Jesus Is And Always Will Be A Human
Dr. Al Franzmeier

This past summer my wife Sylvia and I took our two oldest granddaughters on a long trip to California and back. We visited Grand Canyon, Yosemite, Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks. We also stopped in at Disneyland and Universal Studios theme parks. At Universal we heard Arnold Schwarzenegger's famous phrase, "I'll be back!" And so we finally were as well.

During that trip I found myself pondering again and again the question: What is a Christian? There are many questions surrounding the answers given across the centuries to that question. Not surprisingly, once asked, I received an immediate response from Sam. Sam asked this about Jesus' humanity:

"You do come up with the most interesting challenges, Al! I don't have any answers, but I do have lots of questions. I've always been intrigued that so many who claim to be Christians rarely talk of or seem even to notice the human side of Jesus. Take for instance his cleansing of the temple by driving out the moneychangers and others doing business there. Paintings of that incident commonly picture a stern Jesus with his arm upraised, ready to strike out with some sort of lash in his hand, while the moneychangers cringe in fear or scurry to escape. The whole image is of Jesus lashing out in anger. And isn't anger a sin, just as assault, especially within the confines of the holy temple, violated both Jewish and Roman law?

"It's also interesting to see how our image of Jesus has changed over the years. When you see the medieval or earlier paintings of Jesus, he usually has dark hair and beard, dark eyes, and looks somewhat swarthy and maybe even short – in other words very much like other paintings of that period of Jews, Moslems, Greeks, Romans, Franks, Spanish and other cultures around the Mediterranean. And he's virtually always portrayed as very serious, almost brooding. But somehow over the centuries the modern image of Jesus has transmuted into a tall man with blonde hair and beard, blue eyes -- almost Nordic, even Aryan -- and with a usually benevolent expression free of all worry. Which Jesus is the "real" one, and does trying to picture him at all violate the commandment against graven images and idolatry, as some members of the early church claimed?"

Thanks Sam. Let's start with the humanity of Jesus. The Gospel writers—those who personally walked and talked with him—emphasize that he was indeed human. He was born, grew up, got hungry, tired and even angry. He suffered, cried, laughed and died. He is the Word made flesh as John points out:

"And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory"(John 1:14).

By the way, the church has long affirmed that He remains human. After His resurrection He invited his disciples to touch him and to examine His healed wounds. He ate food with them (see John 20-21). In that sense He has magnified the wonder of being human. When He raises up our bodies we will share in His glory. What wonders that will entail has not yet been revealed, but we do know that we have not even begun to realize the potential we all have. Quoting Isaiah 64:4 the Apostle Paul wrote:

"Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him."

As to the many ways Jesus' humanity has been portrayed, you may want to take a look at several websites. For instance, take a look at

*A Portrait of Jesus and  *Finding the Face of Jesus

In his article on "Finding the Face of Jesus" Dr. Goetz quotes the poet Robert Frost: “Heaven gives its glimpses only to those not in a position to look too close.” Then he gives us a most helpful comment as he says, "We have, in faith, glimpsed Jesus Christ. However, when the content of that glimpse is portrayed -- verbally, visually or musically -- the vision and the viewer inevitably become one. Though the glimpse is real, we are not “in a position” to sort out where it ends and we begin." Read the article yourself.

And a final comment on Sam’s views on anger. Anger is not the sin. Anger is an emotion built in by the Creator. It prepares us to act. It stirs up energy. The challenge is to use that anger/energy in an appropriate manner. As the Psalmist long ago said: "In your anger do not sin" (Psalm 4:4). Even God gets angry and when He does, we'd better watch out (Psalm 90:7). We all have much to learn about controlling our anger. The Proverbs (29:11) put it this way: "A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control."


This article comes from Alvin H. Franzmeier