Why Jesus Came to Earth

John Telgren

The Apostle Paul says: "for you are still fleshly. For since there is jealously and strife among you, are you not fleshly, and are you not walking like mere men? (I Cor 3:3)" Paul also says, " I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh . . .Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? (Rom 7:14-24)"

It seems then, that "flesh" is not a very good thing. It refers to that quality within us that inclines us to sin against God. In contrast to us, Jesus was not fleshly. Or was he? One of the most profound passages of the New Testament is John 1:14. "And the word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth." With all the negative connotations behind the word "flesh", it is interesting that we are told that Jesus, who was God, became flesh!

The first reaction would be to say that this is merely talking about his physical flesh, not all the weaknesses inherent with flesh. However, Jesus was indeed human. He was born a human, dependent child, just like every other child. He had diapers, he cried, he was vulnerable. He lived in subjection to his parents. When Lazarus died, he wept. We he was nailed to the cross, he bled! He was most definitely human.

This passage says, "Since the children share in flesh and blood, He himself likewise also partook of the same, He had to be made like his brethren in all things, that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest" (Heb 2:14-17).

Jesus was made like us in ALL things. That's why it says, "Although he was a son, he learned obedience through the things which he suffered. And having been made perfect, he became to all those who obey him the source of eternal salvation (Heb 5:8-9)." Wait a minute! Jesus had to "learn" obedience? Jesus had to be "made" perfect? Wasn't he already perfect? This is what I mean when I say this is profound. Something very significant happened when the word became flesh. Jesus had to "become" perfect as a human by overcoming temptation.

What does a Jesus as a perfect "man" do for us? "For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and may find grace to help in time of need. For every high priest taken from among men is appointed on behalf of men in things pertaining to God, he can deal gently with the ignorant and the misguided, since he himself also is beset with weaknesses (Heb 4:14-5:2)." His humanity allowed him not to be just a High Priest, but a "merciful and faithful" High Priest. In other words, he walked in our shoes in a most marvelous and mysterious way, and can sympathize with us! (The major difference, which the book discusses in later chapters, is that Jesus, although tempted, did not succumb to temptation.