"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 Israel: he was the embodiment of the promises, the father of all faith, the friend of God.  “Art Thou greater than our father Abraham ?” the Jews asked Him; “whom makest Thou thyself?” (John 8: 53).  The directness and intensity of the challenge drew as startling an utterance as even our Lord ever gave of Himself.  “Before Abraham was” - before there was an Abraham – “I AM”: the greatest of the Patriarchs was but a star of the dawn, swallowed up and lost in the Day he foresaw: for I AM is the tremendous title of Deity.  How much greater therefore? As much greater as Jehovah is than Jehovah’s Friend.




“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.




Solomon, in outward splendour, was, incomparably the greatest of Israel’s Kings, and endowed with a gift of wisdom possibly never surpassed.  “For he was wiser than all men; and there came of all peoples to hear the wisdom of Solomon” (1 Kings 4:  30): for it was supernatural illumination, and embraced all nature. 1 Kings 4: 33.  Art Thou greater, O Lord, than Solomon? Hear Jesus:- “The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with the men of this generation, and shall condemn them: for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and behold, a greater than Solomon is here” (Luke 11: 31).  Jesus is the Divine Logos.  John 1: 1.  How much greater therefore? As much greater as the Giver of wisdom is than the wisdom He gives.




We pass to the Prophets.  Perhaps no greater miracle (apart from the Flood) stands forth in the Old Testament than Jonah’s 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 Nineveh shall stand up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for they repented at the preaching of Jonah ; and behold, a greater than Jonah is here Jonah came up from the dead, but he was not dead: Jesus was dead, yet mastered death.  How much greater therefore? As much greater as resurrection is than natural life.




The Priests remain.  One spot of earth alone held the local manifestation of God: one Holy of holies enshrined the Deity: one sacred Temple held the only Divine Priesthood in the whole world.  Jesus was greater than Solomon, the builder of the Temple: was He greater than the Temple?  Again He replies: “I say unto you, that One greater than the temple is here” (Matt. xii. 6): 'a greater thing' than the temple; for "in Him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily(Col. 2: 9).  God was more in Christ than He was in the Temple: the Body enshrined the Godhead as no temple ever could: He was holier than the Holy of holies. How much greater therefore? As much greater as a son is than the house in which his father dwells.




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!”