Take the 2-minute tour ×
Christianity Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for committed Christians, experts in Christianity and those interested in learning more. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I feel that whatever Jesus did, if it is because He is special (the son of God in a way that I am not - because aren't we all God's children?) then it holds little relevance to my life - because it is something I can not strive for or live by because I am not special.

However, if He was a man not unlike me, and He knew the way to live, and led by example, so that I can emulate Him, and strive for His loving approach to everything He faced, uncompromisingly, and with the moral strength and conviction to carry out the orders of the heart, then His story holds the utmost relevance to my life, as it can give me inspiration, and direction, to know that if He was like me, I can also be like Him.

share|improve this question
6  
As the answers below indicate, I think this question is based on a false premise. However, I think it's a common one, and important to answer. –  Flimzy Sep 10 '11 at 21:46
    
You might check out this article by David Mathis on the subject: Jesus is Fully Human. –  Caleb Sep 10 '11 at 22:47

3 Answers 3

up vote 2 down vote accepted

I appreciate the question because for me... I used to try to be like Christ before I understood that He was God, and before I understood the gospel message. The reason I am bringing up my experience is because I actually understood Christ to be the Son of God not because of His divinity, but because of how He lived. In other words that He wasn't any more special than I could be.

I found myself trying to live up to the standard of Christ, and I failed miserably. My attempts to live like Christ had no power, meaning I had no strength in me on a day to day basis to live up to the standard. I was tired of failing and always felt guilty because of my weakness to sin.

So then the question was how/where do I get the strength to do the things that God requires of me. That's when the Gospel became clear. Because I needed someone to do it for me, which couldn't be another sinful man like myself, but it had to be a sinless man, and what man is sinless? Only God could be sinless, so therefore Jesus being the Son of God, could be the perfect Man, and could do what I couldn't. And once He did it for me, all I could do is believe on Him and His finished work. Then once I had faith in Him, I was now enabled to do the things I couldn't do before because I had Christ living within me.

So, actually what you desire to do, which is to emulate Christ, is possible because of His divinity.

Scripture below:

John 14:12

Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these

Paul explains here the impossibility of doing good in our own strength, and that the only one to deliver us from this is Christ:

Romans 7:19:

For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing.

Romans 7:24-25:

24Wretched man that I am! > Who will deliver me from this body of death? 25Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!

It is Christ living in you that enables you to live for Him. If Christ wasn't God He couldn't dwell in us, allow us to live for Him.

Galatians 2:20:

I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me...

If we could live sinless lives by our own strength, then Christ would not have had to die for us.

Galatians 2:21

I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain.

We are created in Christ (if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation 1 Cor 5:17) for good works, but we must be in Christ.

Ephesians 2:8-10:

8For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9not of works, lest anyone should boast. 10For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

share|improve this answer
    
+1! "once I had faith in Him, I was now enabled to do the things I couldn't do before because I had Christ living within me" ... well put. I love hearing this truth expressed in people's own words: "So, actually what you desire to do, which is to emulate Christ, is possible because of His divinity." –  Caleb Sep 11 '11 at 5:40
    
Which translation are you quoting? –  Flimzy Sep 15 '11 at 23:00

The beautiful thing about Jesus is that he was a man, not unlike ourselves. Christians believe that Jesus was fully, 100%, human just like you or I. He walked, talked, had friends, slept, ate fish, wept, bled, hungered, was tempted, and basically lived through all the kinds of things you and I do.

In fact this belief is one of the basic tests of orthodox belief among Christians. Do you believe that Jesus was a real flesh and blood man?

1 John 4:2 (ESV)
By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God,

He even had to grow up physically and mentally.

Luke 2:52 (ESV)
Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and man.”

It is just these attributes of his being fully man that make him able to be OUR high priest.

Hebrews 4:15 (ESV)
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.

Where Jesus was different is that he had a dual nature. He was also fully God, and although he laid aside many of his rights he still did not sin. This does not negate the fact that he was a real man, but he had to not sin in order to be able to make a propitiation for us.

Hebrews 2:17 (ESV)
Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.

If he had NOT also been God and able to keep himself perfect, he couldn't have have won our salvation for his because he wouldn't have been a perfect sacrifice.

He is still the example we follow. He is model of a life lived to the glory of the Father. Just because we will always fall short of the mark (sin) doesn't invalidate the example. In fact his success as a perfect man gives us all all the more reason to rejoice that he did not fail.

If Jesus were just a really good moral teacher who lived a pretty good life, he would be nothing of note to us. Faith in him would have no power to save.

The thing is Christianity is not about living a good life and making your best effort to emulate some good role model. Christianity is the story of man that ALWAYS fail and needed something more. We needed a savior who could do it for us because we NEVER could.

share|improve this answer
    
This does not address my question. You edited my title to change the meaning a bit to suit your answer. The question is if he is a man not unlike us as in there is nothing in his make up that is unlike us. Your changing ut to a man like us suggests some similarities only. My question is quite precisely about the scenario where he is a regular guy like myself, and how the story could hold more meaning that way. You seem to have gone off on a tangent of your own interest with this answer. –  Billy Moon May 11 '13 at 7:01

That's the important part of Jesus being the Son of God. He was a man like us, a human being who had to eat and sleep, who suffered pain, experienced happiness, and got frustrated at people doing stupid things. He was the Perfect Man and the perfect example of how to live a virtuous life, and that should inspire us to live better and emulate his example.

But he was also more than a man; he was God the Son, capable of forgiving sins, knowing the thoughts in the hearts of the people around him, and in the end, taking the penalty for all our sins upon him, dying and being resurrected to make salvation possible for all of us. That aspect of his life is intertwined with the Jesus-the-man parts, but they're unique and separate. As long as we understand that and don't try to emulate that part of his life as an example, we can certainly draw inspiration and direction from the rest of it, as you put it, and strive to be more like him.

share|improve this answer
    
You lost me in the second paragraph. First you say He's a man, just like us. Then you say He's also God. Assuming that you did not mean we are God, then this is a contradiction. He can't be God, like us, while we are not God. Do you mean that He was a man with extra powers? And, if the power is to forgive sins, aren't priests forgiving them as well in Confession? I am puzzled. –  Ebenezer Sklivvze Sep 10 '11 at 20:01
    
@Sklivvz: His father was God the Father and his mother was a human, and so he inherited the traits of both. The rest of us had a human mother and a human father, and so we aren't divine as Jesus was. –  Mason Wheeler Sep 10 '11 at 20:04
    
@mas so shouldn't it be more appropriate to refer to Him as Demigod? It would be the technically correct term! –  Ebenezer Sklivvze Sep 10 '11 at 20:33

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.