THE HUMANITY OF JESUS IN MATTHEW
If we would pray-read all the verses in Matthew concerning the Lord’s humanity, we would see the humanity it takes to be a king. Many years ago, a Christian teacher argued with me, saying that we would all be kings when the Lord comes back. But I asked, “Brother, look at yourself. Could you be a king?” Do you believe that we can be so sloppy in our humanity now, yet when the Lord Jesus returns He will suddenly make us a king? Such teachings are nonsense.
All that the Lord is in His person depends upon His humanity. Look at the verses in Matthew. John the Baptist was baptizing in the Jordan. Even John saw that there was no need for Jesus to be baptized. He was the Son of God. Nevertheless, Jesus said, “Permit it now, for in this way it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness” (Matt. 3:15). We must be so right with God in whatever He wants. Sometimes we, and especially the younger brothers and sisters, think that it may be necessary for others to do certain things, but not us. However, Jesus in effect said to John, “Regardless of who I am, as long as I am a man in this age, I must be baptized by you. This is what God is doing today. As long as I am living in this day of God’s dispensation, I must go along with God’s righteousness.” This is the humanity of Jesus. We should never consider ourselves an exception. We need to fulfill all the righteousness of God.
Kept in the Position of Man
After His baptism the man Jesus was led into the wilderness to be tempted by the evil one. Satan is so subtle. He said, “If You are the Son of God…” But the Lord immediately answered, “Man shall not live on bread alone…” (Matt. 4:3-4). In effect the Lord said to Satan, “Do not put me in the position of the Son of God. I am here as a man. If I am here as the Son of God, how could I be tempted by you? I can be tempted only because I am a man. Undoubtedly I am the Son of God, but I am not standing in that position; I am standing here as a man.”
Then the subtle one brought Him to the top of the temple and said, “If You are the Son of God, cast Yourself down; for it is written, He shall give charge to His angels concerning You, and on their hands they shall bear You up, lest You strike Your foot against a stone. Jesus said to him, Again it is written, You shall not tempt the Lord your God” (Matt. 4:6-7). Jesus told him that as a man He would never tempt God. Finally, Satan even attempted to persuade the Lord to worship him by offering Him the kingdoms of the world. But Jesus answered, “Go, Satan! For it is written, You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only shall you serve” (Matt. 4:10). The Lord kept Himself continually in the position of man.
There is one more interesting matter in these verses concerning the temptation in the wilderness. Satan tempted the Lord Jesus by quoting Psalm 91. Even Satan can quote the Bible. But the Lord answered, “Again it is written.” It is not a matter of quoting one passage of Scripture. There must be another for confirmation. This is the humanity of Jesus, quoting Scripture not in an isolated way, but in the way of confirmation.
No Resting Place
Matthew 8:20 says, “The foxes have holes, and the birds of the heaven have roosts, but the Son of Man has nowhere that He may lay His head.” As a man, the Lord was not so comfortable all the time. Let us apply it in this way. Suppose five brothers move into an apartment with three bedrooms. Who will take the one bedroom for himself? If we seek a way to get the single bedroom for ourselves, that means that we are taking the humanity of foxes, not the humanity of Jesus. If we really take the Lord as our humanity, we will have no desire for the single bedroom. So many times we simply follow the foxes and birds of the air. The humanity that likes to have the fox’s hole is of no use for the church life. Only the life that is willing to have nowhere to lay its head is good for the church. This is the humanity of Jesus, and this is the proper way to build up God’s dwelling place. We all need such a humanity.
(Christ as the Reality, Chapter 7, by Witness Lee)