Please do not misunderstand what I mean when I speak of the proper humanity. I realize that some may think that we must simply be human. So they say, “Let us be human. God does not want angels; He wants human beings. Let us go to the beach, engage in sports and watch T.V.” That may be human, but not Jesusly human. We must be Jesusly human, not humanly human. I am not referring to our natural and fallen humanity. We should not bring anything natural into the realm of Jesus. We already have enough of this kind of humanity. We need another category of humanity, a new, holy human nature, as mentioned by Andrew Murray in his book, The Spirit of Christ. Jesus perfected such a human nature, not in a natural way, but in a divine way. It is humanity, yet something divine.
Jesus is a man, but His humanity is of a different source than ours. By death and resurrection, He uplifted this humanity. His humanity is not only new and holy, but also uplifted. Our natural humanity can never match His. It may be difficult to discern the difference in word, but in our experience there is a great difference. Our humanity at its best is just a shadow; the humanity of Jesus is the reality. A genuine flower and an artificial flower look alike in size, color, shape, and form. If you lack discernment, you may say that they are identical. But they are absolutely not. One has come out of life; the other has no element of life.
For the building up of the local church today, we need the standing boards, the uniting bars, and all the members to be the proper gifts by being constituted with the humanity of Jesus. Not only must we be standing up and united, but also we must be useful. Every member among us must be useful. We are all gifts to the Body, so we must function in a useful way. How can this be done? Only by being constituted with the humanity of Jesus.
Years ago I could not speak in this way because I did not have this light. I was not so clear, but I did have some experience. Praise the Lord, today we see that our need is the humanity of Jesus! In the past, we thought that if we had certain kinds of gifts and manifestations with the baptism of the Holy Spirit and if we had a certain amount of Bible knowledge with proper training, then surely we would be useful. This may be of some use, but eventually what we do without Jesus’ humanity will be torn down by what we are. Brother Watchman Nee used to tell us that some people build up twelve inches by what they do, but tear down fourteen inches by what they are. This means that they tear down more than they build up. Hence, it is better for them not to do anything. We may build up a certain amount by our Bible doctrine and knowledge, but we will damage more than we build up because of our shortage of the humanity of Jesus. In the church life, we need the humanity of Jesus much more than the gifts, the so-called baptism, or the knowledge of the Bible.
PERFECTING AND EQUIPPING
Ephesians 4:11-12 says that all the gifted persons do not build up the church directly, but indirectly. “He gave some apostles, and some prophets, and some evangelists, and some shepherds and teachers, for the perfecting of the saints unto the work of the ministry, unto the building up of the Body of Christ.” All the gifted persons are for the perfecting of others, thus equipping them to be useful members. To perfect and equip is simply to help the saints to grow in life. To perfect and equip the saints is to feed them with the meal offering, the humanity of Jesus.
Suppose we have before us a normal baby with all of its proper organs and members. Many of the members of this little babe do not yet function properly because it is short of growth and maturity. The baby has two feet with legs, but he cannot stand up or walk because he is short of the growth in life. The mother must therefore perfect him and equip him. This is not done by putting many good things upon him. If she went to the supermarket and bought many good things to heap them upon the baby, it would not help. There is only one way for the mother to perfect her baby to maturity—by feeding him. If a baby has proper food, he will grow in life. All his organs and members will mature into useful function.
We are all born priests; we have been born into the priestly family. But we are all priestly babes; we need the growth in life. The main food which will enable us to grow into mature priests is the meal offering, which signifies the humanity of Jesus. This meal offering comes from the labor of the more mature ones. In the church there should be a number of mature ones who labor on the good land to produce the grain for making the meal offering. They must bring this offering to the tent of meeting to present to the Father. The remainder will be the food for feeding the priestly family.
(Christ as the Reality, Chapter 11, by Witness Lee)