“God our Savior…desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.”
“And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness:
God was manifested in the flesh,
Justified in the Spirit,
Seen by angels,
Preached among the Gentiles,
Believed on in the world,
Received up in glory” (1 Timothy 2:4-6; 3:16 NKJV, emphasis added).
There are few things in which we exhibit more failure than in maintaining vigorous communion with the perfect manhood of the Lord Jesus Christ. Hence it is that we suffer so much from vacancy, barrenness, restlessness, and wandering. Did we but enter with a more sincere faith into the truth that there is a real Man at the right hand of the Majesty in the heavens—One whose sympathy is perfect, whose love is fathomless, whose power is omnipotent, whose wisdom is infinite, whose resources are inexhaustible, whose riches are unsearchable, whose ear is open to our every breathing, whose hand is open to our every need, whose heart is full of unspeakable love and tenderness toward us—how much more happy and elevated we should be, and how much more independent of creature streams, through whatever channel they may flow!
There is nothing the heart can crave which we have not in Jesus.
- Does it long for genuine sympathy? Where can it find it, save in Him who could mingle His tears with those of the bereaved sisters of Bethany?
- Does it desire the enjoyment of sincere affection? It can only find it in that heart which told forth its love in drops of blood.
- Does it seek the protection of real power? It has but to look to Him who made the world.
- Does it feel the need of unerring wisdom to guide? Let it betake itself to Him who is wisdom personified, and “who of God is made unto us wisdom.”
In one word, we have all in Christ. The divine mind and the divine affections have found a perfect object in “the man Christ Jesus” [1 Tim. 2:5]; and surely, if there is that in the Person of Christ which can perfectly satisfy God, there is that which ought to satisfy us, and which will satisfy us in proportion as, by the grace of the Holy Spirit, we walk in communion with God.
The Lord Jesus Christ was the only perfect man that ever trod this earth. He was all perfect—perfect in thought, perfect in word, perfect in action. In Him every moral quality met in divine and therefore perfect proportion. No one feature preponderated. In Him were exquisitely blended a majesty which overawed, and a gentleness which gave perfect ease, in His presence. The scribes and the Pharisees met His withering rebuke, while the poor Samaritan and the “woman that was a sinner” found themselves unaccountably, yet irresistibly, attracted to Him [Matt. 23:1-36; Luke 7:38-40].
No one feature displaced another, for all was in fair and comely proportion. This may be traced in every scene of His perfect life. He could say, in reference to five thousand hungry people, “Give ye them to eat”; and when they were filled, He could say, “Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost” [John 6:1-13]. The benevolence and the economy are both perfect, and neither interferes with the other; each shines in its own proper sphere. He could not send unsatisfied hunger away; neither could He suffer single fragment of God’s creatures to be wasted. He would meet with a full and liberal hand the need of the human family; and when that was done, He would carefully treasure up every atom. The selfsame hand that was widely open to every form of human need was firmly closed against all wastefulness. There was nothing stingy nor yet extravagant in the character of the perfect, the heavenly Man.
What a lesson for us! How often, with us, does benevolence resolve itself into an unwarrantable profusion! and, on the other hand, how often is our economy marred by the exhibition of a miserly spirit! At times, too, our stingy hearts refuse to open themselves to the full extent of the need which presents itself before us; while, at other times, we squander, through a wanton extravagance, that which might satisfy many a needy fellow-creature. Oh, my reader, let us carefully study the divine picture set before us in the life of “the man Christ Jesus.” How refreshing and strengthening to “the inward man” to be occupied with Him who was perfect in all His ways, and who in all things must “have the preeminence” [Col. 1:15-18].