The Emotional Life of Our Lord -- By: Tom V. Taylor

Journal: Emmaus Journal
Volume: EMJ 16:1 (Summer 2007)
Article: The Emotional Life of Our Lord
Author: Tom V. Taylor


The Emotional Life of Our Lord

Tom V. Taylor

Tom Taylor is Emeritus Associate Professor of Church History and Old Testament at Biblical Theological Seminary in Hatfield, Pennsylvania. Well-known and much loved in evangelical circles, he has an active preaching ministry in radio, writing, and Bible conferences. The editors are happy to welcome him to the pages of The Emmaus Journal.

The Lesson: The perfect life of the Lord Jesus gives us guidance and instruction in the service and control of our emotions.

Matters of History and Theology

In AD 381 leaders of the Christian church were called by the two Emperors, Theodosius, in the East, and Gratian, in the West, to a conference in Constantinople generally known as the second ecumenical council. The earlier council, held at Nicaea in 325, had decided against the Arian views concerning the person of Christ that he was less than God. The Nicene Creed taught that the Lord Jesus was very God of very God and was not “made.” He existed in the Godhead without respect of time. The resolution was not immediately or totally accepted. Governmental interference and theological partiality were factors, but there was also the problem of understanding the trinitarian position itself.1

Among those who sought to explain the “god man” was Apollinaris, the bishop of Laodicaea. He held that Christ’s humanity was different from our humanity. Christ seemed to be like us but, in reality, he was not like us in his human nature. The total teaching of Apollinaris merits fuller treatment than can be given in this work. At the time it alarmed much of the western church, since it seemed to remove the most vital aspect of the Lord’s nature as it pertained to us. The council of Constantinople was called to deal with this issue in the hope that it would resolve this matter and give further confirmation to the decree of Nicaea. At the council of Constantinople the teaching of Apollinaris was condemned, and the Lord was identified as fully human but, of course, without sin. His body was subject to the same needs we have, but in him human perfection was mirrored in every aspect.

This is an overly simplified explanation, but it sets the background for the reality of the Lord as a person of emotion and feeling. He can be identified with us and we, as human beings, can identify with him. His deity is certain, his humanity is actual, and his life was patterned so that, as Peter said, we might follow in his steps (1 Pet. 2:21). In summary it is seen that (1) the Lord Jesus is very God of very God; (2) He is without sin; (3) He...

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