Luke 22: 39-44
1 John 3: 2-3
I would like to say a short word, as I am able, to call attention to Christ as He was and Christ as He is. Christ as He was is food for the believer; Christ as He is also is to be the life and hope of the believer. Solomon has already been referred to, drawing from 1 Kings 10. The Lord Himself in the reference in Matthew then says, “and behold, more than Solomon is here”, chap 12: 42. I wish to speak about the true Solomon. There are a lot of tests these days publicly and amongst the saints, and I suggest that there is a need for us all to be recalled to the necessity of feeding on the moral qualities that came out in perfection in Jesus. I have only read of one of them in Luke. We are reading Mark on Lord’s day. I came across a remark of Mr James Taylor when he said that we have to study Luke in order to understand Mark, (vol 15 p7); as if you may need to feed on the Man as in Luke before you take on any of the characteristics of the perfect Servant as in Mark. I wonder, beloved brethren, if there is a danger that we slip away from feeding upon the moral characteristics that came out in the perfection of the life of Jesus. May I ask you if you have fed on any of these perfections today? Have you given any consideration, in your reading or your contemplation, to the perfection of the moral qualities that came out in Jesus? What were they? Time would not allow us to go over them but we can contemplate things such as that He loved righteousness and He hated lawlessness, Heb 1: 9; He was characteristically dependent; He was One who did not seek His own will, as it says here, but was totally committed to the will of His God and Father. He demonstrated compassion, and brought out the very feelings of God in grace. These and many more features came out in Christ. Christ as He was is a divine provision for food for the believer. The manna was there every morning in the wilderness, as we know, fresh every morning. God provided the manna for the tents of the Israelites so that there was a fresh provision, divine provision, every morning to sustain and stimulate and preserve the Israelites. Beloved brethren, we need the manna every day. Never let us forget that it was on that life that the heavens were opened, and the Father’s voice could say, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I have found my delight”, Matt 3: 17. There never had been a Man on earth like Jesus. There never had been one in manhood who brought out every feature which God desired to find in Man. It is good if we ask the Holy Spirit to help us as we waken each day, and go into each day, to think and feed on the moral perfections of the Lord Jesus Christ. That order of Man delighted heaven, and every feature of that order of Man as brought out now in the saints causes great pleasure to our God and Father. How precious these things are! The testimony in all its glorious moral character is a representation of Christ in life and moral qualities. I believe that the strength of the local company will reflect the measure in which every individual brother and sister feeds on the perfections of Jesus. Ponder them, and pray about them, so that we become accustomed to these features. We are going through a world of unrighteousness, independence, hatred, hardness, jealousy, strife, and competition. We, as believers, see and value precious moral qualities in the Man whom we love and desire to be more attached to; so features that are of God and meet with the glory of God are increasingly demonstrated by us. Christ as He was has to be our food.
But I got a real sense on Lord’s day that, although we never saw Christ as He was, we will soon actually see Christ as He is. Wonderful matter! It is a wonderful matter to contemplate Christ as He is as a glorified Man above. We have great affection for Him but, ponder it, dear brother and sister, we will actually see Him as He is and, more than that, we will be like Him when we see Him as He is. What elevating and stirring thoughts, that we shall see Him. Christ as He is is the One we know, and He is to be our life and object. The prospect soon is that we will see Him as He is. Can we take it in, that the Man who glorified God on the earth, the Man who was raised from amongst the dead by the glory of the Father, taken up into glory in the worth of His own Person with redemption accomplished, we shall see and be made like Him? Christ is glorified, and there He is at the right hand of God, and our body of humiliation soon will become conformed to that glorious One, our body of humiliation will be conformed to His body of glory. “We shall see him as he is”. What a moment! When the rapture happens, the dead in Christ rise first and we the living who remain - that is us, should it happen tonight - will be caught up, and will be changed, and when we see Him we shall be like Him. Oh, beloved brethren, we shall see Him as He is! We can feed on Him as He was, but the prospect before us is to see Him as He is. May that encourage all our hearts a little more, for His Name’s sake.
8th February 2011