The Human Side of Jesus

As we read about Jesus in the scriptures we need to look at His human side as well as His deity.  Since the scriptures tell us to imitate God (Eph 5:1), then we need to see the human side of Jesus as we can imitate only His human side, not his deity.  Too often we tend to mystify the deeds of Jesus and read things into His deeds that really aren’t there.  If we would look at His deeds as something we are to imitate, we can receive great instruction and insight on how to handle difficult problems.

For example, take the incident when the Pharisees brought to Jesus the woman caught in adultery.

JOHN 8:1-11 But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. 2Early in the morning He came again into the temple, and all the people were coming to Him; and He sat down and began to teach them. 3The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman caught in adultery, and having set her in the center of the court, 4they said to Him, “Teacher, this woman has been caught in adultery, in the very act. 5“Now in the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women; what then do You say?” 6They were saying this, testing Him, so that they might have grounds for accusing Him. But Jesus stooped down and with His finger wrote on the ground. 7But when they persisted in asking Him, He straightened up, and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” 8Again He stooped down and wrote on the ground. 9When they heard it, they began to go out one by one, beginning with the older ones, and He was left alone, and the woman, where she was, in the center of the court. 10Straightening up, Jesus said to her, “Woman, where are they? Did no one condemn you?” 11She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “I do not condemn you, either. Go. From now on sin no more.”

I have heard many lofty explanations as to what Jesus was writing with His finger.  Some say He was writing the Ten Commandments.  Others say Jesus was writing the sins of those who were accusing the woman.  What I think Jesus was doing was buying time.  Remember that Jesus was a man as well as being God.  While He walked on the face of the earth He emptied Himself of deity and took on sinful flesh (Phil 2:7, Rom 8:3).  As a man, He had the limitations of a man.  A great many people have a problem with this concept.  They want Jesus to be so perfect that He could not possibly be like us, thus making it almost impossible for us to imitate Him.  This concept of an above-temptational Jesus, holy as it sounds, is unscriptural and demonic, and thus prevents us from receiving instruction from the actions of Jesus.  In the early church, the teaching that Jesus was exempt from the pressures and temptations of this life was considered a heresy.

In the above passage, Jesus was teaching the people the Word of God and He had His mind focused on what the Holy Spirit was speaking concerning His teaching.  The Pharisees’ unsolicited question required Jesus to instantly change His thought process.  The question was definitely a trick question and His answer would require the leading of the Holy Spirit.  Since Jesus was listening to the Holy Spirit for wisdom concerning His teaching ministry just moments before, He had to shift His attention to personal ministry.  It took time for the transition to occur.  The letter of the Law dictated that she was to be stoned, but the mercy of God wanted her to be forgiven.  So Jesus stooped down and wrote in the sand to buy time until the Holy Spirit could give Him the answer.  This not only set the woman free, but also set her accusers free by reminding them of their need for forgiveness from God.

This passage of scripture affects us in many ways, as the answer Jesus gave was consistent with the counsel of the scriptures and with God’s will.  This answer required the wisdom of the Holy Spirit and it revealed the very heart of God.  Jesus told Philip that if you have seen Me (Jesus), you have seen the Father.  It shows our Father trying to set the sinner free and not wishing to condemn her.  What we learn here is that it is OK not to answer quickly if we don’t know what to answer, and that delaying our answer does not mean we are not capable of good advice.  Our Lord Himself delayed His answer until He had the correct answer.  Jesus did not give into the pressure of the crowd to react to them verses correctly responding to the situation.

Another great example is in the garden of Gethsemane.  It is here we see a side of the man Christ Jesus that defies all stereotypes we might have of Him being an “other-worldly” person and not a man born of woman.  In the following dialogue Jesus told His closest disciples that He was grieved to the point of death.

Matthew 26:36-39 Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and said to His disciples, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” 37And He took with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be grieved and distressed. 38Then He said* to them, “My soul is deeply grieved, to the point of death; remain here and keep watch with Me.” 39And He went a little beyond them, and fell on His face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will.”

Jesus was under tremendous stress at this point.  I personally do not think it was because He was going to die on the cross as much as He knew He was going to become the sin of the world.  This would cause Him to be temporarily separated from the Father.  I think that is what bothered Him.

What we learn here is how to handle tremendous stress and pressure.  Jesus asked a couple of His closest friends and disciples to watch with Him.  But then Jesus had to get alone to pray.  Even though the disciples went to sleep, it does not state they did not pray for Jesus.  What we see is that “God in the flesh” struggled with issues in life and had to overcome them.  What is happening in the garden is a major issue.  God recorded the event for us to see how He, as a man, overcame it so we can overcome our dilemmas.

The fact Jesus prayed this way was not new for Him.  It seems Jesus prayed intently many times in His life as recorded in Hebrews.

Hebrew 5:7-10 In the days of His flesh, He offered up both prayers and supplications with loud crying and tears to the One able to save Him from death, and He was heard because of His piety. 8Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from the things which He suffered. 9And having been made perfect, He became to all those who obey Him the source of eternal salvation, 10being designated by God as a high priest according to the order of Melchizedek.

If you are stressed to the breaking point, contact just a few of your closest friends to watch with you.  Make sure they know how to pray and ask them, not necessarily to come and pray for you, but to pray that you hear from God.  Do not put out a general call to arms.  This is not a case where if a little is good then a lot is better.  It is just the opposite.  You want only those whose heart is knitted with you to be allowed into this hallow ground.  Then with those (this must be those who are spiritual enough to handle what you are going through) close watchers keeping an eye on you, go into prayer to the Father.  If you have authority in the stressful area, start commanding God’s will.  If you do not have authority, such as Jesus in the garden, then importune God with requests of deliverance.  Some historians said Jesus stayed at this for three hours.  He importuned until He had peace.  Once He had peace, He did not struggle with going to the cross.

Thank God that these two examples of the many insights into the man Christ Jesus were recorded.  Again, you can spiritualize away the humanity of Jesus and lose out on some of the best examples of overcoming challenges.  Or, you can embrace the recordings of the scriptures and have victory in life.  I believe God had these recorded for us to learn from so that we can imitate our Lord Jesus Christ and act as more than conquerors.

Be Blessed in Jesus Christ,

Pastor Patrick Markley, January 8, 2001

Spirit and Power

As the heading on this page states, Pastor Patrick Markley believed what the scripture says:

1 Corinthians 2:4&5  “my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith should not rest on the wisdon of men, but on the power of God.”

Pastor Markley dedicated his life to teaching the uncompromised word of God; creating disciples of Jesus Christ and training them to use God’s power in their everyday lives. He founded San Diego Crossroads Assembly in 1983 where it was his joy to pastor, teach and share God’s word.  We are making his major works and collection of inspirational letters available as well as CD copies of his teaching messages through this site.

Today Pastors Kathy Markley and Vince Marino continue in the tradition he established meeting every Sunday morning  for worship and inspiration, 9:30 am at Morning Creek Elementary School, 10925 Morning Creek Drive South, San Diego, California.

If you would like additional information, please contact us at our Mailing address: 11365 Middle Ridge Terrace. San Diego, CA 92128-4021 US