Thomas Brooks

And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us (and we beheld his glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father), full of grace and truth (John 1:14).

(2)Secondly, the several denominations71 that are given to Jesus Christ in Scripture do clearly do clearly evidence the verity and reality of His human nature.

He is called (1) the son of the virgin (Isa 7:14); (2) her first-born son (Luk 2:7); (3) the BRANCH (Zec 3:8; 6:12); (4) the Branch of righteousness (Jer 33:15; 23:5); (5) a rod out of the stem of Jesse and a Branch out of his roots (Isa 11:1); (6) the seed of the woman (Gen 3:15); (7) the seed of Abraham (Gen 22:18); (8) the fruit of David’s loins (Psa 89:36; 132:11; Act 2:30); (9) of the seed of David according to the flesh (Rom 1:3; 2Sa 7:2); (10) the lion of the tribe of Judah (Rev 5:5); (11) the seed of Jacob (Gen 28:14); (12) the seed of Isaac (Gen 26:4); (13) a son born to us, a child given to us (Isa 9:6); (14) the son of man (Mat 8:20; 17:13; Rev 1:13; Dan 7:13; Joh 3:13); (15) He is called “the man Christ Jesus” (1Ti 2:5), “For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead” (1Co 15:21): God’s justice would be satisfied in the same nature that had sinned; (16) God’s Son, made of a woman (Gal 4:4); (17) man (1Ti 2:5); (18) The son of David (Mat 1:1): “How say the scribes that Christ is the Son of David?” (Mar 12:35).

In that the scribes and Pharisees knew and acknowledged that Christ should be the son of David according to the Scripture—that is, should be born and descend of the stock and posterity of David according to the flesh—we may easily gather the truth of Christ’s human nature that He was ordained of God to be true man as well as God in one and the same person. [Otherwise,] He could not be the son of David. Now, even the scribes and the Pharisees knew and acknowledged that He must be the son of David, as we see here. This was a truth that they had learned out of the Scriptures; and not only they, but even the common sort of Jews in our Savior’s time. Some of the common people spake thus, “Hath not the scripture said, That Christ cometh of the seed of David?” (Joh 7:42). The Messiah was then commonly called “the son of David” (Rom 1:3). So then, Christ being of the seed of David after the flesh, He must needs be true man as well as God; for which cause He was incarnate in the due time appointed of God. That is to say, He being the Son of God from everlasting did in time become man, taking our nature upon Him, together with the infirmities of our nature, sin only excepted (Joh 1:14). Now, thus you see that the eighteen denominations that are given to Christ in the blessed Scriptures do abundantly demonstrate the certainty of Christ’s human nature. But,

(3) Thirdly, Christ took the whole human nature. He was truly and completely man, consisting of flesh and spirit, body and soul, yea, He assumed the entire human nature with whatever is proper to it. Christ took to Himself the whole human nature in both the essential parts of man: soul and body. The two essential and constitutive parts of man are soul and body; where these two are, there is the true man. Now Christ had both: therefore, He was true man.

[1] First, Christ had a true human and reasonable soul. The reasonable soul is the highest and noblest part of man. This is that which principally makes the man and hath the greatest influence into His being and essence. If, therefore, Jesus Christ had only a human body without a human soul, He had wanted72 that part that is most essential to man; so He could not have been looked upon as true and perfect man. O sirs! Christ redeemed and saved nothing but what He assumed. The redemption and salvation reach no further than the assumption [of human nature]…

The Scriptures do clearly evidence that Christ had a real human soul: “My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death” (Mat 26:38). Every word is emphatical:73 “My soul”—His sorrows pierced His soul …Look, as the soul was the first agent in transgression, so it is here the first patient in affliction. “To death”—that is, this sorrow will never be finished or intermitted74 but by death. “My soul is exceeding sorrowful”—then Christ had a true human soul! Neither was His deity for a soul to Him, as, of old, men of corrupt minds have fancied.75 For if He had not suffered in soul as well as in body, then our bodies only had been redeemed by Him and not our souls.

The sufferings of His body were but the body of His sufferings; the soul of His sufferings was the sufferings of His soul, which was now beset with sorrows and heavy as heart could hold: “Now is my soul troubled, and what shall I say?” (Joh 12:27). The Greek word signifies a vehement commotion and perturbation;76 as Herod’s mind was troubled when he heard that a new king was born (Mat 2:3); or as the disciples were troubled when they thought they saw a spirit walking on the sea and cried out for fear (Mat 14:26); or as Zacharias was troubled at the sudden sight of the angel (Luk 1:12).

The rise and cause of Christ’s soul-trouble was this: the Godhead hiding itself from [His] humanity’s sense, and the Father letting out not only an apprehension of His sufferings to come, but a present taste of the horror of His wrath due to man for sin. He is amazed, overwhelmed, and perplexed with it in His humanity. No wonder, since He had the sins of all the elect to suffer for, laid upon Him by imputation!77 So this wrath is not let out against His Person, but against their sins that were laid on Him. Now though Christ was here troubled, or jumbled and puzzled, as the word imports, yet we are not to conceive that there was any sin in this exercise of His; for He was like clean water in a clean vessel, which, being never so often stirred and shaken, still keeps clean and clear. Neither are we to think it strange that the Son of God should be put to such perplexities in this trouble as not to know what to say. Considering Him as man…that this heavy weight of wrath did light upon Him on a sudden,78 it is no wonder that it did confound all His thoughts as man.

O sirs! Look! As sin has infected both the souls and bodies of the elect—and chiefly their souls, where it hath its chief seat—so Christ did suffer unspeakable sorrows and trouble in His soul, as well as torture in His body to expiate this sin. “For my soul is troubled,” saith He. Though some sufferings of the body are very exquisite and painful, and Christ’s in particular were such, yet sad trouble of mind is far more grievous than any bodily distress, as Christ also found. [He] silently bare all His outward troubles, but yet could not but cry out of His inward trouble, “Now is my soul troubled.” “Thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin” (Isa 53:10; 1Pe 2:24). When Christ suffered for us, our sins were laid upon Him (Isa 53:5-6), as [in] the law of sacrificing of old, the sinner was to lay his hands upon the head of the beast, confessing his sins. Then the beast was slain and offered for expiation (Lev 8:14, 18, 22), thus having the man’s sins, as it were, taken and put upon it: hereby the sinner was made righteous.

The sinner could never be pardoned nor the guilt of sin removed, but by Christ’s making His soul an offering for sin. What did Christ in special recommend to God, when He was breathing out His last gasp, but His soul? “When Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost” (Luk 23:46). That is, “To Thy safe custody and blessed tuition I commend My soul, as a special treasure or jewel, most charily79 and tenderly to be preserved and kept.” “He increased in wisdom and stature” (Luk 2:52). Here is stature for His body and wisdom for His soul. His growth in that speaks the truth of the former, and His growth in this the truth of the latter: His body properly could not grow in wisdom or His soul in stature; therefore, He must have both.

There are two essential parts that make up one of His natures, His manhood—soul and body. But both of these two have been denied of old. Marcion divests80 Christ of a body, and Apollinaris81 of a soul; and the Arians82 held that Christ had no [human] soul, but that the deity was to Him instead of a soul and supplied the office thereof— that what the soul is to us and doth in our bodies, the divine nature was to Christ and did in His body…But,

[2] Secondly, as Christ had a true human and reasonable soul, so Christ had a perfect, entire, complete body, and everything that is proper to a body. For instance, (1) He had blood: “He also took part of the same” (Heb 2:14), that is, of flesh and blood. Christ had in Him the blood of a man. Shedding of blood there must be, for without it there is no remission of sin (Heb 9:22). The blood of brute creatures could not wash away the blots of reasonable creatures (Heb 10:4-5, 10); wherefore Christ took our nature that He might have our blood to shed for our sins. There is an emphasis put upon Christ as man in the great business of man’s salvation—“the man Christ Jesus” (1Ti 2:5)—the remedy carrying in it a suitableness to the malady: the sufferings of a man to expiate the sin of man. (2) He had bones as well as flesh: “A spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have” (Luk 24:39). (3) Christ had in Him the [compassions] of a man (Phi 2:8), which [compassions] He fully expressed when He was on earth (Mat 12:18-20). Nay, He retaineth those [compassions] now [that] He is in heaven. In glory, He hath a fellow-feeling of His people’s miseries: “Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?” (Act 9:4; Mat 25:35ff.). Though Christ in His glorified state is freed from that state of frailty, passibility,83 mortality, yet He still retains His wonted pity.84 (4) He had in Him the familiarity of a man; all the evangelists do sufficiently testify how familiarly Christ did converse85 with all sorts of persons in this world. Man is a sociable and familiar creature; Christ became man that He might be a merciful high priest (Heb 2:17); not that His becoming man made Him more merciful, as though the mercies of a man were more than the mercies of God; but because by this means, mercy is conveyed more suitably and familiarly to man. But,

(4) Fourthly and lastly, our Lord Jesus Christ took our infirmities upon Him. When Christ was in this world, He submitted to the common accidents, adjuncts,86 infirmities, miseries, calamities that are incident87 to human nature. For the opening of this, remember there are three sorts of infirmities: (1) There are sinful infirmities (Jam 5:7; Psa 77:10). The best of men are but men at the best. Witness Abraham’s unbelief, David’s security, Job’s cursing, Jonah’s passion, Thomas’ unbelief, Peter’s lying, etc. Now these infirmities Jesus Christ took not upon Him; for though He was made like unto us in all things, yet without sin (Heb 4:15). (2) There are personal infirmities, which from some particular causes befall this or that person, [such as] leprosy, blindness, dumbness, palsy, dropsy, epilepsy, stone, gout, sickness. Christ was never sick…He had no sin, and therefore no sickness. Christ took not the passions or infirmities that were proper to this or that man. (3) There are natural infirmities that belong to all mankind since the fall, [such as] hunger, thirst, weariness, sorrowfulness, sweating, bleeding, wounds, death, burial. Jesus Christ took upon Himself these natural infirmities that are common to the whole nature, as all the evangelists do abundantly testify. Our dear Lord Jesus lay so many weeks and months in the Virgin’s womb. He received nourishment and growth in the ordinary way. He was brought forth and bred up just as common infants are. He had His life sustained by common food, as ours is. [He] was poor, afflicted, reproached, persecuted, tempted, deserted, falsely accused, etc. [He] lived an afflicted life and died an accursed death. His whole life, from the cradle to the cross, was made up of nothing but sorrows and sufferings. Thus, you see that Jesus Christ did put Himself under those infirmities that properly belong to the common nature of man, though He did not take upon Himself the particular infirmities of individuals. Now what do all these things speak out, but the certainty and reality of Christ’s manhood?

From “The Golden Key to Open Hidden Treasures” in The Works of Thomas Brooks, Banner of Truth Trust.


71. denominations – characteristics and titles.
72. wanted – lacked.
73. emphatical – strongly expressive; forcible.
74. intermitted – interrupted.
75. Apollinarians and Arians; see Donald Macleod, The Person of Christ, 158-159.
76. perturbation – inner turmoil or agitation.
77. imputation – putting to one’s account.
78. on a sudden – so suddenly
79. charily – carefully; cautiously.
80. divests – strips; deprives.
81. Apollinaris (c. 310-390) – heretical bishop of Laodicea in Asia Minor; taught that the one person of Christ had a human body but not a human mind or spirit: His mind and spirit were from the divine nature of the Son of God.
82. Arians – followers of Arius (AD c. 256-336), a bishop of Alexandria, who taught that God the Father alone was eternal and that He created the Son. Arius also taught that the Son was a heavenly being who existed before the rest of creation and who was far greater than all the rest of creation; nevertheless, he was still not equal to the Father in all his attributes: he was divine, but not deity. Jehovah’s Witnesses are modern day Arians.
83. passibility – capable of feeling or suffering.
84. wonted pity – customary mercy and compassion.
85. converse – keep company.
86. accidents, adjuncts – occurrences, things connected to.
87. incident – likely to happen.

Thomas Brooks (1608-1680): Congregational minister and author of numerous works; buried in Bunhill Fields, London, England.