Now, Jesus was human; truly naturally human, God's human, and then more because of the conditions He found. The love act of creation brought with it self-imposed limitations to God. And now the love act of saving brings still more. God made man in His own image. In His humanity Jesus was in the image of God, even as we are. Adam was an unfallen man. Jesus was that and more, a tested and now matured unfallen man, and by the law of growth ever growing more. Adam was an innocent, unfallen man up to the temptation. Jesus was a virtuous unfallen man. The test with Him changed innocence to virtue.
In His experiences, His works, His temptations, His struggles, His victories, Jesus was clearly human. In His ability to read men's thoughts and know their lives without finding out by ordinary means, His knowledge ahead of coming events, His knowledge of and control over nature, He clearly was more than the human we know. Yet until we know more than we seem to now of the proper powers of an unfallen man matured and growing in the use and control of those powers we cannot draw here any line between human and divine. But the whole presumption is in favor of believing that in all of this Jesus was simply exercising the proper human powers which with Him were not hurt by sin but ever increasing in use.
Jesus insisted on living a simple true human life, dependent upon God and upon others. He struck the key-note of this at the start in the wilderness. Everything He taught He put through the test of use. He was what He taught. As a man He has gone through all He calls us to. He blazed the way into every thicket and woods, and then stands ahead, softly, clearly calling, |Come along after Me.|
He was a normal man, God's pattern unchanged. All the powers of body and mind and spirit were developed naturally and held in poise, no lack of development, no over development of some part, no misuse of any power, nor abuse, but each part perfectly fitting in and working naturally with each other part.
He experienced all the proper limitations of human life. He needed food and sleep and rest and needed to give His body proper thought and care. He was under the human limitations regarding space and material construction. He got from one place to another by the slow process of using His strength or joining it with nature or that of a beast. He entered a building through an opening as we do. Both of these are in sharp contrast with the conditions after the resurrection. His stock of knowledge came by the law of increase, the natural way; some, and then more, and the more gaining more yet.
But there's more than this. There's a bit of a pull inside as one thinks of this, as though Jesus in His humanity after all is on a level above us, hardly alongside giving us a hand. Ah! there is more. He had fellowship with us in the limitation that sin has brought. He shared the experiences that men were actually having. He knew the bitterness of having one's life plan utterly broken and something else -- a rude jagged something else -- thrust in its place. But the bitterness of the experience never got into His spirit or affected His conduct. The emergency He found down here wrought by sin affected Him.
He was hungry sometimes without food at hand to satisfy His hunger. He always showed a peculiar tender sympathy with hungry people. He couldn't bear the sight of the hungry crowds without food. He would go out of His way any time to feed a man. He makes the caring for hungry folks a test question for the judgment time. There's a great note of sympathy here with the race. Every night hundreds of thousands of our brothers and sisters go hungry to bed. It was said at one time that the death rate of London rises and falls with the price of bread. If true when said it probably is more intensely true to-day. Jesus ate the bread of the poor, the coarsest, plainest bread. But then, that may have been simply His good common sense.
Jesus got tired. Could there be a closer touch! He fell asleep on a pillow in the stern of the boat one day crossing the lake. And the sleep was like that of a very tired man, so sound that the wild storm did not wake Him up. It was His tiredness that made Him wait at Jacob's well while the disciples push on to the village to get food. He wouldn't have asked them to go if they were too tired, too. Was He ever too tired -- over-tired -- like we get? I wonder. There was the temptation to be so ever tugging. Probably not, for He was wise, and had good self-control, and then He trusted His Father. Yet He probably went to the full limit of what was wise. Certainly He lived a strenuous life those three and a half years.
Jesus knew the pinch of poverty. He was the eldest in a large family, with the father probably dead, and so likely was the chief breadwinner, earning for Himself and for the others a living by His trade. He was the village carpenter up in Nazareth, an obscure country village. I do not mean abject grinding poverty, of course. That cannot exist with frugality and honest toil. But the pinch of constant management, rigid economy, counting the coins carefully, studying to make both ends meet, and needing to stretch a bit to get them together. It is not unlikely that house rent was one of the items.
The ceaselessness of His labors those public years suggests habits of industry acquired during those long Nazareth years. He was used to working hard and being kept busy. It would seem that He had the care of His mother after the home was broken up. At the very end He makes provision for her. John understands the allusion and takes her to his own home. He must have thought a great deal of John to trust His mother to his care. Could there be finer evidence of friendship than giving His friend John such a trust?
Jesus was a homeless man. Forced from the home village by His fellow townsmen, for those busy years he had no quiet home spot of His own to rest in. And He felt it. How He would have enjoyed a home of His own, with His mother in it with him! No more pathetic word comes from His lips than that touching His homelessness -- foxes have holes, and the birds of the air nests, but the Son of Man hath neither hole nor nest, burrowed or built, in ground or tree.
And Jesus knew the sharp discipline of waiting. He knew what it meant to be going a commonplace, humdrum, tread-mill round while the fires are burning within for something else. He knew, and forever cast a sweet soft halo over all such labor as men call drudgery, which never was such to Him because of the fine spirit breathed into it. Drudgery, commonplaceness is in the spirit, not the work. Nothing could be commonplace or humdrum when done by One with such an uncommon spirit.