Jesus was fully human but that doesn’t mean he was totally normal

I have been fascinated with the conversation saprked by my last post, both with those who have commented on the blog, on Facebook or in email and SMS.

I'm going to post a few of my comments from that thread, because I think they're worth highlighting

1. Detailed and multi-faceted definition of the normal

It has been interesting to realise how slippery a word 'normal' is... but also how helpful it therefore is to force really careful

2. Jesus is fully human, but that doesn't make him totally normal

We are rightly Jesus-focussed in our thinking and our theology. But I don't think that should make us follow Karl Barth is someone make us Jesus-centred in some absolute sense. God was Father Son and Holy Spirit before God the Son took on a human nature. The Creation was a very good creation, with a meaning or a purpose of its own — in one sense before the story of salvation (yes I'm infralapsarian).

And so although it's right to 'think Jesus' when discussing theological questions, sometimes that can lead to a certain kind of theological clumsiness or simplicity, in my view.

Some of those I've been discussing with have fixated on the need to make Jesus the measure of what is normal. While a noble instinct, I think it is actually very problematic. 

Because our Christology must uphold both his divinity and his humanity. And even in our reflection on his humanity, we must recnognise his unique and distinct vocation among all humans. 

Jesus was fully human, but he was also abnormal in lots of ways:

1) He was abnormal in his divine-human personhood
2) He was abnormal in his virgin birth
3) He was abnormal in choosing a path of extreme self-sacrifice, with no place to lay his head.
4) He was abnormal in being part of the special, peculiar people, Israel
5) He was abnormal in being born of the tribe of Judah in the line of David
6) He was abnormal in having a unique prophetic call placed on his life
7) He was abnormal in his poverty and unremarkableness.
8) He was abnormal in his supernatural abilities, empowered by the spirit.
9) He was abnormal in his relationship to the Mosaic law, with his unique prerogatives, as Lord of the Sabbath and the one who makes things clean...
10) He was abnormal in being both a son of Adam and a the Second Adam... etc etc etc

Jesus had to be fully and truly and genuinely human. Jesus had to be sinlessly human. But that doesn't mean he had to be the typical or normal human.

In fact his unique role in God's redemptive history means that he had 

Abnormality is not evil or sinful or incomplete. To say that Jesus is abnormal is not to say that he was evil or sinful or incomplete.

3) We are not conformed to Christ in every single way, even in the New Creation

Nor, for that matter, is our conformity to Christ so absolute that we are completely like Christ in the new creation in every respect:

1) He will remain the firstborn and we his many brothers.
2) He will remain the Lord and we his servants and worshippers
3) He will remain our saviour and we remain the saved

 ... and probably many others.

We are conformed to the likeness of Christ in particular ways, and we follow the example of Christ in particular ways. But that doesn't mean we can take this conformity absolutely.

via Blog - Christian Reflections (NB: to comment go to