What Is So Great About Being Human? 

Christ is risen!  Indeed He is risen! 

M31 Halo Illustration over Rocky Terrain

When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars which you have established; what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him? Yet you made him little less than God, and crowned him with glory and honor. You have given him dominion over the works of your hands; you have put all things under his feet, all sheep and oxen, and also the beasts of the field, the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea, whatever passes along the paths of the sea. O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!  (Psalms 8:3-9)

A Christian monk writing in 4th Century Syria comments on what it is to be human: 

“For great is the dignity of humanity.  See how great are the heavens and the earth, the sun and the moon.  But the Lord was not pleased to find his rest in them but in humanity alone.  Man, therefore, is of greater value than all other creatures, and perhaps, I will not hesitate to say, not only visible creatures, but also those invisible, namely, ‘the ministering spirits’ (Heb 1:14).  For it was not of Michael or Gabriel, the archangels, that God said: ‘Let us make according to our image and likeness’ (Gn 1:26), but he said it concerning the spiritual makeup of the human, I mean, the immortal soul.  For it is written: ‘The ranks of angels of the Lord encamp round about those that fear him’ (Ps 34:7).  The visible creatures, therefore, are endowed with a certain unchangeable nature. 


The heavens were once established, the sun, moon, and the earth, but in these creatures the Lord could not find lasting pleasure.  They could not be other than what he created them to be. They had no will.  You, however, for this reason are made according to the image and likeness of God.” 

“Behold the heavens, how vast! And also the earth! How precious are the creatures that inhabit them! And how great are some of their bodies!  But man is, nonetheless, much more valuable than all of these bodies, since in him alone the Lord is pleased.  The whales of the sea, the mountains and the beasts, in outward appearance far excel man in size.  See, then, your dignity.  How precious you are that God has made you superior to the angles since he came on earth himself visibly present to help and redeem you.” (Pseudo-Macarius, THE FIFTY SPIRITUAL HOMILIES, pp 116, 124-125) 


It has been testified somewhere, “What is man that you are mindful of him, or the son of man, that you care for him? You made him for a little while lower than the angels, you crowned him with glory and honor, putting everything in subjection under his feet.” Now in putting everything in subjection to him, he left nothing outside his control. As it is, we do not yet see everything in subjection to him. But we see Jesus, who for a little while was made lower than the angels, crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for every one.


For it was fitting that he, for whom and by whom all things exist, in bringing many sons to glory, should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through suffering. For he who sanctifies and those who are sanctified have all one origin. That is why he is not ashamed to call them brethren, saying, “I will proclaim your name to my brethren, in the midst of the congregation I will praise you.”  (Hebrews 2:6-12)