The churches of Christ Greet You (Romans 16:16)


The Bible Reveals Jesus - 1

In our last lesson we mentioned that the manifestations of God during the patriarchal and Jewish dispensations were only preparatory to the greater, higher, grander, clearer, fuller manifes­tations of God under the Dispensation of Grace. It was a difficult task for the mind of the uneducated Jews to see a personal, present, and loving Redeemer and Friend in the Ten Commandments; hence the prophetic part of the system. The tabernacle, the priests, the daily and annual offerings, was only shadows of good things to come (Heb. 10:1). The law was addressed to the life; the Ten Com­mandments did not touch the heart. But these things were pictures to the mind, to the soul, to the faith.


For hundreds of years they sighed, struggled against temptation, and waited for the promised redemption. Finally eternity gave up its treasures and the angel Gabriel appeared to Mary, a virgin in Israel, and said to her: “Hail, thou that art highly favored, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favor with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: and he shall reign over the house of Jacob forever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Spirit shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God” (Luke 1:28‑35).


Joseph, to whom Mary was espoused, was disposed "to put her away privily. But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is con­ceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins” (Matt. 1:19‑21). An apostle of Jesus Christ gives addit­ional light: "And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth (John 1:14)."


Are these passages mysteri­ous? Are they hard to understand? Let us turn to the New Testament commentary, the words of the apostles of the Lord. They explain and make them clear: God was manifested in the flesh (1 Tim. 3:16). Could anything be plainer than this? But how was God manifested in the flesh? The power of the Highest overshadowed Mary, she conceived, brought forth a son, the Word was made flesh, and God was with men. When we say, God is manifested in nature, everybody knows what that means. When we say, God manifested Himself in the destruction of the wicked through the ages past, every mind grasps the thought. When we say, God shines into our hearts through the truth, no thinking man stops to doubt. When we say, God was manifested in the flesh, angels and men stand in awe and wonder. Do you ask for further information? Turn to the word of truth. There is no other place to which we can go.

Do the Scriptures identify Jesus with man? He was born as we are born (Luke 2:11). He had flesh and blood as we have (Heb. 2:14). He grew up from childhood to manhood as we do (Luke 2:40). He labored with His hands as a carpenter (Mark 6:3). He suffered the pangs of hunger as we do now (Matt. 21:18). He became weary and sat down to rest, as we have all done (John 4:6). He wept at the grave of a departed friend (John 11:35). He was patriotic, willing to render to the government its dues (Matt. 22:21). He had warm personal friends, as we all delight to have (John 21:20). He grieved over the sufferings and sorrows of others (Matt. 23:37). He loved His mother, and made provisions for her declin­ing years before He departed from the world (John 19:26, 27). He died; He passed through the dark valley before us (Rom. 6: 9-10). He was buried in the earth, the common level to which kings and sub­jects all must come (1 Cor. 15:4).


Jesus Christ had a heart that beat in deepest sympathy with every wail of sin and pain. The character that is given Him by historians justifies the statement that, sin excepted, He was the most intensely human person who ever trod the earth. As a descendant of Abraham, He was a man ‑ yes, a man in every sense of the word. He knew what it was to earn His daily bread, and therefore knows the wants of the millions who toil from day to day to maintain their existence. He drank the cup of sorrow to its very dregs, and He knows how to sympathize with us when we pass through the deep waters. Paul, who caught the spirit of His wonderful life, gave expression to the depths of His thought and feeling in these immortal words: "Wherefore in all things it behooved Him to be made like unto His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful high‑priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people; for in that He Himself hath suffered being tempted, He is able to succor them that are tempted” (Heb. 2:17-18).


Was Jesus more than man? Yes, He is the Son of God. More than this, He is the only begotten Son of God. If He were not the Son of God, He was the greatest deceiver that ever lived on earth. Do you ask for the evidences of His divinity? Do you ask if He were the revelation of God to the eyes, the minds, and the hearts of men? His own life and labors must answer. He was begotten of God (John 3:16). Angels, "a multitude of the heavenly host," sang their glad notes through earth and sky when He was born in the city of Bethlehem (Luke 2:13). He is the salvation and light of men (Luke 2:25‑32; John 1:4). He was wiser at the age of twelve than the doctors and lawyers of Jerusalem (Luke 2:46). He was superior to nature (Matt. 8:26). He became poor in order that others might be rich (2 Cor. 8: 8-9). You may complain of your poverty, but there is not a poorer man in this world than Jesus became for you. We believe that we may go a step further and say that the poorest saint is richer than Jesus was.


If Jesus had been only a man, would He have done this? Never. Would you, under the power of His teaching do this? We doubt it. He knew all things. Even His enemies declared that "Never man spake like this man” (John 7:46). He had power to lay down His life, and power to take it again (John 10:17). The angels of heaven were ready to come at His command (Matt. 26:53). God acknowl­edged Him as His beloved Son" at His baptism and again in the presence of Peter, James and John, when they were together on the holy mount (Matt. 17:5; 2 Peter 1:16‑18). He voluntarily gave up His life for His enemies (Rom. 5:10). This stamped Him as Divine.


The people despised His mission. They mocked Him, derided Him, misrepresented Him, persecuted Him, treated Him with scorn, spat upon Him, scourged Him, betrayed Him, denied Him; yet in the face of all this unparalleled hatred, He voluntarily, and with­out a murmur, gave His life for them. Would a man ‑ would you ‑ do this? All nature put on the garb of woe while He suffered (Luke 23:44). Righteous men have been dying since Abraham, and the sun shone on as before, but it did not look upon the sufferings of the Lord. He was stronger than death or the grave (Rev. 1:18). His word, His salvation, fills every want of every man in every age. He is God with us, the Savior of the world.

Is this satisfactory? If not, Lord willing, we will pursue the investigation further.

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