Lesson 8: A Humanitarian by Becoming Man
Study Guide Pages 59-66
Imagine being a citizen of a small country invaded by a powerful enemy. You know your country’s army is no match for theirs. You are terrified.
Then, suddenly, you hear that the world’s greatest superpower has deployed troops to ward off the invasion. In an instant, you go from hopelessness to joyous hope.
This is one way you can think of Christmas.
At Christmas, God didn’t deploy a powerful army to save us. He deployed his powerful Son. And it wasn’t to defeat a physical enemy. Talking about Jesus, Scripture says:
Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondageHebrews 2:14-15
Even though Jesus was the powerful Son of God, he didn’t look like it at Christmas. He was born in very humble circumstances. And this continued throughout his life. One time he said, “The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head” (Matthew 8:20). That wasn’t the worst of it. About him, Scripture says,
And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the crossPhilippians 2:8
Jesus humbled himself, even to the point of dying a shameful, painful death on the cross to save us. He couldn’t save us just by being a good teacher and telling us what to do. Neither could he save us by being a perfect example showing us what we needed to do. Neither of these would work because, no matter how hard we try, we can’t do what he says or follow his example. Sin had thoroughly corrupted us.
So he had to do it all for us. God deployed him as our substitute. As such, he did absolutely everything necessary to save us. He suffered and died for all our sins. And during his life, he kept all the commandments perfectly in our place. Incredibly, he credits his perfect obedience to us.
This is what makes Christmas so joyous. At Christmas, God deployed his Son to defeat the devil for us. And that is exactly what Jesus did!
Key Bible Verses
Jesus had to become a man so that he could die and in dying rise to assure us of his defeat of sin, death, and the devil. His victory is our victory.
Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.
Although he is God, high and exalted above all, Jesus willingly became a man. He did this so that he could die a humble death in our place. His death is our death.
Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
Questions to Consider
- Although we deal with many and varied problems daily, what are humanity’s biggest problems?
- If you had seen Jesus during his time on earth, what might you have thought about him? How would the world view Jesus if he arrived for the first time today and behaved in the same way he did 2000 years ago?
- Explain: Jesus is so much more than our example; he’s our substitute.
- Jesus, coming into the world as our substitute and Savior, is the most fantastic news ever. Why do we tend to want to make Jesus into something other than a humble serving Savior? A Savior who gave all for us so that we might be with him.
- How did Jesus’ humbling himself and becoming a man show God to be the ultimate giver?
- Why is it comforting to know that Jesus is both God and man?
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