What Jesus primarily models for us is how to draw our life from the Father. This passage from Philippians—one of the earliest hymns of the faith—says that Jesus more than humbled himself when he came to earth. He emptied himself:

Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. (Philippians 2:6–7)

The kenosis of Christ, a mystery we cannot fully explain nor explain away—the choice Jesus made to “empty” himself of his divine powers and prerogatives in order to take on the limitations of humanity.

If Jesus was pretending to be a man, then his life is so far beyond ours it can’t really be a model for us to follow. To err is human, to forgive is divine and all that. But, if Jesus chose a genuine humanity, and drew his power from the Father as we must do, then we can live as he did.

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