In what sense was He perfect as a man?
What made Him perfect in that regard?
For what purposes was He perfect as a human?
What does any of that have to do with you and me?
The Captain of our salvation (10) is the Author of our faith (Hebrews 12:2) and the Prince of life (Acts 3:15). In those verses, captain, author, and prince all translate the same Greek word.
He who is perfect makes us perfect (11).
He who is perfect destroyed the one who causes imperfection (14).
“To make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings” (10) — That is the route to perfection?!
Here are some of the other New Testament uses of the Greek term which Hebrews 2:10 translated perfect:
- “The third day I shall be perfected” (Luke 13:32).
- “I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do” (John 17:4).
- “That they may be made perfect in one” (John 17:23).
- “The Son, who is consecrated for evermore” (Hebrews 7:28).
- “He hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified” (Hebrews 10:14).
Over the years, many people have struggled with and stumbled over the dual nature of Jesus. Was He completely both or was He a watered down version of each? He Himself testified to His completeness in both. He called Himself the Son of God as well as the Son of Man. However, what evidences do we have that Jesus was indeed both God and man?
As God, Jesus healed the sick, gave life to the dead, and freed the demon possessed. He knew men’s thoughts and histories. He ruled over nature, walking on water, stilling waves and winds, and withering trees. He showed He is the Creator by restoring atrophied limbs, reattaching an ear, replacing water with wine and making bread and fish “out of thin air.” He proved His power and authority to forgive sins.
As man, Jesus possessed a human body like anyone else’s. He was born just like all others. He moved from place to place by normal human means. He slept. He hungered. He thirsted. He tired. He bled. He died. He was so human, most of His acquaintances rejected His divinity.
Did Jesus have to give up some of His deity to humanize Himself? Not at all! He did willingly restrict or limit the expression of some aspects of His deity in order that He might inhabit a normal human body. For example, the Bible teaches that God neither slumbers nor sleeps. The fact that Jesus in the flesh slept does not disprove His deity, but rather, it illustrates one small way in which He limited Himself that He might be fully human.
Jesus was as human as you! Even the devil recognized that, else he would not have bothered tempting the Lord. Jesus willingly clothed Himself with a body so human that the devil could appeal to His senses. Imagine! Never before in eternity or in time had the devil had an opportunity of this magnitude. He could appeal to God through the His own flesh. That to me constitutes just one proof of Jesus love for me. Jesus deliberately took a weak human body so that He might experience fully the temptations the devil metes out to me. But not just that, Jesus set about to prove the possibility of defeating Satan in his own territory. That is what these verses mean to me:
“Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted” (Hebrews 2:17-18).
“For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:15-16).
Excerpted from Made in the Likeness of Men