The Man Christ Jesus
The humanity of the Lord Jesus was perfectly natural and simple in its development. He grew up amid the relationships and circumstances of human life in a manner entirely like our own. Still, there was a character to it that morally separated Him from those in the midst of whom He lived and moved. His life unfolded itself like a flower beneath the genial rays of the sun, its beauty and its sweetness alike attained without effort and without aim. “The child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon Him” (Luke 2:40). As years went on He “increased in wisdom, and in favour with God and man.”
The secret of the life of Jesus lay within, deep hidden from the eyes of man. Beneath the fostering love of God His Father He grew; one motive gave character to all He did and said; His delight was to do the will of God and be about His Father’s business. His relationship to God as His Father, and absolute subjection to His will, did not take Him out of His human relationships and the duties that attached to them; it was in those relationships and connected with those duties He glorified His Father, perfectly met His mind and will, whilst at the same time was subject to His parents.
In the life of Jesus the spring of everything was absolutely divine, though the expression of it was perfectly human. It was in the humble home at Nazareth, beneath the parental roof and control of Joseph reputed His father and the gentle nurture of Mary His mother, working at His lowly task as a carpenter, that Jesus, the Son of God’s love, lived for thirty years, ever mindful during that time of His “Father’s business.” Here He tasted, in all its sweetness, the overruling care of divine love; as indeed He did during His subsequent public ministry and prophetic service. His Father’s will governed everything in Him, His Father’s care was unchanged; the storms of public life, the opposition of men and Satan, only gave occasion for His faith and obedience to display themselves. Every step of the journey He lived by and for His Father.
His enjoyment of divine love and care was perfect and uninterrupted, because His walk was perfect. “I have kept My Father’s commandments, and abide in His love” (John 15:10). Obedience was the principle upon which His enjoyment of the Father’s love to Him, as a Man here, was dependent. How fully that was put to the test the wilderness and Gethsemane witness; He learned obedience in suffering. His walk, as well as His person, ever afforded delight to the Father; He ever did those things that pleased Him.
The obedience of Jesus is a sweet and holy thing for our souls to dwell upon; it is the fine flour of the meat offering, the true bread from heaven by which our souls are nourished; every step fragrant with delight, for in Him we see the one and only Man who never had a thought or desire apart from God, and in whose holy nature no contrary thing was found; the absorbing object of His life being the work the Father gave Him to do, the intense delight in doing it being that which imparted to it the sweet savour of frankincense—type of the affection and devotion which imparted to all the words and ways of Christ their sweet odour.
He who thus walked was “God manifest in flesh”; the divine glory of His person is manifest all along His life of dependence; but it never overlaps or clouds the reality of His humanity. His divine glory was always itself, and there for man’s blessing, but it never interfered with the reality of His manhood. These two things are beautifully set before our eyes in the scene on the lake of Gennesaret. In sweet and simple faith in the care of God, His Father, He rested in the hinder part of the ship asleep. Awakened by His terror-stricken disciples, His divine glory burst forth in all its brightness; in words which fully demonstrated His Deity. He commanded the angry winds and waves to cease; obedient to His command, peace reigned where all had been unrest and violence.
“What manner of man is this?” the awe-stricken disciples exclaim. We answer, it was “Emmanuel” who spake that word which produced a “great calm”; it was “the Man Christ Jesus,” “God manifest in flesh”; such a man never was on this earth before, the deep mystery of His person only known to God the Father.
In His divine glory we can have no part save to hide ourselves in it and find there all our blessedness; but we are called to live the life of faith and dependence in which He ever lived, if we would be in the abiding enjoyment of divine love as He ever was.
Our Calling 1912