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Was Jesus Perfect or Not? The Answer Changes Everything.

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jesus perfect

We met a homeless guy on our trip to Maui. Found him and his leathery tanned face by the stone wall at the harbor working reeds into baskets. His Bible sat next to him.

The conversation started out easy. Pretty soon he began talking about the Bible. He had a good understanding of scripture – like a lot of homeless people we’ve met.

The conversation spilled over to Jesus.

The homeless guy, Dave, abruptly and unashamedly shared his belief that Jesus is not God. It hurt my heart. He was talking about someone I love deeply.

Here are a couple of scriptures Dave pointed to.

“In bringing many sons and daughters to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through what he suffered.” Hebrews 2:10

“During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with fervent cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him . . .  Hebrews 5:7-9

According to Dave’s interpretation of scripture, Jesus was “made perfect” by God. The logical conclusion for Dave? Jesus wasn’t born perfect which  proves he is not God.  

 

Perfection is key. If Jesus wasn’t perfect, everything changes for us.

 

Without perfection:

  • Jesus would have been an ordinary man and maybe a great teacher. He would not have been God because God is perfect.
  • Jesus would not have been a suitable sacrifice for our sins.
  • His imperfect sacrifice would not have satisfied the penalty due for our offenses. 
  • Humans would be hopelessly lost. Our attempts to earn a place in heaven are futile. Our efforts are like “filthy rags” (Isaiah 64:6) compared to the perfect work of our perfect Savior on the cross. Jesus places his righteousness on those who choose to trust him as their leader and rescuer. His righteousness qualifies us to live in the presence of God in heaven. If he is imperfect, his “righteousness” falls short – just like ours does. 

On that sunny, relaxed day in Maui, my mind was muddled. I had studied these scripture passages, but on this day I struggled. I pointed Dave to other scriptures showing the divinity of Jesus. It wasn’t until later that day the remembrances of the meaning of “made perfect” came flooding in.

This post is my chance to make things right. To say what should have been said.

God’s intended meaning

  • Suffering didn’t make Jesus perfect in righteousness. It had nothing to do with moral improvement. 
  • God the Father made Jesus a perfect leader for us through suffering and temptation. In heaven, Jesus never experienced these things. If we must suffer, he must also suffer if he is to be the kind of leader we truly need. 
  • Suffering and temptation made Jesus the perfect champion and Savior for us. Through the human experience Jesus “gets” what we endure in this life. This allows him to sympathize with our struggles and give us the help we need.
  • His suffering makes him the perfect one to defend us before God the Father every time Satan stands to accuse us. 

Because he suffered, Jesus is the perfect champion, captain, and leader of his loyal band of followers who face suffering everyday.

 

Why his being “made perfect” is important

It means we can stumble to his throne in all our mess and failure knowing without a doubt he will understand and help us. It changes everything for you . . . for us.

Jesus Perfect and Without Sin

  • God initiated a plan before the earth was created to provide a safe way home to him.
  • His plan required God the Son (Jesus) to come to earth to stand in our place taking the punishment for our rebellion. 
  • There was only one acceptable sacrifice. A sacrifice from someone who had fulfilled God’s Law and met God’s standards perfectly. A sacrifice from someone who had never sinned. 
  • Jesus successfully endured the trials of life while remaining completely obedient to God the Father.
  • Jesus’ resurrection is proof God the Father accepted God the Son’s sacrifice.
  • Jesus is God and has always been perfect.

“For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things . . . Colossians 1:19

“He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.” 1 Peter 2:22

(Check out this verse too:  Hebrews 7:26-28)

Side note: The fervent cries and tears of Jesus in Hebrews 5:7 were not cries to be released from his mission. They were cries for God the Father to strengthen him in the moments of suffering and pain, but mostly for the moment when he would be covered in the filth of our sins and separated from God the Father for the first time in eternity.  He endured this because you were worth it.

Do you believe Jesus is perfect? Do you believe he’s God? Maybe you’ve never thought about it before, but your belief one way or the other could change everything.

Fullness of life is my wish for you and me. It begins with moving closer to God and the truth about Jesus. 

Lisa

3 Comments

  1. matthew says:

    I am not seeking to provoke, I assure you. But I must ask this one simple and probably obvious question. When Jesus broke wind (as presumably He did, as a man, whatever his divinity) was it the most perfect wind? I am NOT bing facetious. I am simply asking (because I am interested) how a man, reduced by all that humans have to be subjected to (and then a Jew born in a desert town 2,000 years ago, when life was primitive, at best) can have been perfect in his humanity. Were his toenails perfect? His teeth, on the diet that would have been typical of the time, would have been positively Californian, presumably. Did he experience lust, get erections, and sleep with women? These are important questions, since they are born of the reality of Jesus as a historical figure as well as the source of the Christian message. I am intrigued to know what you think. Genuinely. Thanks. MB

  2. Lisa Button says:

    Hi! Sorry I haven’t responded sooner. Was in the emergency room twice last week with health issues. Thanks for your comment and compliment. I hope your former room mate enjoyed this post. Thanks for reading and sharing!

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