Why God Became Flesh
As usual, Matthew gives us a lot of information on the actions and words of Jesus. In these verses, we find Jesus cursing a fig tree, confounding the religious minds, and commending the repentant heart. Over the years, there’s been a great deal of discussion surrounding these events and their importance. But while reading these verses, I wasn’t really drawn into the discussion. No, what caught my attention is something Matthew says at the very beginning of our reading. Something we could very easily overlook, read past, miss altogether. Something so obvious that we might just take it for granted. But when it has to do with Jesus, I don’t want to take anything for granted.
In the morning, as Jesus was returning to Jerusalem, He was hungry. Matthew 21:18
Have you ever really thought about Jesus as being hungry? Have you ever wondered if His stomach growled? His mouth watered? His appetite grew? Have you ever stopped to think that when Jesus fed the multitude, He too had a fish sandwich? Does this surprise us? Maybe it shouldn’t. Throughout Scripture, we’re told numerous times of how Jesus had been hungry and sleepy and tired. Almighty God, in a suit of flesh, identifying with the weakness of it.
I like the way Max Lucado put it in his book, No Wonder They Call Him the Savior. He wrote: Just as His divinity is becoming unapproachable, just when His holiness is becoming untouchable, just when His perfection becomes inimitable, the phone rings and a voice whispers, He was human. Don’t forget. He had flesh.
Isn’t that an incredible reminder? God – Almighty God – knows every single feeling, complaint, and discouragement we can ever face – not only because He’s God, but because He’s already faced them. He knows what it’s like to be angry at corruption, to be weary by nightfall, and to be hungry in the morning.
The four Gospels are filled with these reminders. Matthew 14:14 says Jesus was moved with compassion. John 19:28 says that Jesus got thirsty. John 11:35 tells us that Jesus was moved to tears. Mark 14:66 describes how Jesus was humiliated. Luke 22:47 tells us that He experienced betrayal. And Luke 23:34 shows us that in the middle of tremendous pain, Jesus offered forgiveness.
It wasn’t necessary for God to become flesh so that He could identify with us. It was necessary so that we could identify with Him. And as we are reading through God’s amazing words to us, let’s be careful to never gloss over those passages that reveal the humanity of Jesus. To lose this fact is to lose the message of the Cross.
God, in flesh, becoming like us – so that we, through the Cross, could become like Him.
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