Question: Is Jesus fully God and fully man, or fifty-fifty?
Answer: This question was asked by a Jewish nonbeliever who was confused by all the different answers he had received whenever he asked this question.
While Christians are taught that Jesus is fully God and fully man, which He is; we can’t really understand His Divine Anatomy unless we examine how the scriptures reveal the relationship between the soul and spirit, and compare the origins of the first man, Adam, with the last Adam, the Messiah Jesus.
Let’s begin by recognizing that as a man, Jesus was born like any other, with a body, a soul and a spirit. (The Jews recognized these three components and were trichotomoists, people who recognized that human beings are comprised of these three elements (Isaiah 26:9, Luke 1:46,47,I Thessalonians 5:23).
Jesus’ body was compliments of Mary. His soul, which is His person, was “begotten.” In order for Jesus’ soul to be an offering for our sins (Isaiah 53:10), it would have to be a distinct, begotten entity from the Father. The Messiah pre-existed which was a belief that was also held by the Hebrew sages.
While Jesus always existed within the Father, there was a specific point in infinity when He was “begotten,” birthed or brought forth from the Father. This is the orthodox doctrine of the Christian church that was confirmed by the early councils.
Anyone who is begotten must come from a pre-existing substance. In other words, Jesus’ soul was birthed and not created out of nothing.
We are shown in the Messianic prophecy, that this soul of the Messiah is joined to God through the union of the Holy Spirit. –
Behold My servant, whom I uphold; My elect, in whom my soul delights; I have put My Spirit upon Him: He shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles (Isaiah 42:1, Jeremiah 38:16).
Jesus’ pre-existing soul that had been joined to God, was then placed in Mary’s body.
The scriptures show us that our souls are made by God (Isaiah 57:16, Jeremiah 38:16). They are then given life by the spirit, the breath that is inherited from the body of the mother. However, because Jesus’ soul preexisted, and His soul was already animated or given life by the Holy Spirit, when His soul was placed in Mary’s body, the embryo that was formed to be His body, was given life by the Holy Spirit. The Apostle Paul recognized this distinction between Jesus and Adam.
– And so it is written, the first Adam was made a living soul. The last Adam was made a quickening – (Greek, zoopieo – life giving) Spirit (I Corinthians 15:45).
For as the Father has life in Himself: so He has given to the Son to have life in Himself (John 5:26).
Adam was given life by the breath, the neshamah. Jesus was given life as a man by the Holy Spirit, and that is where His divinity is found.
Therefore we see that while Jesus had a human body and a soul that was birthed from God, His Spirit as a man was the Holy Spirit of the Father (Matthew 10:20).
The Holy Spirit unified with His soul makes Him fully God.
His soul unified with His body makes Him fully man and enabled Him to identify with man, as He suffered to overcome the temptations of His human flesh.
Copyright 2022 by H.D. Shively
Questions and Answers | Understanding the Trinity | Cafe Logos Homepage