If people ever ask you was Jesus human or divine, the answer is yes. We often say that Jesus is fully God and fully man, but for many years that was a hotly debated topic.

An early belief system known as docetism taught that Jesus is completely divine, and that He only appeared to be human when He was on earth. The church had to fight off this false teaching, and they did so under the leadership of Ignatius of Antioch.

But then the pendulum swung the opposite way. A man named Arius began to teach that Jesus was completely human, but was neither divine nor eternal. His followers said, “There was a time when the Son was not.”

A man named Athanasius wrote a critique of Arius’ position, which nicely showed the balance between the dual natures of Jesus. He wrote:

“When it was necessary to raise up Peter’s mother-in-law… it was a human act when He extended His hand but a divine act when He caused the disease to cease. Likewise, in the case of the man blind from birth it was human spittle which He spat, but it was a divine act when He opened the man’s eyes… and where Lazarus is concerned, He uttered human speech in His capacity as a human being, but it was a divine act when, in His capacity as God, He raised Lazarus from the dead.”

The church sought to put this matter to rest once and for all at a meeting in Chalcedon (AD 451). In their summary statement, now known as the Chalcedon Definition, they described Jesus as “truly God and truly man,” and said He was “begotten before all ages of the Father,” yet also “born of the virgin Mary.”

This statement affirms the paradox of Jesus having two natures at the same time. And this certainly seems to be what the Bible teaches.

Jesus grew (Luke 2:40), was hungry (Matthew 4:2) and thirsty (John 19:28), was weary (John 4:6) and slept (Matthew 8:24), suffered (1 Peter 4:1) and was troubled (John 11:33), felt joy (Luke 10:21) and cried (John 11:35), and bled (John 19:34) and died (Matthew 27:50).

Those are all very human things to do. But at the same time Jesus accepted worship (John 20:28), performed miracles (Matthew 9:35), forgave sins (Mark 2:5), commanded nature (Matthew 8:26), and rose from the dead (Luke 24:6). Those are all very divine things to do.

God in heaven cannot save us. Neither can any man. But the God-Man can. So God put on flesh and lived among us, then shed His perfect blood as the payment for our sins.

So if people ever ask you if Jesus was human or divine, the answer is yes.