The Bible teaches that Jesus is fully man and fully God.
How can this be possible?
How can we understand the relationship between God the Father and Jesus?
I want to share a simple illustration that I hope would help us to understand this. (even though no analogy is perfect or sufficient.)
Let’s say, the ocean represents God, vast and infinite.
Now what if I take a glass and fill it to the brim with the water of the ocean? What do we have? Do we have TWO oceans? No.
There is only one ocean. But we can have a representation of the ocean itself in the glass. The exact same substance, the exact likeness, the exact same nature as the ocean. The glass holds as much of the ocean that it possibly can, within it’s tiny frame.
While the ocean represents God, that glass represents Jesus! God and Jesus are not two gods, as some mistakenly think.
Jesus is the exact representation of God on earth. In Jesus, the fullness of God dwells in BODILY form. (Colossians 2:9). In theology, this is called the “Hypostatic Union”.
Jesus was not a man who suddenly became God at birth. Jesus, who is The Word of God, already in existence from the beginning, before creation, took on the form of a man. And therefore, He could come to earth in a visible form of the invisible God. When Philip, Jesus’ disciple, asked Him to show them God, Jesus said, “If you have seen me, you have seen God.”
This is why Jesus could say, “I and the Father are one.” Why? Because the nature and the essence of the substance in the glass is the same as the nature and essence of substance of the ocean.
And yet, Jesus also said, “The Father is greater than I.” How is this explained? Well, isn’t the ocean greater than the ocean in the glass?
There is no contradiction!
There’s more. Let’s take the analogy further.
The glass, like the human body of Jesus, is fragile. The body of Jesus is the same as an earthly human body. It can break. It can bleed. It can die. Jesus, who is God, limited Himself to such an extent within a human body that He emptied Himself of all His majesty and power and glory and authority that was His from the beginning. But the very presence of God was in Him. That is who Jesus is.
In this way, Jesus is fully man and fully God. God dwelling in human flesh.
Just like the image of that glass of ocean, the glass is 100% glass. And the substance in it, is 100% the same nature as the ocean.
As a man, Jesus can get hungry and He can eat and He can walk and do everything that a human can. Except that He was sinless. This is what many people fail to understand. They question how can God eat and drink? And how God can feel pain and suffer? The answer is simple. Because Jesus’ body is human.
With this simple illustration in mind, many so-called “contradictions” become clear. He was one with God, yet walked as a Man on earth, able to communicate with the God in heaven.
Jesus was a man. And Jesus was also God. As God, Jesus could forgive sins. As God, Jesus accepted worship directed to Him. As God, He did and said many things which no one else has ever said or done.
As God, He resurrected His dead human body. As God, He will return one day to judge mankind. And as God, He lives forever. No man or messenger dares to say this, but Jesus said: “No one has ever gone into heaven except the One who came from heaven—the Son of Man.” (John 3:13)
The prophet Isaiah records that God said: “I am the First and the Last.” (Isaiah 48:12).
In the Quran, Allah said: “I am the First and the Last” (Sura 57:3)
No human or angel or prophet or demon would dare to claim this title for himself, but Jesus did.
Jesus said: “I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One; I was dead, and now look, I am alive for ever and ever!” (Revelation 1:17-18)
Further Reading: 20 Reasons Why Christians Believe That Jesus Is God