For some, believing that Jesus was a true man is nearly unthinkable.
They reason, for Jesus to be fully human, He would have had to inherit our human nature. Our nature is sinful. Therefore Jesus did not inherit a fully human nature. Therefore Jesus is God and only looks like a man at the same time.
This is the heresy of Docetism, a word simply meaning that Jesus seemed to be a man, but really was not. It was rejected soundly by the First Council of Nicaea in 325. It is considered heretical by Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant churches alike. It is another Jesus, and another Jesus cannot be tolerated.
Now, though the heresy is defined, the problem remains: How is it that Jesus was born of a human but does not have the human nature?
The Roman Catholic scholars came up with a simple solution: Make Mary perfect. A decree went out from the new “Caesar Augustus” in Rome that indeed Mary was delivered of all her sin at the moment of her conception. This “Immaculate Conception” doctrine was long in coming. It was not until 1854 that the Roman folks decided this was revealed truth.
So, problem solved. Docetism denied. Mary perfected. Jesus can be fully human.
Not so fast. Scripture in no way backs up the claims of Rome, as is often the case. Not a peep, not a word, about Mary’s immaculate conception. Jesus’, yes, but not Mary’s. If the Scripture is to be the norm, we must categorically reject this invention of the “Holy See.” And see it is not holy.
The answer is simpler. He did indeed inherit our nature. 100% of it. And fought it by the Spirit of God all His life. As He calls us to do.
The temptation in the wilderness was real. Jesus’ human nature was pulled in all three directions that Satan suggested. The crying out in Gethsemane was real. The flesh said no, the Spirit was willing to go through with it. He passed this wisdom on to His sleeping disciples. They were examples of men without the Spirit, He was man with the fullness of God, walking in power, but not without a struggle.
No, the Bible is still true. Jesus was tempted in all points as we are, yes (Hebrews 4:15)? But without sin? Oh yes again! He fought the flesh and showed us what a man full of the Holy Spirit can and must do. In our case, forgiveness is available when we fail. In HIs case, no forgiveness was necessary for He never failed.