John 1: 14
I have been thinking about the Lord Jesus as to His personal greatness, and this ever remaining - “God manifest in flesh”, God come into Manhood. He was seen, a remarkable matter. The “mystery of piety is great”, 1 Tim 3: 16. It is a wonderful and holy subject that the Lord Jesus was, and is, and always will be a divine Person in His own right.
We often think of the Lord in manhood as Luke considers Him: His coming in as a babe, the reality of His manhood. He came in as a Man in order to take up our liabilities, to fulfil what was due to God from us, to be here as a perfect Man; to show what manhood according to God actually is, and that is most important.
The other side is that He came in to manifest what God is. Not only what God required from man, what man was to be, but to manifest what God is. And underlying that is the fact that He was God in His own Person. He manifested God perfectly. He represented God. In Colossians 1 it says, “for in him all the fulness of the Godhead was pleased to dwell”, v 19. So that the Godhead was pleased to be there. In Colossians 1 we have what was there in Christ in manhood. In chapter 2 Paul says, “For in him dwells all the fulness of the Godhead bodily”, v 9. That is what He is to us now. Christ is in glory in manhood now, but what a matter that God was pleased to come in in manhood in Christ and therefore make Himself known. God could not be known otherwise.
More than that, the right of redemption belonged to Him who was Creator. That is One who was God in His own Person. The Lord as dying as a Man on the cross in perfection was absolutely acceptable to God and perfect for God, but in order that it would be suitable for us it involved that One who has the right of redemption. We get that thought typically in Ruth, chap 3: 9.
If the value of His work was to be conferred on us, it required not only that the Lord Jesus should die on the cross, as a Man, but, that the Lord Jesus, who died there, was as to His Person God. These are very deep matters. It required that that One should have the right of redemption over us in order that the value of redemption should be passed on to us – that we should be redeemed. The law could not redeem us, but the true Boaz has the wealth and the right to redeem us. The Redeemer is the One who already owned us, and the Lord owned us because He created us. He is God. It says at the beginning of this book, “the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things received being through him, and without him not one thing received being which has received being”, v 1-3. Here was the One with the right of redemption. He was the One who could come in and, not only as Man take up our burdens and our sorrows and our sins, but as a divine Person in manhood confer upon us all the benefit of that blessed death, that sacrifice. He gave Himself for us in His body on the cross. What a blessed matter.
So John comes in at the very end of the writings we have of Scripture, when breakdown had come in and so much had gone wrong in the church publicly; and he writes to confirm that the Lord is not only a Man but He is a divine Person in manhood. I think that would establish us. One of the reasons that John writes is to establish us in the face of all that is around in many religions. Many say the Lord was a prophet, or the Lord was a good Man - but John comes in to establish what is true. The Lord is not a mere man. No religion, no other creed or dogma, nothing, can compare with this, that the Lord Jesus was God manifest in flesh; God perfectly known, and the only way in which man will ever come to God, or ever know God in any way, is through this blessed Man. These are wonderful facts, wonderful truths.
The first chapter of John particularly gives these things so perfectly. How He came in as light, light for men. He became flesh - He took up a condition of manhood which He will never give up. What He is in regards to His Person never changed. That Person, His personality, you might say, as God, never changed and never will change. But the condition of manhood (He “became flesh”) He retains forever - for us. He took up that condition for us in order to redeem us, in order to bring us to God; in order to have man, as God would have him, before God eternally. What a blessed work it has been and what a matter it was. “The mystery of piety is great”. “God had been manifested in flesh, has been justified in the Spirit, has appeared to angels, has been preached among the nations, has been believed on in the world, has been received up in glory.” 1 Tim. 3: 16. What a blessed Man He is! A divine Person in manhood. Scripture presents such a One, so great; He is worthy of all homage and of all worship. It is a right thing to worship the Lord Jesus. Worship Him as Man - yes – but who He is.
Well, may our hearts just be affected by that; may we be affected in our souls as to the greatness of that blessed One. It is One thing to be affected by His manhood, how precious the reality of that is – a real Man, the perfection of One who came into such a condition - but then to see the divine side, a divine Person in manhood - the greatness of His Person. What a blessed Person He is! May our hearts extend in worship to Him for His Name’s sake.
7th August 2012