What Man Is This?
Wednesday, December 13 2017
I’m sure that I would have thought and said and done exactly the same things, had I been there.
A violent storm on the Galilean Sea – experienced fishermen-disciples at a loss to save themselves from the ravages of the winds and waves – their Master Jesus, in the stern, calmly sleeping through it all…
“And they woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?” And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, “[What man is this], that even the wind and the sea obey him?”” (Mark 4:38-41)
Exactly! What man IS this?
They knew Him as Jesus, the first-born son of Mary – hailing from Nazareth – a carpenter, like His father Joseph.
By this time, He had called them from their fishing nets to following Him as His disciples. By this time, they had seen Him heal many who were sick with various diseases, and watched Him as he cast out many demons. By this time, He had cleansed a leper, healed a paralytic, restored a man with a withered hand. By this time, He had preached throughout all Galilee – He had answered the people’s questions about fasting and the Pharisees’ questions about the Sabbath day – He had spoken to the Jerusalem scribes about blaspheming against the Holy Spirit – and He had told parables about sowers and mustard seeds and lamps under baskets.
They knew He could teach and preach, answer questions and refute challenges with wisdom and with authority from on high. They knew He could heal the sick and cast out demons – and that even the unclean spirits, in His presence and under His rebuke, obeyed His command to be silent and to leave.
But the natural world? Even the wind and the waves? Even THEY obeyed His rebuke and His command to be stilled and calmed? WHAT MAN IS THIS? I too would have been filled with great fear and wonder at the One before me.
This One, so filled with compassion for the lost, the sick, the oppressed, the harrassed and helpless sheep all around Him (Matthew 9:36).
This One who – although He was Emmanuel, that is “God with us” – did not come to be served but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many (Matthew 20:28).
This One “Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!” (Philippians 2:6-8)
On the one hand, so very human and one-of-us. And yet, on the other hand, so very god-like and not-one-of-us.
So: what man is this?
As the apostle Peter said one day when Jesus asked His disciples who they thought He was (Matthew 16:16):
“You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
As Jesus Himself stated after He had washed His disciples feet during the Last Supper (John 13:13):
“You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am.”
One day, Jesus went to stay at Zacchaeus, a very rich chief tax collector’s, house – and said (Luke 19:9-10):
“Today salvation has come to this house…
For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost."
The apostle Paul said of Him (1 Timothy 1:15):
“This is a trustworthy saying,
worthy of full acceptance:
Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners…”
The apostle John said of Him (John 3:16-17):
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,
that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world,
but to save the world through him."
And again (1 John 4:14):
“And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son
to be the Savior of the world.”
What man is this?
“This, this is Christ the King…
The King of Kings salvation brings,
Let loving hearts enthrone Him.”
For a beautiful rendition of the Christmas carol What Child Is This?,
the song that inspired this Advent Reflections series -
click on the following link:
- Where Joy and Sorrow Meet
- A Sacred Refuge Is Your Name
- And His Name Shall Be Called...
- What King Is This?
- He Has Visited His People
- In The Fullness of Time
- What Child Is This?
- What Babe Is This?
- 1 John 3:16
- The Bridges of Prague in the Czech Republic
- The Legacy of Wartburg Castle in Germany
- Martin Luther: Here He Stood (1483-1546)
- Katharina von Bora: The Runaway Nun (1499-1552)
- Johannes Bugenhagen: The Administrative Pastor (1485-1558)
- Zacharius Ursinus: The Happy Professor (1534-1583)
- Theodore Beza: The First Calvinist (1519-1605)
- Lady Jane Grey: The Teenage Martyr (c.1537-1554)
- Pierre Viret: The Smile of the Reformation (1511-1571)
- Robert Estienne: The Ink (1503-1559)
- John Calvin: The Genius of Geneva (1509-1564)