Jesus As Man

by: Bill Bratt


Have you ever wondered why there are four gospel accounts in the New Testament?

Jesus carefully chose His 12 disciples to be witnesses of His resurrection. Matthew, Mark, Luke and John were witnesses of Jesusí life, message, death and resurrection. As witnesses, they are offering official testimony and evidence to the jury, which is you and me. As the jury, we must read their testimony and believe it to be true. If a witness bears false testimony, he could be charged with perjury and be sent to jail.

We, as the jury, must realize that the testimony of all four witnesses may not and should not agree, word for word. If all four witnessesí testimony were identical, word for word, we the jury would conclude that the truth was being tampered with and that someone was lying.

We also must realize that the testimony of these four witnesses were given fifteen to sixty years after the ascension of Jesus. Each testimony will vary a little in detail as to the exact sequence of events. They didnít have tape recorders at that time to record the exact words of Jesus. They had to rely upon the inspiration of the holy spirit and their memories for their testimonies.

Another point that we must realize is that each of the four witnesses is giving his testimony from his point of view. Matthew wrote from the point of view that "Jesus is King", Markís emphasis was that "Jesus was a servant", Lukeís point of view was on "Jesus as man" and Johnís emphasis was that "Jesus is God".

In this article, we will focus on Lukeís emphasis in that "Jesus was a Man!"

Jesus as Man

Luke portrays Jesus as a man. He emphasizes the physical side of Jesus especially His birth. Luke gives us a very detailed account beginning with the birth of John the Baptist, the angel Gabriel announcing the birth of Jesus to Mary, Mary then visits Elizabeth. Luke continues in chapter 2 recording the birth of Jesus, the shepherds in the field, and Jesus being circumcised and presented in the Temple. The family then returned to Nazareth. The chapter concludes with Jesus being twelve years old and amazing the scholars.

Chapter 3 begins with John the Baptist preaching and baptizing. In verse 21 Jesus is baptized by John. The chapter concludes with the genealogy of Jesus through his mother Mary which is recorded in Luke 3:23-38. (For more information about Jesus and His mother Mary, request our free article: "Mary, the mother of Jesus!")

Luke, in chapter 4, records the story of Jesus being led into the wilderness by the Spirit and being tempted for forty days by the devil.

Jesus is the "Son of Man"

Luke in chapter 5:24 () records: "But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins"; He said to the man who was paralyzed, "I say to you, arise, take up your bed, and go to your house."

Luke records Jesusí title: "Son of Man" in 25 places in his gospel. The title "Son of Man" indicates Jesusí true humanity as well as his Messiahship.

The Believersí Study Bible says: ""Son of Man" has a variety of meanings in Jewish literature: (1) simply a human being (Psalms. 8), (2) sometimes Israel (Psalms. 80), (3) the figure to whom God is about to entrust His judgment and His kingdom (Daniel 7:13). It is Jesus' favorite self-designation. He identifies Himself with mankind, and also as the One to whom God entrusts the judgment and the kingdom. It may be that "Son of Man" emphasizes the humanity of Christ, an emphasis generally found in Luke's Gospel."

The following verse indicates Jesusí true humanity: "The Son of Man has come eating and drinking, and you say, 'Look, a glutton and a winebibber, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!'" (Luke 7:34 ).

This next verse ties the phrase "Son of Man" with Jesus being the Messiah: "Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect" (Luke 12:40 ).

Luke even ties the phrase "Son of Man" in with the day that we should worship God on in Luke 6:5 (): "And He said to them, "The Son of Man is also Lord of the Sabbath."

Luke 19:10 () portrays Jesus as our redeemer: "for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost." Jesus is a true member of the human race. He fulfills the role of a kinsman-redeemer for all of humanity. "Now if a sojourner or stranger close to you becomes rich, and one of your brethren who dwells by him becomes poor, and sells himself to the stranger or sojourner close to you, or to a member of the stranger's family, {48} 'after he is sold he may be redeemed again. One of his brothers may redeem him; {49} 'or his uncle or his uncle's son may redeem him; or anyone who is near of kin to him in his family may redeem him; or if he is able he may redeem himself" (Lev 25:47-49 ).

Jesus is Compassionate

Lukeís secondary purpose is to emphasize the compassion of Jesus which supports the theme of the book of Luke portraying "Jesus as Man."

Letís look at Luke 7 where Jesus Heals a Centurion's Servant: "He (Jesus) entered Capernaum. {2} And a certain centurion's servant, who was dear to him, was sick and ready to die. {3} So when he heard about Jesus, he sent elders of the Jews to Him, pleading with Him to come and heal his servant. {4} And when they came to Jesus, they begged Him earnestly, saying that the one for whom He should do this was deserving, {5} "for he loves our nation, and has built us a synagogue." {6} Then Jesus went with them. And when He was already not far from the house, the centurion sent friends to Him, saying to Him, "Lord, do not trouble Yourself, for I am not worthy that You should enter under my roof. {7} "Therefore I did not even think myself worthy to come to You. But say the word, and my servant will be healed. {8} "For I also am a man placed under authority, having soldiers under me. And I say to one, 'Go,' and he goes; and to another, 'Come,' and he comes; and to my servant, 'Do this,' and he does it." {9} When Jesus heard these things, He marveled at him, and turned around and said to the crowd that followed Him, "I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel!" {10} And those who were sent, returning to the house, found the servant well who had been sick" (Luke 7:1-10 ).

In this passage Luke emphasizes the love and mercy that the gentile soldier had for the Jews of that region. The centurion had been a good friend to them, and had served them, even though such action was totally out of character for a Roman centurion.

Letís continue in Luke 7:12-15 (): "And when He (Jesus) came near the gate of the city, behold, a dead man was being carried out, the only son of his mother; and she was a widow. And a large crowd from the city was with her. {13} When the Lord saw her, He had compassion on her and said to her, "Do not weep." {14} Then He came and touched the open coffin, and those who carried him stood still. And He said, "Young man, I say to you, arise." {15} So he who was dead sat up and began to speak. And He presented him to his mother."

Notice the words "compassion" and "do not weep". Jesus had compassion. Compassion is an emotion that we humans can relate to. When we see the compassion of Jesus, then we can relate to Him better.

Letís read Luke 7:21 (): "And that very hour He cured many of infirmities, afflictions, and evil spirits; and to many blind He gave sight."

Notice the words "He cured many of infirmities". Luke again accentuates the human side of Jesus in showing that Jesus reacted with compassion toward people.

Letís notice the word "suffer" in the following passage: "Then He (Jesus) said to them, "Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, {47} and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem" (Luke 24:46-47 ).

Jesusí final words as recorded in the Gospel of Luke reveals Lukeís theme that Jesusí nature was as a man who had compassion.

The Gospel for Women

"In Palestine the place of women was low. In the Jewish morning prayer a man thanks God that he has not made him "a gentile, a slave or a woman." But Luke gives a very special place to women. The birth narrative is told from Mary's point of view. It is in Luke that we read of Elizabeth, of Anna, of the widow at Nain, of the woman who anointed Jesus' feet in the house of Simon the Pharisee. It is Luke who makes vivid the pictures of Martha and Mary and of Mary Magdalene."(1)

The Gospel of Prayer

"Luke's gospel is specially the gospel of prayer. At all the great moments of his life, Luke shows us Jesus at prayer. He prayed at his baptism (Lk.3:21); before his first collision with the Pharisees (Lk.5:16); before he chose the Twelve (Lk.6:12); before he questioned his disciples as to who they thought he was; before his first prediction of his own death (Lk.9:18); at the Transfiguration (Lk.9:29); and upon the Cross (Lk.23:46). Only Luke tells us that Jesus prayed for Peter in his hour of testing (Lk.22:32). Only he tells us the prayer parables of the Friend at Midnight (Lk.11:5-13) and the Unjust Judge (Lk.18:1-8). To Luke the unclosed door of prayer was one of the most precious in all the world."(2)

Prayer is a physical act of doing a spiritual act in drawing closer to God.

In Conclusion:

Lukeís emphasis in his gospel account is that "Jesus was a Man!"

Jesus called Himself the "Son of Man". This phrase identifies Himself with mankind, and also to His Messiahship.

Lukeís secondary purpose was to emphasize the "compassion" of Jesus. Remember these points as you read the Gospel of Luke.


(1,2): William Barclay, The Daily Study Bible Series, The Gospel of Luke, 1975, p. 4.