The Son’s Humanity 1

We already learned about the Son’s deity and glory even before the creation of the world. We also saw how important to know who Jesus Christ is as He is revealed in the Scriptures as the glorious Second Person of the Triune God. In this lesson we will talk about an equally important truth about the Son and that is His Humanity, particularly the Old Testament Witness to the Incarnation.

It is vital to recognize that our salvation hangs in the fact that the Redeemer is both God and man, fully and truly.

The meaning of Incarnation

According to Paul Washer, the word “incarnate” comes from the Latin verb incarnare [ in = in + caro = flesh], which means, “to make flesh” or “to become flesh.” It means one of a higher order than man, and of a different nature, assumes the appearance of man or becomes a man. The meaning of the word incarnation itself tells us that the One who became flesh is not just a man, otherwise incarnation would have no meaning at all.

Let’s read this helpful remark by Albert Barnes,

The “Word” was made “man.” This is commonly expressed by saying that he became “incarnate.” When we say that a being becomes “incarnate,” we mean that one of a higher order than man, and of a different nature, assumes the appearance of man or becomes a man. Here it is meant that “the Word,” or the second person of the Trinity, whom John had just proved to be equal with God, became a man, or was united with the man Jesus of Nazareth, so that it might be said that he “was made flesh.”

This is the most significant event in history of mankind and stands at the very center of biblical Christianity. Before we get into the details of the gloriousness and mystery of the Incarnation which we will discuss on the next lessons, let us first consider some of the most common Old Testament Prophecies that testify to the Incarnation.


Micah 5:2 He is the Promised Ruler
But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
Too little to be among the clans of Judah,
From you One will come forth for Me to be ruler in Israel.
His times of coming forth are from long ago,
From the days of eternity.”

His Temporal Descent. from the clans of Judah (Matthew 1:3). Particularly, from Bethlehem. In the Messiah’s descent in time, He came from Bethelem which was insignificant in size and population. Nevertheless, “God chooses the little things of the world to eclipse in glory its greatest things” (JFB).

His Eternal Origin. His times of coming forth are from long ago, From the days of eternity. The Messiah would be of the tribe of Judah (Matthew 1:3) and the house of David. In Romans 1:3, the Apostle Paul affirms that Jesus “was born of a descendant of David according to the flesh.” He would be fully divine and fully human. His humanity would come from the line of David.

This passage confirms that the promised Messiah is not a mere human. The text didn’t only mention his temporal descent but His eternal origin. Paul Washer notes that, this does not refer to the antiquity of the prophecy of His coming but that His existence precedes birth, He is from eternity.

Isaiah 7:14 He is the Immanuel
Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and she will name Him Immanuel.

The Hebrew word used here is עַלְמָ֗ה almah which could refer to a virgin or a young woman of marriageable age not בְּתוּלָה bethulah which literally means virgin. If this prophecy points to Christ’s virgin birth, why did Isaiah not use the latter Hebrew word?

Let’s observe the initial and final fulfillment of this prophecy.

Initial & partial. This first referred to the birth of Isaiah’s son to the prophetess (8:3) as a sign which meant to be deep as Sheol or high as heaven (v.11) so that Ahaz’ faith and hope for salvation in the LORD would be strengthen not in human power.

Final & complete: This verse was fulfilled ultimately in the birth of the Messiah, the LORD Jesus Christ. By God’s providence the Hebrew Bible was translated into Greek for Greek-speaking Jews in Egypt in the 3rd and 2nd centuries B.C and was used by the New Testament authors. We call it the Septuagint (LXX from the 70+ translators). The Greek word used to translate “virgin” is παρθένος parthenos which literally means a virgin. This is the same word that is used in Matthew 1:22-23, when Matthew wrote that the prophecy in Isaiah was fulfilled in the birth of Christ.

Clearly, we can see here that,

In Isaiah’s time, it was a maiden who conceived by the natural means of intercourse and brought forth a son; but in the greater fulfillment, it was a virgin who conceived by the Holy Spirit and brought forth a Son who was both God and Man.

Paul Washer, Discovering the Glorious Gospel

Paul Washer further explains, “The wisdom of the Holy Spirit chose the Hebrew word that would be perfectly appropriate for both the partial fulfillment in Isaiah’s time and the greater fulfillment in the Messiah. In Isaiah’s time, it was a maiden who conceived by the natural means of intercourse and brought forth a son; but in the greater fulfillment, it was a virgin who conceived by the Holy Spirit and brought forth a Son who was both God and Man.”

The New Testament citation of this verse testify to an unmistakable testimony of the virgin birth.

Isaiah 9:6 His Identity and Exclusive Titles

His Natural Birth. a child is (will be) born… a son is given.

The view from earth sees a child born; but from heaven’s perspective, a Son is given! The baby born in time was the eternal Son of God, given by the Father and sent from heaven. Albert Barnes pointed out that this does not mean that he was born when the prophet spake. But in prophetic vision, as the events of the future passed before his mind, he saw that promised son, and the eye was fixed intently on him.

His Sovereign Rule. the government will rest on His shoulders

By His own power and wisdom, He would rule the universe with absolute sovereignty (Hebrews 1:3).

In all this, we have great proof that the Messiah would be God incarnate. A work of such magnitude can only be accomplished by the fullness of deity.

The description we have here can hardly be applied to a mere man. We uphold that “the picture of a kingdom of peace could not be complete without the manifestation of a king. In the description of that king Isaiah is led to use words which cannot find a complete fulfilment in any child of man.” Ellicott’s Commentary for English Readers

The titles below are exclusively applied to Jehovah in so many passages, which according to the prophecy are also the titles of the coming Messiah. The Son together with the Father and the Holy Spirit alone are qualified to be called with these titles.

Wonderful. Hebrew pili: “wonderful” or “incomprehensible.” When it is used of anything in breeds amazement as a common reaction when witnessing a miracle. This attribute can only be attributed to deity (Judges 13:18, 22).

Counselor. Jehovah is said to be “wonderful in counsel”(Isaiah 28:29) and He is the “wisdom of God” (I Corinthians 1:24). In Christ is hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge (Colossians 2:3).

The Mighty God. Hebrew:  El gibbor (גִּבּ֔וֹר). As aside, the Jehovah Witnesses normally use this to argue that Jesus is a lesser God than the Father and not the Almighty God since He is described here as the Mighty God only. But when we check the very next chapter, the same title is applied to Jehovah (10:20-21).

Everlasting Father. This is one of the most misunderstood title unique to the Son. It was taken to mean that He is also the Father. However, it does NOT mean that He is also the Father but the Hebrew word literally says “The Father of eternity”. From this we understand that He is (1) from all eternity, He has been the Origin, Source, and Sustainer of all things (John 1:3-4) and (2) from the beginning, He has been the Provider and Protector of His people.

John Gill comments “the Father of eternity”; the author of eternal life, who has procured it for his people, and gives it to them; or to whom eternity belongs, who inhabits it, and is possessed of it, is the everlasting I AM, was before all persons and things, was set up in an office capacity from everlasting, and had a glory with the Father before the world was, in whom eternal election, and with whom the everlasting covenant, were made.”

Prince of Peace. שָׁלֽוֹם shalom. Maybe you are already familiar with what this means. The Messiah and His reign would bring peace; and it would not merely be political peace but, more importantly, peace between God and man. He is the peacemaker. He brought peace between the Holy God and the sinners by His death on the cross. We hate God because we love our sins (Romans 8:7) and God hates men because of sin (Romans 1:18).

He is the propitiation and our reconciliation. He has all the necessary qualifications of a peacemaker or mediator.

“Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” .

Romans 5:1

True peace only comes from the fact that the wrath of God no longer abides in you since the Son has taken it to Himself. He drank the cup of wrath that you may have peace with God. Peace that the world cannot give you.




Image source by Grieslightnin from

Published by Jeff Chavez

Sinner saved by grace

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