HEBREWS 2:5-18 (NIV – UK)
Jesus made fully human
5 It is not to angels that he has subjected the world to come, about which we are speaking. 6 But there is a place where someone has testified:
‘What is mankind that you are mindful of them, a son of man that you care for him? 7 You made them a little lower than the angels; you crowned them with glory and honour 8 and put everything under their feet.’ [Psalm 8:4-6]
In putting everything under them, God left nothing that is not subject to them. Yet at present we do not see everything subject to them. 9 But we do see Jesus, who was made lower than the angels for a little while, now crowned with glory and honour because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.
10 In bringing many sons and daughters to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through what he suffered.11 Both the one who makes people holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters. 12 He says,
‘I will declare your name to my brothers and sisters; in the assembly I will sing your praises.’ [Psalm 22:22]
13 And again,
‘I will put my trust in him.’ [Isaiah 8:17]
And again he says,
‘Here am I, and the children God has given me.’ [Isaiah 8:18]
14 Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death – that is, the devil – 15 and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. 16 For surely it is not angels he helps, but Abraham’s descendants. 17 For this reason he had to be made like them, fully human in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people. 18 Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.
FULLY HUMAN IN EVERY WAY
Sometimes confusion arises about exactly who Jesus is – is he human, or God, or somehow both? How human can he really be? The answer we are given here in Hebrews is ‘fully human in every way’. The Eternal Son of God took on flesh – fully God and fully man – the God-man.
And it’s important that Jesus was fully human – through that so much is achieved:
So his death might break the power of the devil (v. 14); So that we can be released from the slavery of fear of death (v. 15); So that he could be a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God (v. 16); So that he might make atonement for the sins of the people (v. 16); So that he is able to empathise with and help those who are tempted (v. 18).
Jesus had to become fully human to achieve all those things – to bring us the offer of salvation.
Only Jesus can set us free – free from the power of the devil, free from temptation, free from sin and free from the fear of death – a fear that holds billions around the world captive. It is only in Jesus that we find relief from all these things – because the Son of God became fully human – we should rejoice in his humanity.
Question: How easy do you find it to accept that God the Eternal Son became fully human? How important do you think it is to know what you believe about this?