The Overwhelming Humanness of Christ: T.F. Torrance on the Wonder of Christmas


Since we are already well into Advent and Christmas is on the horizon, I thought it would be appropriate to take a brief break from posting excerpts from T.F. Torrance’s sermon series on Revelation and offer readings more suited to the season for Sunday’s meditation. The following nevertheless comes from Torrance who movingly describes the sheer wonder experienced not simply in seeing, through reading the gospel narratives, Jesus act as God but, in one sense even more amazingly, as man. I hope that you will be as blessed as I was by this! Here’s Torrance:

I am always overwhelmed with the thought that here in Jesus it is God himself who has come among us, not just as a man indwelt by the Spirit of God like an Old Testament prophet, but actually as Man. I can never get over this astonishing fact. What bowls me over every time I read about Jesus in the Gospels is not the wonderful things he did, not the so-called nature miracles in which the wind and the sea obeyed him, or even his making the dead alive again, for if Jesus really is God…one would expect that, for he was the Creator personally present in the midst of his creation…

What overwhelms me is the sheer humanness of Jesus, Jesus as the baby at Bethlehem, Jesus sitting tired and thirsty at the well outside Samaria, Jesus exhausted by the crowds, Jesus recuperating his strength through sleep at the back of a ship on the sea of Galilee, Jesus hungry for figs on the way up to Jerusalem, Jesus weeping at the grave of Lazarus, Jesus thirsting for water on the Cross – for that precisely is God with us and one of us, God as “the wailing infant” in Bethlehem, as Hilary wrote, God sharing our weakness and exhaustion, God sharing our hunger, thirst, tears, pain, and death. Far from overwhelming us, God with us and one of us does the very opposite, for in sharing with us all that we are in our littleness and weakness he does not override our humanity but completes, perfects, and establishes it.

T.F. Torrance, 1994. Preaching Christ Today. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, pp.12-13.


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