The manhood of our lord

It is not that Paul is unmindful of the Lord’s genuine humanity. He speaks of Him as ‘born of a woman’ (Gal. 4:4, rv) and again as ‘born of the seed of according to the flesh’ (Rom. 1:3, rv). On other occasions he refers to the ‘flesh’ of Jesus, as when he says that He was sent ‘in the likeness of sinful flesh’, and that He condemned sin ‘in the flesh’ (Rom. 8:3).

When he refers to knowing Christ ‘after the flesh’ (2 Cor. 5:16) he may even mean that he has seen Jesus in the days of His ministry. But whether that is so or not it is obvious enough from these references that Paul knows that Jesus had a real human body, and that He was a real man.

Paul does not refer to a great number of events in the life of Jesus. He does refer to the institution of the Holy Communion (1 Cor. 11:23ff.) and, of course, he often speaks of the sufferings and death of Christ. Paul made the cross the centre of his so there can be no doubt as to his interest in it. Sometimes he refers to qualities that Jesus displayed in His earthly life, such as meekness and gentleness (2 Cor. 10:1). Or again, he will refer to His Poverty (2 Cor. 8:9), or to His weakness (2 Cor. 13:4).

It would not be true to say that the earthly life of Jesus was a major interest for St. Paul. He does not make incidents from it the basis of his instruction. Nor does he commonly refer to the of our Lord, although examples do occur (e.g. 1 Cor. 7:10, 9:14). But as we read his Epistles it is plain enough that he did know quite a lot about the life of Christ. He recognized that He was fully a man.

Morris, L. (1958). The Lord from Heaven: A Study of the on the Deity and Humanity of Jesus (68). Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company.