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The Humanity of Christ

By Hugo McCord

religion, articles, christianity

Heart­stirring and motivating is a meditation on "The Humanity of Christ." Though Jesus truly was and is the Son of God, more meaningful to the loving heart of the Carpenter from Nazareth was the phrase "The Son of man."

He approved of Peter's declaration that he was "the Son of the living God" (Matt. 16:16), but the words he most used about himself were not "the Son of God" (5 times: Matt. 26:64; Mark 14:62; Luke 22:70; John 10:36; 11:4; 1 Tim. 6:13). His favorite description of himself was "the Son of man" (82 times, beginning in John 1:51).

Only by his becoming "the Son of man" is he able "to sympathize with our weaknesses" (Heb. 4:15). Only by his becoming "the Son of man," having "suffered, being tempted," is "he able to help those who are being tempted" (Heb. 2:18).

With hardly an exception, both believers and unbelievers unite in paeans of praise and in warm admiration for "the Son of man." Keeping youthful desires under control, Jesus as a lad was religious. Though he knew that he was the Son of God, he subjected himself as a youth to his earthly parents. Though he knew that he would be a preacher, yet he learned hard, physical work. Though not a husband, yet he respected wives and mothers. Though not a father, yet he loved little children.

Authoritative, yet he was meek and lowly. Unschooled, yet he was the Master teacher. Tired and hungry, yet consumed with soul­winning, he forgot his own needs. Obsessed for justice, he refused to embarrass a sinful penitent and instead he rebuked her persecutors.

Free from race prejudice, he was a friend to the hated Samaritans. Free from the love of money, owning not a pillow, he was content to be rich in good works. Free from worldly ambition, he rejected attempts to make him an earthly king. Free from selfishness, he worked early and late, going about doing good. Free from self­righteousness, he was a friend of sinners.

Having respect for things sacred, he forcibly removed commercialism and thievery from the temple. Detesting hypocrisy, he exposed self­righteousness among his contemporary religionists. An acid tongue he had for duplicity, but toward penitence, he was gentle and easy to approach. Loving the unfortunate, even at the expense of popularity, he helped those in need.

Moved with compassion, he fed multitudes of hungry people. Grieved at death, and weeping, he comforted the brokenhearted. Born in a stable to humble parents, never did he get above his station. He washed feet, and plain people in his company were comfortable. He had no quirks, no one­sided views on any subject.

Devout exceedingly, yet he was no ascetic. His overall perspective was other­worldly, yet he concentrated on his work in this world. He was a balanced, whole person. Perfectly he was able to combine piety and philanthropy.

Never hesitant, never making a mistake, he was in charge of every situation. Completely self­possessed, yet free of self­sufficiency, he obtained strength to help in time of need through daily private devotionals with his Father. Making the Father's will his will, unveeringly he denied himself to bless humanity. Loving his enemies, free from resentment, he excused his murderers and prayed for their forgiveness.

Loving his neighbor more than himself, he won the benediction of his Father and the gratitude of sinners. If Jesus had not claimed deity, his character as a human being, as a "son of man," would have claimed it for him. No mere human has approached the measure of the stature of the fullness of the Man of Galilee. Eye­witnesses said that they looked upon his glory, the glory as of the only one of his nature, full of grace and truth. If he was not divine, his humanity remains forever inexplicable. I do not know who wrote the next four paragraphs:

Here is a man who was born in an obscure village, the child of a peasant woman. He grew up in another village, and that a despised one. He worked in a carpenter shop until he was 30, and for three years, he was an itinerant preacher. He never held an office, he never owned a house. He never wrote a book, he never went to college. He never put his foot inside a big city. He never traveled 200 miles from the place where he was born. He had no credentials but himself.

While he was a young man, the tide of public opinion turned against him. His friends ran away. One of them betrayed him. He was turned over to his enemies. He went through the mockery of a trial. He was nailed to a cross between two thieves. While he was dying, his executioners gambled for the only piece of property he had on earth, and that was a seamless robe. When he was dead, he was laid in a private grave through the pity of a friend.

Nineteen wide centuries have come and gone, and today he is the masterpiece of the human race and the leader of all progress.

I am far within the mark when I say that all the armies that ever marched, and all the navies that were ever built, and all the parliaments that ever sat, and all the kings that ever reigned, put together, have not affected the life of man upon this earth as that One Solitary Life.

Bill Tyner wrote these words:

Some folks may ask me, some folks may say, 'Who is this Jesus you talk about ev'ry day?' He is my Savior. He set me free. Now listen while I tell you what he means to me. He is my ev'rything. He is my all. He is my everything, both great and small. He gave his life for me, made everything new. He is my everything. Now how about you?

Bill Tyner said that Jesus is my all. Paul wrote that Christ is all and in all. (Col. 3:11), causing someone to write that in:

Anthropology, he is the God­Man. Archaeology, he is the Chief Cornerstone. Astronomy, he is the Bright and Morning Sear. Botany, he is the Rose of Sharon and the Lily­of­the­Valley. Biology, he is Creator of all things. Chemistry, he is the Life­giving Blood. Morality, he is the Sinless and Perfect One. Theology, he is the Risen and Living Savior.

(Supplied by Jim Vice)

Charles Ross Weede wrote The Perfect Example.:

Jesus and Alexander died at thirty­three,
One lived and died for self; one died for you and me.
The Greek died on a throne; the Jew died on a cross;
One's life a triumph seemed; the other but a loss.
One led vast armies forth; the other walked alone;
One shed a whole world's blood; the other gave His own.
One won the world in life and lost it all in death;
The other lost His life to win the whole world's faith.
Jesus and Alexander died at thirty­three,
One died in Babylon; and one on Calvary.
One gained all for self; and one Himself he gave.
One conquered every throne; the other every grave.
The one made himself God; the God made Himself less;
The one lived but to blast, the other but to bless.
When died the Greek, forever fell his throne of swords;
But Jesus died to live forever Lord of lords.
Jesus and Alexander died at thirty­three,
The Greek made all men slaves; the Jew made all men free.
One built a throne on blood; the other on love,
The one was born of earth; the other from above;
One won all this earth, to lose all earth and heaven;
The other gave up all, that all to Him be given.
The Greek forever died; the Jew forever lives.
He loses all who gets, and wins all things who gives.


Published November 1996