Theology & the Christian Life
Azusa Pacific University
Dr. Russell Duke
October 10, 2002
"The Nature of Jesus"

I.   Questions arise about the Nature of Jesus
A.   One or two natures (physis) - monophysis - one nature
1.   If he only had one nature then he had to be divine before human
2.   Two schools
a.   Alexandrian
i.   Located in Egypt
ii.   Sided with Gnostic & Docetist (lit. "seems")
iii.   Sided heavily on that Jesus had not human nature or mind - only had divine nature and divine mind
iv.   Apollinarius - one person, one will, one nature
b.   Antioch
i.   Located in Greece
ii.   Sided on Jesus' humanity only - solely human
iii.   Eusthasius - a great man empowered by the Spirit
3.   Alternative thought
a.   Gregory of Nanzianzus
i.   Only what God becomes can be saved (becoming human)
ii.   Only God can save
iii.   Something had to be fully God and fully man in order to save "mere men."
b.   Cyril - 2 Phases
i.   Pre-incarnation -> Divine
ii.   "Enfleshed" - could have attained from John and Alexandrian thought
iii.   One nature only
c.   Nestorius
i.   2 Natures - Conjunction
ii.   Human absorbed
d.   Leo I
i.   Fully divinity is not altered by the incarnation
ii.   The two natures co-exist in Christ with out mixture or confusion
iii.   The two natures, though always separate, act in concert with each other
iv.   Jesus was only one person
v.   Pg 133 What Christians Believe
B.   One or two wills (thelis)
C.   One or two people
II.   Temptation of Christ
A.   To what extent was Christ tempted?
B.   How can the divine be tempted?
C.   Matt 4:1-11, Mark 1:12-13, Luke 4:1-13
D.   James 1:12-17
E.   The Book of Job indicates that God can be in the presence of Sin and that someone can be tempted and never sin
III.   Phillippians 2:6-8 - Nature of God
A.   Equality of God to be grasped (NRSV: exploited, NKJV: robbery)
B.   Made himself nothing (NRSV, NASB: emptied (kenosis), NKJV: no reputation) - see Kenotic theory below
C.   Found in the form of a man
D.   Humbled to even death on a cross
1.   Being a man means there is death involved
E.   Therefore exalted
F.   The question that is raised is can the God that is eternally existent (see notes on the Trinity) die?
1.   The only "nature" of God that died on the cross was the human part
2.   Therefore, it has to be concluded that there were to natures in human
G.   Inverted Parabola Theory (2Cor 8:9)
1.   God started off rich (eternal)
2.   He became poor as a human (fully God, fully human)
3.   Humans are already poor (merely human, not eternal)
4.   Jesus becoming poor takes humans up to richness (humans are lifted to eternality)