What happens if Jesus was actually "just" a human being? What if Jesus was conceived and born exactly as we were, and was fully and completely human, just like us? The implications are startling for how we view our faith in God, and in a very good way.
Those who walked with him during his ministry knew very well that Jesus got hungry, got angry, got tired, slept, wept, bled, and prayed to God, just like they did. They knew him as a boy, they saw him gain knowledge, and grow from a baby into a man. In fact, this is the picture that manages to come through even in the Gospels as they have come down to us.
So, if this was the view of the earliest followers of Jesus, what happens when we, too, view Jesus as our elder brother - a fellow human being, fully and completely human, like us?
Something wonderful happens! With centuries of human inventions swept away, Jesus' teachings become fresh, alive and challenging, just as when he presented them the first time to astonished and joyful crowds.
With a completely human Jesus, the Gospel is a glorious set of challenges to accomplish. Jesus no longer preaches DOWN to us, knowing we cannot obey his lofty teachings that only a God-man can follow.
We must obey God’s moral Laws, and seek to follow Jesus in ALL of his teachings – because Jesus was able to follow God in all things, and said we could do all that he had done.
If we don't believe this is true, or think it's impossible, then we need to stop following him, because we are liars, not Jesus Followers. (1 John 2:4-6)
The Apostles said that God chose this fully and completely human Jesus (Acts 2:22) from among us human beings to be our example. And when Jesus said we may follow him, we know that we are able.
As a "mere" human being, Jesus' teachings become something amazing. His full and complete humanity becomes our FULL pattern of life, because he followed all he tells us God requires of us, and calls on us to do exactly the same. If we cannot do this, then Jesus was a liar when he says he did all God asked of him.
But he was just not lying, of course. His life and teachings show that he was honest about his relationship with God, and that this is the relationship we are ALSO meant to have with our Creator.
In short, the goals Jesus set for us only make sense if they are achievable BY us. And they are achievable only if he was fully and completely human, as we are.
When Jesus is viewed as fully and completely human, we accept as truth that God chose him from among humanity to be our example. And when he said we may follow him, we know that we are able.
God knows our spirit before we are born. He has always been fully aware of what we are capable, and in what ways we are weak. He didn't need to pretend to be human to do this. He is all-knowing, and all-seeing, and chose this perfectly obedient human being to be our example.
Jesus, who, as a man, was faithful to God in all things, assures us that we can do all that he did. (John 13:15; 14:12) Because Jesus followed God not with his lips alone but with his acts and with his heart, we need never fear acting as he did, letting our humble Works define our Faith.
When Jesus says "Take up your cross daily and follow me," he's calling us on a journey of joyful suffering and service, just as he embarked upon.
But if we do not follow his words, we are not really following Jesus. If we make excuses for not obeying his call to us, we are not worthy of his name. This fully and completely human Jesus is meant to be followed, not just admired.
“If you love me, keep my commands,” he says (John 14:15) But If we claim to know and love him, but reject his teachings, we are liars, unfit for his name. (1 John 2:4)
The fully human Jesus doesn't set impossible goals for the rest of us. If a human being just like us calls us to be perfect, "just as your Father in Heaven is perfect" (Matt. 5:48) and he, himself achieved it, then that is a challenge worthy of human beings.
We lose our excuses for sinning with a fully, completely human Jesus. We can no longer say we are "only human," hiding behind our alleged inherited moral sinfulness, if Jesus, too, was born as we were, and yet found favor with God. We can no longer hide behind our alleged human frailty, we cannot blame others or our supposed genetic inability, and we can't say that sinning is our "nature," if Jesus shared that nature with us, fully and completely.