What does it mean that Jesus is God incarnate? What does incarnate mean?
To be incarnate is to have a fleshly body. It is defined as: "embodied in flesh; given a bodily, especially a human, form." Jesus was God incarnate, in that He was God in the flesh: "And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth" (John 1:14). Jesus was fully man and fully God simultaneously. This is a mystery that requires faith to believe, but it must be confessed and believed in order to be in Christ (John 14:11; 1 John 4:2; 2 John 1:7).
During His life, Jesus fulfilled Old Testament prophecies about the Messiah, starting with the virgin birth (Isaiah 7:14; Luke 1:26–38; Matthew 1:18). Jesus exists eternally (John 1:1–3; John 8:58); He performed miracles (Matthew 9:24–25); He forgave sins (Matthew 9:6); and He resurrected from the dead (Luke 24:36–39). These elements of Jesus' life further prove that Jesus, the person, was indeed God in the flesh. Jesus is above angels and angels are commanded to worship Him (Hebrews 1:4–6).
Jesus lived a normal human life in every aspect except one: He did it without sinning (Hebrews 4:15). He was born through a natural birth (Luke 2:4–7), raised by human parents according to their customs (2:41–42), and He learned and grew as a normal person (Luke 2:52). He had physical needs (John 4:6) and regular human emotions (Matthew 26:38). When He was crucified, He physically died (Luke 23:46) before being physically resurrected on the third day (Luke 24:39).
By taking on human form, Christ humbled Himself. He was still God, but His position shifted; He no longer had the glory and benefits of heaven. He came to serve us and: "emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross" (Philippians 2:7–8). As the infinite God, Jesus was fully God the entire time He was on earth (Hebrews 13:8; Revelation 1:8). The fact that Jesus is God at all times enables us and all living things to keep on living, for He is our source of life (Acts 17:28).
Copyright 2011-2021 Got Questions Ministries - All Rights Reserved.