Section 4: Jesus
Week 1: Jesus Is Fully Human
Day 3: Jesus Has a Human Mind
We saw yesterday that Jesus had to learn to obey the Father over the course his life, and his suffering played an important role in that process. Suffering, however, doesn’t always cause someone to grow in their faith in God. Sadly, it can also cause people to turn away from him. So how was Jesus able to grow in obedience through the suffering he endured? A key factor was his knowledge of Scripture. When he was tempted by the devil in the desert, for example, he repeatedly went to God’s Word.
When Satan tells a nearly starved Jesus to turn a stone into bread, Jesus quotes Deuteronomy 8:3, “It is written: Man does not live by bread alone.” When Satan promises to give Jesus all the kingdoms of the world if Jesus will just bow down and worship him, Jesus quotes Deuteronomy 6:13, “It is written: Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.” When Satan tells Jesus to jump off the highest point of the temple because the Father will send angels to catch him, Jesus quotes Deuteronomy 6:16, “Do not put the Lord your God to the test.”
As God, Jesus was born programmed with all that scriptural knowledge, right? After all, Scripture is God’s Word, and Jesus is God. Surely he didn’t forget what he wrote, did he? But consider Luke 2:52: “Jesus grew in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and men.”
How is that possible? How could he grow in wisdom? As God, didn’t Jesus already know everything? We might think that, but the Bible makes it clear he didn’t—at least the human part of him didn’t. When Jesus healed the boy with an evil spirit, for example, he didn’t know how long the boy had been suffering (Mark 9:21). Jesus also made it clear he didn’t know the day or the hour of his return (Mark 13:32).
No doubt, in his divine nature, Jesus did know everything. But if Jesus was going to be fully human, he needed a fully human mind. Do you know everything? Does any human? No. We have finite minds, which by definition means we don’t know all there is to know. And even what we do know, we have to learn over time. To be one of us, Jesus had to take on that same limitation. Because he was fully human, Jesus had to learn things just like you and I have to learn things. That applied to spiritual matters as well.
So, where did Jesus get his knowledge? How did he grow in spiritual wisdom? In the same way that you and I do it. Because Jesus was human, “it stands to reason that the Spirit of God did with Jesus what he seeks to do with all of us in whom he dwells: He illumined the Word of God to Jesus’ mind and cultivated that Word in his heart as Jesus read, studied, heard and was taught that precious Spirit-inspired Word.”[i]
In other words, Jesus’ wisdom didn’t come automatically. He had to immerse himself in Scripture. As he did, the Spirit helped him to understand and apply it to his life.
Think of one or two areas in your life where you need wisdom.
How can you gain the wisdom you need? What sources should you use? What sources are you tempted to use that maybe you shouldn’t? Commit yourself to taking one positive step in seeking God’s wisdom today.
[i] Bruce Ware, The Man Christ Jesus: Theological Reflections on the Humanity of Christ (Wheaton: Crossway, 2013) Ch. 3 Kindle eBook.