angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God. 

        So according to these two scriptures the Holy Spirit is the Father of Jesus the Messiah. But how can that be. Are these two scriptures wrong?
        No, the Holy Spirit is not a separate person to God but an extension of Him, so God the Father is the Father of Jesus.

        What do you say? Is the Holy Spirit the father of Jesus? Based on what you believe He is the Father.

      6. You believe that Jesus is only a man. Well, how can he be, when the Bible clearly states that Jesus is the Author of Life, in the book of Acts. Jesus also said that he is the Life. Now that in the original Greek, is the word ‘Zoe’, and that is the divine life of God. In other words, Jesus is the source of Life. The Bible also teaches that God the Father made everything in this Universe, through Jesus.. How than can Jesus be only a man? In the Epistle of Colossians it says, that all the fullness of the Godhead dwells in Jesus.

      7. You make statements and dont give any scripture reference. Nor answer my question about the Holy Spirit being Jesus father.
        God is the only source of life. Jesus said he is the life because through him he inherit external life not from Him by through his death, burial and resurrection.
        Below you will see that it is God the father that gives life to all things and also that it is only God who has immortality.

        1Ti 6:13  I urge you in the sight of God who gives life to all things, and before Christ Jesus who witnessed the good confession before Pontius Pilate, 
        1Ti 6:14  that you keep this commandment without spot, blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ’s appearing, 
        1Ti 6:15  which He will manifest in His own time, He who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings and Lord of lords, 
        1Ti 6:16  who alone has immortality, dwelling in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see, to whom be honor and everlasting power. Amen. 

        The “who” is God the Father and not Jesus as the rest of the sentence states that no man has seen or can see. Jesus has been seen by man.
        So you are wrong again. You are not checking the scriptures you quote to see what they actually mean and are just stating what you have been taught. I have showed you that the Holy Spirit is not a person which is what the Trinity doctrine states so why should you believe that Jesus is God.

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