How human was Jesus?


#1

My muslim friends believe that Jesus is a human being (a prophet like the others) and they cannot absorb the fact that he is the son of God and God himself. I tried to explain to them the whole reason why Jesus came to save us and everything, but there is one point that they keep on stressing is that they cannot visionize that God almighty would be lowered into the position of a human being and act like one in terms of going to the bathroom, burping and stuff like that!!! Can you imagine?? I never even thought about those things! How can i explain to them this concept especially in relation to those human actions, did Jesus completely act like a human (knowing that he had two natures)?
I am probably sounding so ignorant, but this is an aspect of my faith that has never occurred to me, but some people outside the faith did…and i honestly don’t know what to say.

Thank you and God Bless.


#2

This is a huge topic. For some basic understanding (which is what you seem to be after), read this:

answering-islam.org/Who/incarnation.html

If you want to go deeper, here is a list of articles:

answering-islam.org/Who/index.html

also for more general resources:

answering-islam.org

These are not Catholic websites, so there may possibly be a few things which aren’t quite right, but the general topic isn’t really one in which Catholics differ from Protestants so you won’t have much of a problem.


#3

Thank you,the articles were very very helpful.

God Bless.


#4

Of course, the Incarnation–the Word of God taking on a human nature–is a large sticking point for Muslims. In addition, because Christians believe there are three Persons in one Divine Nature, Muslims consider us to be polytheists.

Everything that Jesus did in using his human nature, he did as a human. He even died. So, can we say that God died? Only if we’re careful with definitions. Death is the separation of a human body from a human soul. That happened to Jesus, who, in his Personhood, was the second person of the Trinity.

But the divine nature never ceased to exist. We have to be careful about distinguishing the human actions of Jesus from his divine actions, or as theologians used to say, “Jesus as man” and “Jesus as God.”

The best introduction to the idea of incarnation would be a book such as Frank Sheed’s Theology for Beginners.


#5

He was TOTALLY human. And TOTALLY God. At the same time. Other teaching on this is heresy.


#6

That’s the beauty of it!!! Jesus is God,and yet he wanted to live as one of us,he experienced everything we live and the main reason he became human is because he wanted to teach us to live as he did,to love as he did,and suffer pain for us.Muslims see God as a majestic God,far above everithing.Us,we see God in Christ,His name, God with us,(Emmanuel)For us he is to the reach of the hand,he breaks the barrier that separates God from man.:dancing:


#7

Of course, the Incarnation–the Word of God taking on a human nature–is a large sticking point for Muslims. In addition, because Christians believe there are three Persons in one Divine Nature, Muslims consider us to be polytheists.

And some Jews, Buddhists, and Hindus as well.

But, there are also many Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, and Hindus who see us as monotheists.


#8

[quote=Rana]My muslim friends believe that Jesus is a human being (a prophet like the others) and they cannot absorb the fact that he is the son of God and God himself. I tried to explain to them the whole reason why Jesus came to save us and everything, but there is one point that they keep on stressing is that they cannot visionize that God almighty would be lowered into the position of a human being and act like one in terms of going to the bathroom, burping and stuff like that!!! Can you imagine??
[/quote]

Why is it more problematic that God should do something which makes Him capable of burping, than that a being which has urinated, defecated, begotten or born children, broken wind, burped, vomited, and so on, should go from earth to heaven ?

For man to have and to demonstrate animal functions such as those, does not make him any less a man - it is sin, not defecating or passing wind, that does that. Some of those things are not very dignified - that is what makes them so useful as means of puncturing pride: it is hard to take oneself too seriously if one is conscious that one may need to “take a leak”.

If God is going to save a creature who does such undignified and smelly things - it’s not because man does those things: it’s because man sins. We need salvation from sin, not from burping or belching or vomiting. And as God is Love, His dignity is not an issue: in loving us enough to redeem & remake us, He considers our neediness, not His glory and honour. For Love forgets self, it denies self - which is exactly what Jesus did: He did something which was at one & the same time utterly undignified, by being crucified; and something of the highest imaginable dignity, by doing so to gain eternal life and forgiveness for us. What He did was not dignified, but far better than that - it was an act of Love. He was not thinking of Himself or His dignity: the gospels show Him as set on doing His Father’s Will, not on pleasing Himself. And doing His Father’s Will was identical with sparing no effort to bring about our salvation.

IOW, He is the ideal Muslim - for His submission (“Islam” means “submission”) to His Father’s Will was perfect in every way. To love as Christ Loved both His Father and us, is to be perfectly submitted to the Father’s Will. And that is anything but undignified.

Dignity is measured not by whether one burps, but by one’s likeness to God - so it is better to have a weak bladder and to love God, than to be free of such problems, and not care a button for God. It is our relation to God, not our bodily weaknesses, that are the measure of our likeness to Him. ##

I never even thought about those things! How can i explain to them this concept especially in relation to those human actions, did Jesus completely act like a human (knowing that he had two natures)?
I am probably sounding so ignorant, but this is an aspect of my faith that has never occurred to me, but some people outside the faith did…and i honestly don’t know what to say.

Thank you and God Bless.

He is entirely human, just as He is entirely Divine. He differs from us humanly in being wholly free of all sin and its effects.


#9

He was both Fully Human and Fully Divine.


#10

I tried to explain to them the whole reason why Jesus came to save us and everything, but there is one point that they keep on stressing is that they cannot visionize that God almighty would be lowered into the position of a human being and act like one in terms of going to the bathroom, burping and stuff like that!!! Can you imagine?? I never even thought about those things! How can i explain to them this concept especially in relation to those human actions, did Jesus completely act like a human (knowing that he had two natures)?

I know it seems really bizarre at first to think that Almighty God came down as a man and did things that we’re all embarrassed about doing in front of other people :eek: . But the more you think about it, the more you realize that it shows how incredibly, extraordinarily much God loves us! He didn’t just come down as part man and die. He came down as 100% human (while maintaining 100% divinity in one of those only-God-could-ever-do-it times) and lived! Experienced every part of our lives! He probably had days when He didn’t sleep well and His back hurt and He was cranky. He probably had days when He was sick and had all those terrible body functions that happen when you get sick. And He did that, not because it gained Him anything, but just so that when one of us is sick or tired and cranky, we can turn to Him and He can say, “I know, I’ve been there!”

So when you’re trying to explain to your Muslim friends about this, you just gotta stick to that God is capable of love that we humans can’t even imagine! As hard to believe as it may be that God made Himself lowly, He did out of love.

:smiley: Now I feel all warm and squishy inside. Group hug everybody! :heart:


#11

I have had some trouble with this one too, but in a different way. On one hand the church teaches that Christ was fully human and experienced everything just as a man would. Then comes the list of excepts, except his mom was a virgin(and was not quite a norman human as she had no original sin), except he didn’t come out through the usual orifice, except his parents never had intercourse and he never had siblings, except he never sinned…except he knew he was god. So I can understand why some people have trouble accepting that he was both fully god and fully man.

If god created humanity and loves us so much, why the need for all the exceptions? It does seem to muddy the water, and then I think people do tend to think that Jesus couldn’t have done lots of other human stuff as well, like burp, fart, feel sexual desire,etc, and why aren’t those exceptions as well? I can see how it gets confusing.

cheddar


#12

I have had some trouble with this one too, but in a different way. On one hand the church teaches that Christ was fully human and experienced everything just as a man would. Then comes the list of excepts, except his mom was a virgin(and was not quite a norman human as she had no original sin), except he didn’t come out through the usual orifice, except his parents never had intercourse and he never had siblings, except he never sinned…except he knew he was god. So I can understand why some people have trouble accepting that he was both fully god and fully man.

You’re confusing those externals with the actual nature of humanity. To put it simply, and in plain English, he went through those unusual externals precisely the way a normal person would. His nature was not abnormal, but the circumstances are.

It’s not normal for you to pick up a bleeding person off the street, but it is for me. That doesn’t mean either of us aren’t normal people. A normal person is defined by the core essence of being human, not by the things that swirl around that core.

The Church doesn’t claim Jesus had a normal life, only that He had a human nature. Honestly, can you tell me that a Human Nature would behave any differently in the circumstances Jesus found Himself in? Of course not, because His experiences are unique. Experience doesn’t change His nature, though.


#13

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