As we begin a new year, we need a fresh glimpse of the person of Jesus. Without seeing and knowing Him in His splendor and majesty, we’ll never see a genuine revival. May God allow us to see Him!
Jesus is not only the purest man ever to live; He is purity. He is not just another holy man in human history; He is holiness. Jesus cannot be characterized as some sort of superstar. His life can only be described as supernatural. There are four historical accounts of the life of Jesus in the Bible. In each account we discover one ray of the radiance of God's glory as revealed in the character of Christ.
Matthew, a Jewish tax collector, wrote of the majesty of Jesus. He recognized royalty in the life and character of Christ. He understood that Jesus was worthy of worship because of His royal nature.
Jesus was of royal lineage. Matthew refers to Jesus nine times as the "son of David." He traces the historical roots of Jesus back to King David.
There has never been a king like King Jesus. Royalty is to be served. Yet this King did not come to be served, but He came to serve. He did not come with great ego needs, but He came to lay His life down for all humanity. He is the King who served the people.
Mark, who spent much time with the apostles Peter and Paul, wrote of the servanthood of Jesus. He omits the birth and early life of Jesus in his gospel account. He opens his account by introducing Jesus at His baptism. He allows the reader to see immediately the beauty of King Jesus as the Servant-Redeemer. Mark quotes Jesus as saying, "For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many" (Mark 10:45).
Many kings have walked across the pages of human history, but never one like King Jesus. He is altogether unique in His character. He is full of majesty, yet truly humble. He has all authority in heaven and on earth. Yet He took off His royal robes to give His life as a sacrifice for the sin of rebellious mankind.
Luke presents another aspect of the nature of God and the beauty of His glory found in Jesus. Luke speaks often of Jesus as the Son of Man. But Jesus is not like any other man who has ever lived. All other men must confess, "I have sinned." But Jesus was the perfect Man. Only a perfect human could save a sinful humanity. Jesus said, "The Son of Man has come to seek and save that which was lost" (Luke 19:10).
Jesus was perfect in His compassion. No one else has ever loved people like He loved them. He loved the lonely, the hurting, and the afflicted. He loved the poor as well as the powerful. He loved His friends, who forsook Him, and His enemies, who crucified Him. In His darkest moment, while He hung on the cross, He prayed, "Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing" (Luke 23:34). No man ever loved like the Man, Christ Jesus. And it was not just that He loved people with a great love-He was love. Jesus was the perfect Man.
However, Jesus was more than perfect in His humanity. He was, is, and always will be divine. He is God. Thus, though Luke focuses on the beauty of Jesus as that of the Perfect Man, John describes the glory of Jesus as that of the God-Man. Luke speaks of Jesus as the Son of Man; John writes of Jesus as the Son of God.
The glory of God is revealed in Jesus, the eternal One. John quotes Jesus as saying, "Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am" (John 8:58). Abraham lived hundreds of years before the time of Christianity. Yet Jesus claimed His existence before the time of Abraham. John testifies that Jesus was "in the beginning."
Not only does John paint a portrait of Christ as being the eternal One, he also portrays Jesus as the almighty One. He describes Jesus' power over both life and death. Jesus walked up to the tomb of a friend who had recently died, and He made a phenomenal statement: "I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me shall live even if he dies" (John 11:25). Then He called the dead man, Lazarus, to come back to life. And Lazarus had life breathed into his body, and he was resurrected. There is no one who has ever lived who is like Jesus. He is full of majesty and owns the title "King of kings."
But He shed His royal garments in order that He might wear the garments of a servant. Yet He is much more than the King who became a servant. He is the eternal, almighty God who took upon Himself human flesh. He is perfect. He is unique among all persons who have ever walked this planet for He is the God-Man and the Servant-King. When one looks into the historical accounts of the life, character, and essence of Jesus, he must fall on his face and cry out, "you alone are worthy of worship."
Christianity is different from other religions because it is not just a system of beliefs or a philosophical view of life. One could take Mohammed out of Islam and it would remain a great religion. The same is true with Buddha and many of the other great religions of the world. However, it is not true with Christianity. Christianity is Christ. Jesus is not just a good moral teacher or one of the great prophets of the ages; He is God in the flesh.
The essence of Christian worship is not in its form or its style. Nor is Christianity a system of philosophical teachings about good works. The essence of Christian worship is in the person of Jesus Christ. Worship flows from a genuine understanding of the character of Jesus. When one truly comprehends that, worship will flow from us to the Father because of the Son.
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