Dr. S. Lewis Johnson discusses the things that are true of Jesus Christ as the God-man, but are not true of human beings.
[Prayer] Father, we thank Thee for the word of God and for the power of it. And we thank Thee for this privilege again. We rejoice in the greatness of the Son of God. We thank Thee that he possesses full deity. And we thank Thee also for his true humanity. Enable us, Lord, to understand him in such a way that our own appreciation of Thee may be enlarged and increased. May our worship and praise through him be acceptable to Thee. We especially ask that is this hour now, we may each be guided by the Holy Spirit as we consider the great things from Thy word. And this we ask in Jesus’ name and for his sake. Amen.
[Message] This is the second and final one of our two studies on The Man Christ Jesus. Last week we studied the commonalities, or the things that our Lord has in common with men. And tonight we shall look at the peculiarities. That is, the things that are true of our Lord as the God-man, but are not true of us. Let’s turn in our Bibles to Luke chapter 1, verse 26 through verse 38 for the Scripture reading, Luke 1, verse 26 through verse 38. And we’ll deal particularly in a moment with verse 35, but let me read the context of the entire passage.
Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the descendants of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. And coming in, he said to her, Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you. But she was greatly troubled at this statement, and kept pondering what kind of salutation this might be. And the angel said to her, Do not be afraid, Mary; for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you all name Him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end. Mary said to the angel, How can this be, since I am a virgin? The angel answered and said to her, The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy offspring shall be called the Son of God. And behold, even your relative Elizabeth has also conceived a son in her old age; and she who was called barren is now in her sixth month. For nothing will be impossible with God. And Mary said, Behold, the bond-slave of the Lord; may it be done to me according to your word. And the angel departed from her.”
In our last study of the humanity of our Lord, we laid stress on the commonalities. That is, the things that make it clear that the Lord Jesus was truly human. We omitted discussion of his human names, such as Jesus, his human descent, such as his connection with David the King, his human, though miraculous, conception. We shall look at that tonight. His human constituent parts, he had a human soul, a human spirit, a human body. His human emotions, we’ll refer to them tonight, such as compassion, pity, joy, indignation, anger even, and then his human suffering and death and the like. We concentrated on Hebrews chapter 2, verse 14 through verse 16 where he is said to have had human flesh and blood. “In as much as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, he also himself took part of the same that he might destroy him that had the power of death,” that is the devil, “and deliver those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.” We reminded ourselves also of the ancient heresy Docetism. That word comes from the Greek word dokeo, which means “to seem, or to appear.” Now, the Docetics believed that the human nature of man was the sphere of corruption and unreality, and so they believed that participation in human nature would be derogatory to the divine nature. And thus they thought of the Lord Jesus Christ as a divine being walking the earth in disguise, that he really did not have a true human body. But it only appeared to be so.
Probably the first advocate of Docetism was Cerinthus who lived near the end of the first century and was a contemporary of the Apostle John. Cerinthus taught that the Lord Jesus was only better and wiser than other men and that the divine Christ descended upon him at the baptism and left him at the cross. So that consequently, for Cerinthus and for others who followed him in various ways, the incarnation of the Lord Jesus Christ was only an illusion. It was not really a case of God himself taking to himself human nature. It is likely, many feel that the Apostle John, in his first epistle, speaks of this kind of teaching, probably related to Gnosticism. And we read in 1 John chapter 4, verse 2 and 3, “By this you know the Spirit of God. Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God. And ever spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. And this is the spirit of the anti-Christ, of which ye have heard that it is coming. And now it is already in the world.” In other places in the Johannine epistles the same statement is made with reference to the incarnation.
Now we also made reference to the council of Chalcedon, dated about 451 AD, at which in the lengthy statement the phrase is found that the Lord Jesus is “truly God and truly man.” In the Athanasian Creed, probably composed after Chalcedon, the Lord Jesus is said to be “God and man, perfect God and perfect man. Yet he is not true, but one Christ, one, not by conversion of the Godhead into flesh, but by taking, or by the assumption of manhood, into God.” So the teaching of the word of God and of the Christian church has been, down through the centuries, that the Lord Jesus is truly man, apart, of course, from sin, as we shall see in a moment. But he is truly man.
Now, this is confirmed by the uses for the term man in the New Testament. There are two words for man in the New Testament that I want to refer to. And one is the Greek word, aner. Now, you can transliterate that simply A-N-E-R. Let’s make a long “E.” And then the Greek word anthropos, and you can transliterate that something like this A-N-T-H-R-O-P-O-S. Now, let me say just a word or two about these two words. If you’ll look at the usage for these two words for man concerning the Lord Jesus, you will discover that they are used with reference to him. First of all, with reference to those who did not have the closes relationship to the Lord Jesus, he is called both aner and anthropos. Now, the distinction between these two words is this. The first word, the short word aner, is the word which is used to distinguish a male from a female. For example, it’s the word for a husband as over against a wife. It’s the word for a man as over against a child. So it’s a relative word. It means “male.” The other word is the word that we would use for both male and female upon occasion, man. We say, “Man is a sinner.” We don’t mean simply the males. We mean the females, especially them. [Laughter] But that’s the generic use of the term man. So that is the word anthropos. Now, let me ask you to turn to John chapter 1, in verse 30, John chapter 1, verse 30. Here John the Baptist is speaking, and I know that is perhaps a little bit of a question just how closely John the Baptist was to our Lord. He probably stands between those who had only a light acquaintance with him and those who were very close to him like the twelve. But so far as we can tell, John was not really close to our Lord. But we read in verse 29, “The next day he saw Jesus coming to him and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! This is He on behalf of whom I said, ‘After me comes a Man,” anar, a man, a male, “who has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me.'” So you can see that John the Baptist spoke of the Lord Jesus as a man. He didn’t say God-man. He didn’t say a divine person, but a man.
Now, turn over to the 4th chapter in the 29th verse. Now, sometimes, of course, the statements that are made concerning the Lord Jesus will be by people who do not have any particular spiritual understanding. And it would be natural that they would call him a man. But we read here of the woman of Samaria, and in verse 29 here is the text, “Come, see a man,” anar, “who told me all the things that I have done; this is not the Christ, is it?” Now, notice “Come see a man.” So as far as she was concerned, the Lord Jesus was a man. She could not see any difference between him and other men.
In the 9th chapter in the 11th verse we read. The blind man is speaking and he says, “The man who is called Jesus made clay, and anointed my eyes, and said to me, ‘Go to Siloam and wash’; so I went away and washed, and I received sight.” “The man who is called Jesus,” now here the word, I should have clued you in, I think I probably gave the wrong impression. The first occurrence is the use of the term anar, male, John the Baptist uses. The others have been anthropos. That is, man the generic term, a man. Now, also in chapter 19, and verse 5, Pontius Pilate, in a famous statement that we probably all know, it’s such a striking phrase. We read, “Jesus then came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. Pilate said to them, ‘Behold, the Man!'” So what I want you to notice here is that both the word for male and the word generic term for man are used of the Lord Jesus Christ. Sometimes by people with no spiritual discernment, sometimes by those who had spiritual discernment, such as John the Baptist.
Now, by those who knew him intimately these same two words are used. Let’s turn to Acts chapter 2, in verse 22. Here, the Apostle Peter is preaching on the day of Pentecost, filled with the Holy Spirit incidentally, and in verse 22 of Acts chapter 2 Peter says, “Men of Israel, listen to these words: Jesus the Nazarene, a man,” anar, a male, “attested to you by God with miracles and wonders and signs which God performed through Him in your midst, just as you yourselves know.” Now, of course, we also know that, that’s the word anar, we also know that text that Paul uses in 1 Timothy chapter 2, in verse 5 when he says, “There is one mediator between God and men, the man,” anthropos, the generic term, “the man Christ Jesus.” So again, those who knew him intimately used both of these terms.
One final text, John chapter 8, verse 40, a word from our Lord Jesus himself. And here in John chapter 8, verse 40 we have the Lord Jesus using the term anthropos. He says, “But as it is you are seeking to kill me, a man who has told you the truth, which I heard from God. This Abraham did not do.” So here the Lord Jesus himself speaks of himself as a man.” I think it is clear then that by those who knew him intimately, and those who did not know him intimately, the terms man, anar, or man, anrthropos, were suitable for him. Thus, when they knew him fully, they saw him as truly a man, not some indeterminate person from some halfway land, a kind of Greek demigod neither full human nor fully divine. He did not seem to them to be so divine as to be inhuman. And it is important for us, I think, to remember that. Shakespeare, in Mark Anthony, has Mark Anthony’s comment on Julius Caesar. It’s, “His life was gentle, and the elements so mixed in him that nature might stand up and say to all the world, ‘This was a man.'” Now, it’s unsafe to take any kind of expression like that and refer it to the Lord Jesus, but if a true man has ever walked the earth, it was our Lord Jesus Christ.
Well, in what way then was he different? If he was a man such as we are, truly man, truly human, could be called anar, could be called anthropos, in what way then does the Lord Jesus differ from us? And that’s what I want to talk about tonight. And first of all, he differed from in that he had a supernatural conception. So let’s look at Luke chapter 1, verse 35, Christ’s supernatural conception. Though he is consubstantial with all other men, that is he possesses the same nature that all men have possessed, still his human nature was marked with certain peculiarities. And first of all is his supernatural conception. Now, we’ll speak first about the fact of it, and let me read the verse again. Luke chapter 1, verse 35, “The angel answered and said to her, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy offspring shall be called the Son of God.” Isn’t this an interesting passage, and isn’t it an interesting way that the Angel Gabriel comes to this city of Nazareth, or the village of Nazareth in Galilee, and speaks to Mary. “Hail, favored one, the Lord is with you.” Someone has said, “That’s a rather strange way for angels to greet people.” “Hail, favored one, the Lord is with you.” But Gabriel hadn’t read Emily Post or Mrs. Vanderbilt or any of the other ones. He came with a message from the Lord and he spoke to Mary as he did, because of the blessing that was going to be hers.
Now, verse 35 says, ” The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and) the holy offspring shall be called the Son of God.” The Lord Jesus, it is clear, was not the son Joseph and Mary by normal both. John’s origin in destiny, referred to in the immediately preceding context, and our Lord’s origin are world’s apart. Now, I know that Luke, when he wrote this gospel, and especially when he wrote this infancy narrative of chapters 1 and 2, intended for us to make the comparison and the contrast between John the Baptist and the Lord Jesus in their births, because the language is very similar. Let me point out a couple of similarities. In verse 15 we read concerning John the Baptist, “For he will be great in the sight of the Lord.” And then let your eyes drop down to verse 32 where he says concerning the Lord Jesus, “He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of his father David.”
In the case of John the Baptist, he is to be filled with the Holy Spirit. In the case of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit is to come upon Mary and that holy offspring shall be called the Son of God. But there are some interesting differences that make the difference between John the Baptist and the Lord Jesus as far apart as heaven is from earth. Look first at verse 13, “But the angel said to him, ‘Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your petition has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son,” notice that carefully, “will bear you a son,” so that the son is to be the son of Zacharias as well as Elizabeth. But then look down below when reference is made to the Lord Jesus at verse 31, and to Mary Gabriel says, “And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear,” not him, not bear Joseph, but bear “a son, and you shall name Him Jesus.” All the difference in the world; in the case of John the Baptist he is truly the son of Zacharias. In the case of the Lord Jesus, he is not the son of Joseph, except legally.
Another thing, notice verse 15, “For he will be great in the sight of the Lord; and he will drink no wine or liquor, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit while yet in his mother’s womb.” John the Baptist will be filled with the Holy Spirit. But when you look at verse 35, you see what a difference there is between the two conceptions. “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy Child shall be called the Son of God.” John will be filled with the Holy Spirit from his mother’s womb, but in the case of the Lord Jesus it is the Holy Spirit from whom he is conceived, or by whom he is conceived.
Well now, let me sum up some things that we can say about verse 35. First of all, the Father is the Father of the human nature of the Lord Jesus by the Holy Spirit. He had to fall upon Mary suddenly, irresistibly like a whirlwind. Now, I’m using these terms, because this is the metaphor that lies back of the verbs that are used in verse 35. He will come upon you like a whirlwind. Furthermore, he says, “The power of the Most High will over shadow you.” That is, the Holy Spirit will cast his shadow over her, just like the Shekinah Glory was over Israel and protected Israel from the sun and gave her light in the night. “He will overshadow you.” These words, incidentally, are used in the Old Testament Greek for these very metaphors that I am speaking about here. So the Holy Spirit will fall upon Mary, suddenly irresistibly like a whirlwind, you get the impression of tremendous power. It is the divine omnipotence that is responsible for the virgin conception. That he will cast his shadow over her like a Shekinah, like the Shekinah over the tabernacle, and he will vitally energize the womb’s embryo. The same mighty power by which the creation itself takes place is exercised in the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ of Mary. Someone has said, “It was the touch of God upon the simple life that made it forever sublime.” That holy thing that shall be born of you shall be called Son of God. So the first thing, I think, that we can say is that the Father is the Father of his human nature by the Holy Spirit.
The second thing that we can say is that Mary is the mother of his human nature by the Holy Spirit. We read in verse 47, “And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.” We should never think for one moment that Mary is able of herself to produce a holy Son. She herself needs a Savior. Look carefully at that text. “My spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.” Mary was a sinner, and so it was necessary for our Lord Jesus Christ in his human nature to be preserved from the sin of Mary. The idea that Mary came into being by immaculate conception is not a biblical doctrine. That doctrine was promulgated by Pope Pius IX in 1854, but it is not a biblical doctrine. She is not the mother of God, and yet at the same time the Bible does say that she conceived, so it is proper to say that. We read that in this very passage here. “And behold, you will conceive in your womb,” it is said in verse 31. The Apostles ‘ Creed is also correct, “Conceived by the Holy Spirit born of the Virgin Mary.”
Now, Matthew does not give us as much detail. That’s why I used this Lukan passage. Matthew simply says twice, in verses 18 and 20 of chapter 1 that that which was in Mary would be of the Holy Spirit. In other words, the Sprit would be the source of the birth of our Lord. So let me sum it up by saying this, that the Spirit of God was the active, efficient cause of the conception of the Lord Jesus. The virgin is the passive physical cause. So we should give more glory to Mary than is her due. She should have what the angel says concerning her. She’s highly favored, but the Spirit is the active efficient cause. The virgin is the passive physical cause. And I would suggest to you, I don’t like to suggest with the same dogmatism that you would about something that is stated specifically in the texts of the Bible, but it would seem to be natural to think that all of the stages of the process of generation and growth are found in the generation and the growth of our Lord Jesus Christ. There is first, the embryonic stage, the fetal stage, the infantile stage, the childhood, the youth, the manhood. All of these things were true of him so that he was truly a man and has entered into the experiences of human life in that way. As has often been said here, the Lord Jesus was born just as you and I are born. He was conceived miraculously. That’s what sets him apart. He was conceived miraculously, but he was born naturally. So that he had the experience, if as an infant one can have the experience, of being born just as any other human person.
Third thing, under the fact of his supernatural conception, by the virgin conception, his body is made a fit habitation for his holy nature. I think that that is suggested by the Greek text. And for that reason “the holy offspring shall be called the Son of God.” “That holy thing,” he says, “shall be called the Son of God. Well, someone might say, well that’s a violation of the immutable laws of nature. Well, so what? [Laughter] So what, what kind of a God do you have? Do you have a God who sets up certain immutable laws of nature, which he cannot break? Now, after all, if you read this account carefully you will see that these were some of the questions raised by the participants. We read in verse 34 that Mary said, “How can this be since I am a virgin?” Incidentally, she did not doubt that it would happen, but she’s asking how. And the angel then gave her the explanation, told her about Elizabeth, and added the words in verse 37, “For nothing will be impossible with God.” So suppose it is a violation of the immutable laws of nature, is that impossible with God? No, of course not, what do you do? Why, you don’t set off and try to figure out ways in which you can object to this. You’ll give thanks for the exhibition of the omnipotent power of our great Creator God. That’s what we read in verse 38, too. And Mary said, “Behold the handmaid or the bond-slave of the Lord. Be it done to me according to your word. And the angel departed from her.”
What are the consequences of the supernatural conception of the Lord Jesus? Well, he is therefore free of original sin and guilt. He is also free of actual sin, as by virtue of this. Of course, there are other features of this that one must bear in mind. But as a result of the supernatural conception, he is free from sin of all types. Since Christ, someone has said, did not descend from sinful seed, he is free from hereditary corruption and from hereditary guilt. If you like the Latin expression copa hereditaria raotis pikatie ada mikatie [ph 30:40] which is “imputed to all men, begotten of sinful flesh.” I didn’t notice any of you raising your hands and saying, “Repeat the Latin.” The Bible says, “That which is born of the flesh is flesh.” And our Lord Jesus was truly born of flesh, but apart from sin. Consequently he did not inherit the sin, the guilt, the actual sin, and did not commit the actual sins of men. The virgin birth, incidentally, is integral to the Christian faith.
Sometimes people think that the virgin birth is so different, so strange, that it must not have occurred because it’s so strange. You know, there are at least four ways for God to make a human body. He can make a human body with a man and a woman. That’s the way we came into existence. Or a human person can be made without a man or a man. That’s the way Adam came into existence. Or a person can come into existence without a woman. That’s the way Eve came into existence. Or without a man, that’s the way our Lord Jesus Christ came into existence. So there are four ways for a human person to be made. The Bible refers to all of those.
Let’s turn now to the second aspect of our Lord’s uniqueness, his perfect sinlessness. H.G. McDonald is a British scholar and he’s written a little book called Jesus, Human and Divine. A very simply little book, but it’s a rather good little book. In the course of it he has a statement that I’d like to read now. He says, “The Jesus of the gospels knew more about sin than anyone. Yet he himself never betrayed the least consciousness of it. Sin in other he saw, he rebuked, he forgave, he grieved over it, he suffered for it, he knew what was in man, yet could issue the challenge, “Which of you convinceth me of sin?” With him there was no memory of sin’s defeat, no trace of sin’s scars, no shame of a bad conscience.” You know, we usually think of a holy man as a man who is on his knees in humility and lowliness of mind, constantly conscious of the ways in which he has offended and constantly offends God. Do we not? We think of a man who is a holy man as a man who can tell us about repentance and the forgiveness of sins and confession of sins and things like this. And isn’t it strange that the Lord Jesus is the holiest of man. We all agreed with that, but he never says anything about how he repented. He never tells us anything about how he became holy, by humility, by submission to the will of God, or any of these things. So that his own style of holiness is completely different from what we regard as evidence of holiness among human beings. We say a man is real holy when he is humble and confesses his weakness and sins. He never made any such confessions of weakness or sin. And yet, we know that he is holy, because of course, he is the sinless Son of God.
Now, the fact of it; we have in verse 35 of Luke chapter 1 some evidence of that. For he says, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. And for that reason, the holy offspring shall be called the Son of God.” Incidentally, in the Greek text that is “the holy thing being the gotten.” Which would indicate that this passage is earlier than the gospel of Matthew, for there the tense is past. That born in her is of the Holy Spirit. So we have that holy thing being born. Now, his only sin that the Lord Jesus ever had was imputed sin. “He had made him to be sin for us that knew no sin that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” So the only sin the Lord Jesus ever had was imputed sin, which he took to himself while he was hanging on the cross, in order that we might be forgiven of our sins.
So our Lord’s sinfulness is not traceable to the preservation of a holy seat in Israel until he came along, as some of the scholastic theologians thought. Perhaps down through the line of Israel there was one line that was preserved from sin, and the Lord Jesus came from that. His holiness was not the result of evolution, as if through the process of time the Israelites got better and better and better until finally there was one holy person from which our Lord Jesus might come. It was not due to the immaculate conception, as that large religious organization likes to say. But it was due to the Holy Spirit. Positively, of course, his sinlessness leads on to his impeccability, his inability to sin. But we will drop that and not say anything about that tonight.
There are some consequences of his sinlessness that I would like to mentions. First of all, our Lord has greater natural gifts than we have. Now, perhaps that’s not phrased too well, and so don’t hold me too carefully to the phrasing of it. But what I have in mind is this; sin has a disturbing and perverting effect on us. Now, in the studies in Genesis I want to make reference, perhaps this coming Sunday, to the effect that it is likely that Adam was the wisest man who’s ever lived. It’s probably that he was the most intellectual man whoever lived, because he had the company of the Lord God in the Garden of Eden. He had tremendous intellectual facilities, because he was able to name all of the animals knowing their nature and fitting their names to them. Luther has contended in some of his characteristically unusual comments that in the case of Adam, he was of tremendous intelligence. I’ll save the comments for Sunday. But in the case of the Lord Jesus we have someone who has perfect human nature, true humanity. And so consequently sin did not have the disturbing and perverting effects upon him that it has had upon men. So, as we read in Luke chapter 52, “Jesus kept increasing in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and men.” And that increasing in wisdom and stature probably meant that his natural gifts were greater, more fully developed by virtue of his sinlessness.
The second thing that is the consequence of perfect sinlessness is his, now again I’m not too sure I like this word, because I’ll try to explain why, his immortality. Now, we know that death is the result of sin. Our Lord Jesus died under death’s judgment, but it is stated in Acts chapter 2, in verse 22 that it was impossible that he should be kept under the power of death, because of his sinlessness. So consequently, in his case, his redemptive death was a voluntary dearth as a random for our sin. So his immortality, if I may use that word, was a necessary consequence of his sinlessness. No miracle that our Lord Jesus ever performed exceeds the miracle of his own sinless life.
Third, Christ’s impersonal human nature; now, we’re going to deal more fully with this later, but let me just say a word or two about this. The fact, negatively, Christ’s human nature did not form a distinct person. The Lord Jesus was not too persons, but one person. But in him the divine and human natures were united into one undivided and indivisible person. So in the case of our Lord Jesus, we have one person with two natures, not two persons. Not a divine person and a human person united in one human body, but one divine person who existed before he took another nature to himself, who took this second nature so that we have one person but two natures. Now, that follows from the peculiar mode of the incarnation. He did not assume a human person, he assumed a human nature. In other words, the human nature was received into the person of the logos, or into the person of our Lord. That’s what we were talking about when we talked about John 1. “In the beginning was the Word, and the word was God,” remember, “and the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.” Human nature was taken by the Word, the logos, received to himself. So, negatively we predicate of his human nature no personality. So his human nature is impersonal. The personality of our Lord is attached to his divine being, capital B, the fact positively. So positively we predicate of his human nature that his human nature subsists in the divine logos, or the divine person. In other words, God assumed a human nature; he did not assume a man. Please remember that. God assumed human nature. Or you can that he assumed humanity, but you do not say that God assumed a man. You say, God took to himself a human nature, but you do not say God took to himself a human person when the incarnation took place. So the Son of God took to himself then a human nature, humanity, not a man. Deus assumsit notara humunum or humanitatum, but not Deus assumsit hamenem, I know that makes it a lot clearer to you, so you can say ,Amen.
So to sum up, our Lord was truly human, possessed of human emotions. He had compassion, indignation. He stood at the tomb of Lazarus and he raged at the violent tyranny of death. And he had great joy. In Luke chapter 10, verse 21 we read over his joy over the election of the children of God. You know, there are people who say that the doctrine of election shouldn’t make you happy. This is what he said. This is what is said. “At that very time he rejoiced greatly,” this is Luke 10:21 incidentally, “at that time he rejoiced greatly in the Holy Spirit and said, I praise Thee O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that Thou didst hide these things from the wise and intelligent and didst reveal them to babes. Yes, Father, for thus it was well pleasing in Thy sight.” A lot of emphasis is laid on the last of that, that he rejoiced in the fact that he revealed these things to the babes. But you notice that he rejoiced that they were hidden from the wise and intelligent. You never think like the Lord Jesus until you reach the place where you rejoice that he has hidden the truths of the word of God from the wise and the intelligent. The kind of God in the Bible is quite a bit different from the kind of God that’s popular today.
Now, we say then, he was truly human, possessed of all of these things. And at the same time, he was fully God. May I close with just something that I read in one of the theologies today? “Charles Whiston,” so Donald Bloch says, “was a veteran missionary to China.” He told Donald Bloch, a contemporary theologian, that in his student days at Harvard the standard introduction to prayer in the university chapel was “O Jesus our great teacher and companion.” He went on to point out that this kind of an expression is really a denial of the full divinity of the Lord Jesus, making him only a religious genius or something like that. He said it was not until he went out on the mission field and had been out there some time that it suddenly dawned on him that Jesus was more of a teacher or a prophet. He was the Savior of the World, the Lord of Glory. And then he said that he was moved for the first time to offer prayer to Jesus Christ with the words, “O Jesus,” not “Our great teacher and companion,” but “O Jesus, Lord and Savior.” And then he was poignantly reminded of Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians chapter 12 in verse 3, “No man can say that Jesus is Lord, except by the Holy Spirit.” So if you have gotten down upon your knees, and you have called out to God and said, “Oh Jesus, Lord and Savior” in the full understanding of what that means, you are the recipient of the illuminating ministry of the Holy Spirit. Truly God, truly man, our great God-man. I hope your trust is in him. He’s the only Savior. Let me close with a word of prayer.
[Prayer] Father, we are grateful to Thee for the things that are revealed in Thy word concerning the Lord Jesus, how great he truly is. Enable us, Lord…
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