Jesus Christ - God and Man (2)
That He was and is truly Man, One who has been tried in all points as we are (sin apart), enables Him to sympathize with us as we tread our pilgrim way, seeking to follow His steps, while it is the hand of His Almightiness which holds up “our goings in His paths.”
We contemplate Him then, “coming in flesh.” He is “that Holy Thing” born of the virgin. “The Seed of the woman,” so long promised, has come to bruise the Serpent’s head. Conceived in the womb by the overshadowing power of the Highest, He was born a Son to Mary—Jesus—His lowly name, yet He is to be great, and called “the Son of the Highest.” The virgin’s firstborn Son is “Christ the Lord.”
We contemplate Him in the Bethlehem stable.
“Blest Babe who lowly liest,
In manger-cradle there,
Descended from the highest,
Our sorrows all to share.”
He is cast upon God from the womb and made to hope upon His mother’s breasts. May we not join the angels in spirit saying, “Glory to God in the highest, peace on earth, good pleasure in men?” He has come who shall bring highest honour to God and who shall reconcile men to Him in righteousness, so that a holy God may look upon them with complacency, and have them in His presence with delight, in fulfilment of His purpose of grace.
We contemplate Him in the temple when eight days old. “The Child Jesus” is brought in that the custom of the law may be carried out. Taken into aged Simeon’s arms He is declared to be the Lord’s Christ—God’s salvation.
We contemplate Him in all the perfect unfoldings of childhood. He grows and waxes strong in spirit, filled with wisdom, and the grace of God is upon Him. He advances in wisdom and stature and in favour with God and men. At twelve years of age He is consciously the Son of the Father. Missed by His parents, and found at last, in the midst of the doctors in the temple, He enquires, “How is it that ye sought Me? Wist ye not that I must be about My Father’s business?” But thence He goes down with them, and comes to Nazareth and is subject unto them.
We contemplate Him in His holy Manhood “at the river of Jordan, where John was baptising.” He, who ever was in the beginning with God, begins to be about thirty years of age. Before Abraham He was—the Great “I AM,” the unchanging One, “the Same.” The Word which “was God” was made flesh and dwelt among us, complete in Manhood now as He had been, and ever remains, complete in Godhead eternally.
To fulfil all righteousness He will identify Himself with the remnant of Israel in the waters of baptism, taking His place with them in their first step—though He is the Sinless One. Then when baptized, heaven breaks silence rejoicingly, and the Father’s voice is heard saying, “This is My beloved Son in whom I am well pleased,” while the Spirit of God descends as a dove and abides upon Him.
We contemplate Him in the desert. He is “driven by the Spirit into the wilderness,” and we see Him hungering there and tempted by the devil. Answering the suggestion of the evil one that He should make stones bread, He, the self-humbled, dependent, devoted, obedient One, says, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word which proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” The testing only brings out the perfection—the sweet incense is beaten small that its fragrance may be shed forth.
Then “full of the Holy Spirit,” “led by the Spirit” and “in the power of the Spirit,” He ever speaks and acts. It is “by the Spirit of God” He casts out demons. In His wonderful stooping, He who is “over all, God blessed for ever?’ has taken a place in which He will be directed and empowered by the Holy Spirit.
We contemplate Him further in His holy goings and ministry. He, “Emmanuel”—“God with us”—has drawn near to fallen men, His creatures for their good, making God known. Grace and truth have come in Him. Yet He is the “Man of Sorrows”’ the grief-acquainted One in outward circumstances, though in spirit He rejoices in the accomplishment of the Father’s will. As it has been said, “He bore in His spirit that which He put away by His power,” for “in all their afflictions He was afflicted.” Everything essential in perfect holy Manhood we discern in Him, while as occasion calls for it we,
“See the Godhead glory
Shine through the human veil;
Or willing hear the story,
Of Him who’s come to heal.”
Article series: Jesus Christ - God and ManJesus Christ - God and Man (1) Jesus Christ - God and Man (3)