THE GREATNESS OF JESUS
"WHAT think ye of Christ?" No question is more fundamental, more critical, or more persistent: none could be asked more fraught with irrevocable destiny. What do men think? The Atheist thinks nothing about Him at all; for, as there is no God, there can be no Son of God. The Worldling, given over to pleasure and the love of money, is careful not to think about Him: for to think about Christ, is to think about holiness. The Unitarian thinks that He is the noblest of all men, a revealer - or the revealer - of God, but a man only. The Swedenborgian thinks He is God, the only Person in the Godhead, and now not man at all. The Arian (such as the Millennial Dawnist) - [now called - Jehovahs Witness.] - thinks He is a created god, a powerful and Divine archangel, come into the world. The Gnostic (such as the New Theologian, the Christian Scientist, and the Theosophist) thinks of Jesus as a son of Joseph, but peculiarly and mystically indwelt by the Christ. The Mohammedan thinks that He is a real prophet, but inferior to Mohammed. The Jews thought that He was a carpenter's son; and the Pharisees thought Him a demoniac. The CHRISTIAN - and the Christian only - sees in Him "the MAN Christ Jesus, - born of a woman; who is over all, GOD blessed for ever."
None in Christ's
lifetime ever doubted that He was a man; those who saw,
and heard, and even handled Him (Luke 24: 39; 1; John 1: 1) never doubted, and
could not doubt, the Manhood; - that was left to the invention of a later age. But what rank did He take among men? this was the inquiry, and it began with Abraham. Abraham loomed up incomparably the greatest
figure on the horizon of
Art thou greater again Jesus is challenged than our father Jacob? (John 4: 12). Jacob, the wrestler with the Jehovah Angel, was a prince with God - what a title! Jesus answers:- If thou knewest the gift of God and who it is that saith to thee, Give Me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of Him, and He would have given thee living water. Jacob dug the well, and gave the earthly water: Jesus says He gives water straight from the hand of God to the lips of the soul. How much greater therefore? As much greater as the living water is than the earthly, so much greater is the Giver of the one than the giver of the other.
outward splendour, was, incomparably the greatest of
We pass to the
Prophets. Perhaps no greater miracle
(apart from the Flood) stands forth in the Old Testament than Jonahs descent
into Sheol (Jonah. 2: 2),
- a man who literally came back from the [locality
of] dead. Art thou greater, O Lord, than
Jonah? Jesus answers:- The men of
remain. One spot of earth alone
held the local manifestation of God: one Holy of holies enshrined the Deity:
Rank over rank rise the hierarchies of Heaven, - thrones, dominions, principalities, powers. Art Thou greater, O Lord, there? Listen to the testimony of the Most High. By so much better than the angels, as He hath inherited a more excellent name than they. For - now hear the voice of God of the angels He saith, Who maketh His angels - angels are made winds, and His ministers a flame of fire: but of the Son He saith, Thy throne, O GOD - uncreate, from everlasting is for ever and ever (Heb. 1: 4.) How much greater therefore? As much greater as the Creator is than the creature, so much greater is Christ than all the thrones, and dominions, and principalities, and powers that circle the throne of God. Of the SON He saith, O GOD!
- D. M. PANTON.