Why Did God Become Man?

Bible Book: John  1 : 14
Subject: Salvation; Body of Jesus; Death of Christ; Cross, Purpose of

John 1:14

In addition to setting an example for us, in humility and obedience, there are at least four other reasons God became man. These four reasons explain how Jesus can be completely God and at the same time be completely man.

The miracle of the incarnation of Christ is explained in John 1:1. The Bible says, “In the beginning was the Word (that’s Jesus Christ), and the Word was with God  and the Word was God.”

In John 1:14, the Bible goes on to say, “And the Word (that’s Jesus Christ) became flesh and dwelt among us.”

Why did God become man? Why would God confine Himself to a natural body, a baby’s body of all things, and subject Himself to such humiliation, limitation and total dependence on others to meet His needs? Why did God strip Himself of all appearances of deity and become a nobody? I would like to share with you four reasons.

I. God Became Man to Make an Invisible God Visible

The Bible says, “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross,” Philippians 2:5-8.

This verse gives us one of the clearest and most dynamic statements of Jesus being completely God and at the same time being completely man that can be found in the Bible. In context the Apostle Paul is encouraging Christians to think like Christ was thinking when He humbled Himself and became man. Christ did nothing out of selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind. The Apostle Paul is exhorting Christians to be likeminded, to love one another, to be humble and lowly and esteem others better than themselves.

Jesus Christ was in the “form” of God before He appeared in His human body through birth on the earth. He has always been the Son of God. “Son” in the case of Jesus Christ does not mean a male offspring of a human being such as you and me. It means a person deriving from a formative agent, like a nation, a school, or a race. In the case of Jesus Christ He was derived from God the Father. When His body was born, and He took on Himself the “form” of man, He became the Son of man. When the Bible talks about Him being the Son of God He is talking about Jesus being God and His heavenly job description. When the Bible talks about Him being the Son of man He is talking about Jesus being man and His earthly job description. He became the God-Man.

Among the many examples two stands out in my mind. Both are in the Book of Daniel. In Daniel 3:25 when Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego were bound and were cast into the fiery furnace and Nebuchadnezzar went to check on them, he saw four people. One was in the form of the SON OF GOD. I must say again, Jesus Christ had a physical form before He was born.

The second example is found in Daniel 7:13, where Jesus is coming again to set up His earthly kingdom. Jesus referred to this passage when He was under oath at His trial before the Sanhedrin. “Again the high priest asked Him, saying to Him, are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed? Jesus said, I am. And you will see THE SON OF MAN sitting at the right hand of the POWER, and coming with the clouds of heaven,” Mark 14:61-62. Jesus Christ makes an invisible God visible.

II. God Became Man to Make an Unknown God Known

According to Philippians 2: 6-8, Jesus was self-existent in the form of God before He made Himself of no reputation and came to earth in the likeness of men. When Jesus made Himself of no reputation, He emptied Himself, not of His deity, but of the prerogatives of His deity. He lived on the earth with certain limitations, but they were self-limitations. There has never been a time when He was not God. Even while being rocked to sleep in His mother’s arms He was 100 % God. He had momentarily given up His prerogatives as deity. Jesus Christ has always been God and He will continue to be God. He is the same yesterday, today and forever.

After Jesus had completed His mission here on earth and was getting ready to ascend to the Father, He prayed, “I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do. And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the World was”, John 17:4-5. He did not pray to have His deity restored. He prayed to have His glory restored like it was before Creation.

When Jesus said He was equal with the Father, He was talking as the Son of God.

When He said that the Father was greater than Him, He was talking as the Son of Man.

Remember, when He was on earth as the Son of Man, He emptied Himself of the prerogatives of His deity, not His deity.

He came as a bondservant in the likeness of men.

On His human side He not only was lower than the Father, He was lower than the angels, Hebrews 2:7.

Wow! What a trip! He went from the grandeur and glory of heaven to being shamefully despised of men and then back again to the grandeur and glory of heaven. Jesus Christ makes an unknown God known. While here on earth He manifested all the characteristics and attributes of God in heaven. As He fulfilled all the Old Testament prophesies about Himself, He proved over and over again, that He is God, making Himself known, so we can understand who God is and what He is like. Stay with me now. We are going somewhere.

III. God Became Man to Make an Impersonal God Personal

If somehow as a man, I could be transformed into a stinkbug, the humiliation and distinction would not be as great as God becoming man. Not just a man, but a man who has been shamed, despised, ridiculed, blasphemed and called a liar more than any man who has ever lived. He humbled Himself to be born in a filthy barn and grow up on the wrong side of the tracks in a miserable, scorned, and looked down on town named Nazareth. He worked with His hands as an unknown carpenter. He laid His prerogatives aside, His rights, His privileges and His glory as God. He ended up wearing a bloody crown not a halo. He became sin for us and died a sinner’s death being separated from the Father on the cross. What an awful way to die. No wonder His love for us surpasses all human understanding. What love! What a Savior!

It is a privilege and honor to call Him my Lord and my God. He identified Himself with sinners and died for me on the cross on a very personal basis. If you and I had been the only sinners in the world, He would have still died for you and me.

When Jesus was here on earth one of His job descriptions was to glorify the Father. Now things have changed. The coin has been flipped. The Bible says, “Therefore God also highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, (The self-existence One), to the glory of God the Father”, Philippians 2:9-11. There is coming a day when all in heaven, in hell and on earth, saved and lost alike will confess that Jesus is God.

All of us have had humbling experiences. I know I have had many, and I have learned much from them. However, my experience has been, with much displeasure and disgust with myself, that I have found it very hard and sometimes almost impossible to sincerely humble myself. I certainly don’t want to be like the guy who takes pride in the fact that he’s humble. Pray for me. I heard a friend say, the day you find out you have humility, will be the day you lose it. I’m not sure I understand humility like I should, but I feel like it has more to do with my attitude than anything else.

I’ve always liked John Wesley. I like him even more after reading about his attitude when crossing a creek over which was a very small bridge, just wide enough for one person to cross at a time. As he was walking across the bridge he met a preacher “friend” in the middle of the bridge who disagreed with him very much over some issues and had made a big deal out of it. His preacher “friend” swelled up like a frog and said, “I never give way to a fool and kept coming,” so John Wesley looked at him for a moment, smiled and began to back up, saying, “I always do.”

Jesus Christ has always existed in the “form” of God, Philippians 2:6. Only Jesus could subsist in the “form” of God. Jesus Christ is not only in the “form” of God, He is “the image of the invisible God,” Col. 1:15. Jesus Christ is not only in the “form” of God and in the “image” of God, He is the “brightness of his glory and the express image of his person,” Hebrews 1:3, or more exactly, “effulgence (outshining) of His glory and exact Expression of His substance.” By combining these concepts it is plain to me that the whole nature of God is in Christ manifesting Himself to the world in such a way, that we can have an intimate and personal relationship with Him.

Jesus knows what it’s like to be hungry, and then be tempted to use His power for selfish reasons to satisfy the flesh by turning a rock into a loaf of bread. Jesus knows what it’s like to be lonely, unpopular and unknown, and then be tempted to use His power to bring glory to Himself by sensationally jumping off the steeple of the temple unharmed. Jesus knows what it’s like to have nothing, not even a place to lay His head, and then be tempted to take a short cut in establishing His kingdom on earth by inappropriate worship.

Jesus understands when we are battling the temptation to lust after the flesh. Jesus understands when we are battling the temptation to lust after self-glory. Jesus understands when we are battling the temptation to lust after power, prestige and position.

The Bible says in 1 Peter 1:21, “For to this you were called because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps.”

I need to be like Jesus and be obedient to the point of death. I understand if I’m to follow Him, I too need to become His bondservant. I’m to do nothing out of selfish ambition or conceit, but in  lowliness of mind. I’m to be likeminded as God when He humbled Himself and became man. I’m to love others as He loved them and be humble and lowly in spirit and esteem others better than myself. Impossible? Yes, as long as we are in Adams image with a lack of spiritual life in us. Only by the New Birth will we even have a desire to be likeminded and only by the power and grace of God can we conform to His likeness.

I’m not talking about being inhibited by the law. I’m talking about being inhabited by the law giver. It’s not about a plan. It’s about a person. JESUS CHRIST! Jesus Christ makes an impersonal God personal. Through Jesus Christ we can establish and enjoy a personal relationship with our Heavenly Father. This relationship will withstand the test of time and last for eternity. Please stay with me now. I have one last point to make.

IV. God Became Man to Make an Unkillable God Killable

Listen carefully to this Scripture, Hebrews 2:9, “But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone.”

This will take some explaining so stay with me here. The Bible says, “And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross,” Philippians 2:8.

Stay with me now. We are going somewhere, and we are almost there. No one can deny the fact that the Bible talks about the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. There is only one God made up of three entities, three positions, with three different functions to perform. I am a father, son and husband, but I’m one person. God made me in His triune image, body, soul and spirit, with each entity having  a different function, Hebrews 4:12. Yet, I’m one person.

Jesus Christ is the physical entity of the Father and the Holy Spirit is the spiritual entity of the Father. The Bible says, “For there are three that bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Word (Jesus Christ), and the Holy Spirit, and these three are one,” 1 John 5:7.

The Father is the invisible Power source with a personality, and while He does not have a body, He does have a physical image, Colossians 1:15. Jesus Christ is the visible embodiment of the Father incarnated in the form of a man, Philippians 2:5-8.The Holy Spirit is the unlimited, everywhere Presence of the Father. He is like the wind that is always present moving as He wishes, coming and going as He wills, John 3:8.

Let me break it down a little bit more.

The Father is the invisible Power of God, Ps. 62:11 and Mark 14:62.

The Son is the visible Person of God in human flesh, Philippians 2:5-11.

The Holy Spirit is the everywhere Presence of God, John 3:8.

All three exist in the body of Jesus, making Him the Christ – making Him God Almighty! Jesus Christ is the compound of the Power, the Person and the Presence of God.

Stay with me, please. God had to become flesh in order to die. God became man so He could shed blood to pay the penalty for our sins. Stay with me now. This is awesome. There are two kinds of death. Physical death and spiritual death. Spiritual death is called a second death and becomes an eternal death at the Great White Throne Judgment, Revelation 20:14.

Death does not mean termination. Death means separation. Physical death is the separation of the soul from the body. Spiritual death is the separation of the soul from God. When we die we do not cease to exist. We just go somewhere. Our soul comes from the breath of God and we are going to live as long as God breathes. Think about it. That’s a long time.

When I talk about God becoming Christ in the flesh so He could become killable, I’m talking about the three spiritual truths of the cross. It takes all three of these spiritual truths to make mercy and grace possible. Mercy is God not giving us something we deserve, whereas grace is God giving us something we don’t deserve.

A. The Spiritual Truth Found in His Blood

The first spiritual truth is found in His blood. The blood is a peace offering that is offered to God to make peace for us by satisfying His anger. God is angry at sin and only the blood of Christ can bring peace. In Hebrews 9:14, the Bible says, “How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offer Himself without spot to God.” Again, in Colossians 1:19-20, the Bible says, “For it pleased the Father that in Him (Christ) all the fullness should dwell, and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the  blood of the cross.”

I asked a young man one time what the blood of Christ meant to him. He replied, “It means God isn't mad at me anymore.” I think that’s a good answer. The blood makes peace with the wrath of God. The Bible says in Hebrews 9:22, “Without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sin.”

A young ministerial student was pastor of his first church in Abilene, Texas. He was going to Hardin Simmons University. One of the members of his little congregation was in the hospital, not expected to live much longer. He went to visit her. This young man was really zealous and wanted to make sure this precious lady was prepared to die. He laid his hand on her hand and said, “Have you made peace with God?” As if to say no, she shook her head. He got excited and asked her again. “You know you may not live through the night. I need to know, have you made peace with God?” Again, as if to say no she shook her head. This young, zealous, sincere ministerial student became very excited and worried. One more time he asked her, “You may not live another hour. You need to make sure you have made peace with God.” She opened her eyes and with a smile and a sweet little soft voice replied, “It’s too late son. I can’t make peace with God. Jesus has already done it for me.” That little old dying Christian woman knew more about theology than that young ministerial student. There is nothing we can do to make peace with God. Jesus’ blood on the cross has taken care of that. It’s a done deal. Jesus’ blood on the cross was offered to God to make peace for us.

B. The Spiritual Truth Found in His Spiritual Death

The second spiritual truth is found in His spiritual death on the cross. We must remember the word “death” does not mean termination. It means separation. Physical death is the separation of the soul from the body. Spiritual death is the separation of the soul from God. In Romans 6:23, the Bible says, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” The word “death” in this verse is not talking about a physical death. It’s talking about a spiritual death. If physical death is the penalty of sin, that would mean if I died physically, I would have paid the penalty for my sins and be allowed to go to heaven, no matter what I did with Jesus. While Jesus was hanging there on the cross, the Bible says in Matthew 27:45-46, “Now from the sixth hour until the ninth hour there was darkness over all the land. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, My God, My God, Why Have You Forsaken Me?” You don’t have to have a doctor’s degree in theology to understand this passage of Scripture. Stay with me now. Give me some feedback. Help me out here! The Bible says, “The wages of sin is (say it) - Death! But the gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.” What kind of death (say it) - Spiritual death! What is spiritual death? Separation from God. What has Jesus just said, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” During these three hours of devil darkness Jesus Christ died spiritually for us. He was God forsaken. Why? Because that’s the penalty of sin and Jesus is paying it on our behalf.

C. The Spiritual Truth Found in His Physical Death

The third spiritual truth is found in His physical death. Hang tight with me now. This is awesome. No one could kill Jesus. He was indestructible. Jesus said, “Therefore, My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it up again,” John 10:17-18. Jesus did not die physically so we would not have to die physically. Physical death is not the penalty of sin. Spiritual death is the penalty of sin and Jesus paid that penalty on the cross. So where does the physical death of Christ fit into God’s plan of salvation for us? Why did Jesus die physically?

The answer is found in Hebrews 9:16-17. The Bible says, “For where there is a testament (a will), there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. For a testament is in force after men are dead, since it has no power at all while the testator lives.”


On the cross Jesus died physically to execute His will so we as His children could have the inheritance of eternal life.

The blood of Christ was offered to God as a peace offering to make peace for us.

The spiritual death of Christ literally paid the penalty for all our sins, once and for all and forever, past, present and future.

The physical death of Christ executed His will so we as His children could have the inheritance of eternal life.

God is offering you this free gift of eternal life today. You have heard it said many times, “God helps those who help themselves.” That’s true. But there is a truth a million times more precious than that, “God helps those who cannot help themselves.” That’s what Calvary means.