Jesus Was Human in Every Way

When we think about the birth of Jesus, we tend to think about this cute and cuddly infant nestled in Mary’s arms. I’m sure that there were times when this image is exactly what one would have seen had we been able to peek into the stable. I am convinced, however, this is not the typical image of the baby Jesus, despite what the carol tells us:

The cattle are lowing, the baby awakes,

But little Lord Jesus, no crying He makes.

Come on, if Jesus is fully human—a truth that is essential to Christian doctrine—then he was like every other baby, which means that he cried, and sometimes he cried at the most inappropriate and embarrassing moments…but that’s what babies do. Not only did he cry, but he messed his diaper. I have never yet met a baby that didn’t. It’s what babies do. Something about Jesus as a baby makes it seem natural and we understand.

But to ponder Jesus as an adult seems entirely different. For years something in my mind seemed to ignore a truth of the incarnation that the Eternal Son had to relieve himself. Just like everyone else, Jesus, the Son of God, through whom all is created, had to excuse himself to use the facilities, and he had to do this every day, multiple times a day.

I realize that this is not a profound thought, but it is a startling thought: we’re talking about the One who put the stars in the sky, the One who put the fish in the ocean, the One who has always existed. This is how far God is willing to go in order to show his love for us, in order to reveal himself and his will to us, in order to reconcile humanity with God! Perhaps something of this idea is in Paul’s mind when he writes to the Philippian Christians (2:5-8, NLT):

Though he was God,

    he did not think of equality with God

    as something to cling to.

 Instead, he gave up his divine privileges;

    he took the humble position of a slave

    and was born as a human being.

When he appeared in human form,

     he humbled himself in obedience to God

    and died a criminal’s death on a cross.

If this is a glimpse into how far God is willing to go in order to redeem us, why do we have so much trouble trusting his love, that he wants what is best for us?