Another day, another phrase you have to look at twice to pronounce properly. Hypostatic Union
An article on the Desiring God website says: ‘“hypostatic union” may sound fancy in English, but it’s a pretty simple term. Hypostatic means personal. The hypostatic union is the personal union of Jesus’ two natures.’
So we are back to another mystery.
Jesus is fully human and fully God. I believe that God tells me the truth in His Word; but how is that possible?
Recently in a number of sermons preached in my church (and not solely in the context of Easter services), the preachers referred to the fact that ‘Jesus learnt obedience.’ (Hebrews 5:8) I know I’m not the only one who struggled a bit with that. Jesus is God, and God put the stars in the sky; so why does he have to learn anything?
I don’t know – but he did! As a baby he couldn’t just get up and walk across the room, he would have taken clumsy first steps like any toddler. The same goes for speaking… John 1 says that Jesus IS the Word, yet he had to learn to say his first words as a little boy. So although being fully human did not remove any of his Godly characteristics, he still had to progress as a human; learning to walk and talk and obey.
By the way in case you’re waiting for me to unravel the mystery and explain it all; you’ll be waiting for a while 🙂 However, I find some help in understanding it earlier in the letter to the Hebrews, when the writer says, ‘For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are–yet he did not sin.’ Hebrews 4:15
For Jesus to fully understand and ’empathize with our weaknesses,’ surely he would have had to go through the struggle of learning certain things. I’m terrible with numbers, but my sister can count and rearrange them in her head. I do not understand how she does this, and she does not understand how I can’t. God who made all, knows all, IS all… could only truly say he has experienced all we have to go through, if he had to learn the as we have had to learn.
I think… I’m not 100% sure to be honest.
Before I finish… using the CARM website again, they provide an excellent table to show ‘the two natures of Jesus in action.’ I found it very helpful.
More anon x