Gospel Gazette Online
Volume 20 Number 6 June 2018
Page 4

The Moral Glory of Jesus

Ronald D. Reeves

Ronald D. ReevesThe Word of God presents a matchless portrait of the moral glory of Jesus. Such attests not only to the inspired nature of the Word, but it also attests to the high standard of personal maturation unto which we should strive in our daily Christian walk of life.

With respect to His humanity, Jesus committed no sin nor did he have sinful propensities. He was subject to Joseph and Mary during His youth and worshipped in the synagogue. His compassion is seen in that He wept over guilty Jerusalem and over Lazarus. He relied upon the Word of God in all respects. Jesus was perfect in every stage of development, in every relation of life and in all of His service.

With respect to His being a pattern for all men, Jesus was free from influences that typically affect men. He was not unduly influenced by the peculiarities of His race nor by the spirit of the age. Jesus was not unduly influenced by things local, things transient, things individualizing, things national or things sectarian. As one author stated, "He rises above the parentage of the blood, the narrow horizon which bounded, as it seemed, His life; for He is the archetypal man in whose presence distinctions of race, intervals of ages, types of civilizations and degrees of mental culture are as nothing."

With respect to His unselfishness and dignity, Jesus did not gratify personal ambition but maintained devotion to His mission. He never drew unwarranted attention to self. Jesus illustrated a clear interest in others as He fed the multitudes. Some things Jesus was never found to be doing. He never begged though having no obvious source of income. He never fled from His enemies in fear. He never became exasperated or excited by hostility directed toward Him. He was never cast down by rejection whereby He could not persevere in his mission.

With respect to His status as One who was superior to human judgment and human intercession, Jesus never needed to give nor did He ever give an apology for His action, for He was sinless. He made no excuses to others for what He did, even though they may have questioned the validity of His action. No excuse was necessary because He was sinless. He never was inclined to confess a mistake nor did He ever confess a mistake to His enemies. Such was not necessary because He was sinless. Notably, there is no record in the Bible that suggests that Jesus ever requested someone to pray for Him, a testimony to His relationship with the Father in Heaven.

With respect to His sinless character, the Bible pointedly affirms His perfection in this life (Hebrews 4:15). This perfection ran as a golden thread through the tapestry of His life, from His birth through His childhood, youth, manhood, private life, public life and even His death. The testimony of His enemies attests to the sinless perfection of Jesus. Judas acknowledged that he had betrayed innocent blood. The Pharisees, perhaps the strongest and more dedicated of His enemies, charged Jesus with disrespect to Caesar during His trial. The limits of the accusation, though false, illustrate their awareness of His perfection, though unacknowledged. The Bible records no error or sin committed by Jesus. He never confessed sin, requested pardon, implied personal guilt, displayed apprehension of a penal future, nor was His fellowship with God ever broken. Others were never able to convict Him of sin.

With respect to the assemblage and correlation of His virtues, His will was balanced with His intellect. He served others when it was proper to do so. He exercised His ruling capacity when it was proper to do so. The justice and mercy of Jesus never clashed, nor did His love and truth or His holiness and pardon. His firmness never degenerated into obstinacy, nor did His calmness ever degenerate into indifference. His gentleness never degenerated into weakness. The elevation of His person did not cause Him to be forgetful of others. He was silent at the right time and spoke when He should. He was the Victor in controversy and the Master of nature. He was and is the Lord of the unseen world. With respect to His power and knowledge, Jesus is both omnipotent and omniscient. His omnipotence is seen in His power over nature, evil spirits, disease and death. His omniscience is evident in His knowing the hearts of all men, His knowing the life of the people with whom he dealt, His knowledge of the world of evil spirits and His knowledge of God the Father.

Yes, the biblical portrait of Jesus is truly matchless and a wonderful guide for every child of God today. We cannot match His sinless character or fully duplicate the virtues mentioned above. Yet, we can and must look to Him as our Supreme example and renew our personal commitment to walk in His steps. This is our task. Anything less will degrade the Christ whom we serve and the One who gave His all for us. Our proper course is clear. May we have the Christian fortitude to follow it honorably and graciously.

Fathers Provoke Not

Mark McWhorter

CMark McWhorterolossians 3:21 reads, “Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged.” Men tend to have a harsh or hard tone to their voices. Men tend to be stricter in what they want and when they want things. Men tend to have short tempers. This is not true for every man, but it is more likely a man will have these problems than a woman.

In the context of our verse above, Paul gave rules by which people should live. They are not suggestions. They are imperatives, meaning they must be followed. Specifically, the apostle addressed wives, husbands, children, fathers and servants.

Fathers need to be careful in their dealings with their children. They should not rule their children in such a way that the child is discouraged. The word “provoke” is from a Greek word that means one creates and arouses anger or wrongful strong emotions. The father in this instance, is one who always finds wrong or shortcomings in the child. The father does not hesitate to always negatively criticize the child. There is very little protective and positive reinforcement from the father. The father is not necessarily angry. In fact, the father may think he is helping the child by pointing out the child’s perceived failures. This behavior will make the child angry. The child’s creativity, imagination, determination and will to succeed is severely harmed or destroyed. More importantly, the child’s spiritual world is harmed. The child may see the father as being a hypocrite when it comes to spiritual things. The child may be discouraged from obeying God.

The word “provoke” is also used in Ephesians 6:4, which reads, “And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” A different Greek word is used in this verse. This word means that a person is angry, acts out that anger and brings another person up to that level of anger or wrath. In this instance, the father sees or hears something that angers him. His emotion boils over, possibly to wrath, and he strikes out at his child. He does and says things in a moment of emotional outburst that makes the child extremely angry. The child may even respond in wrath. This wrongful exchange spiritually harms not only the father but the child as well.

God chose to use two different words in very similar verses to cover all aspects of how a father might wrongfully deal with his children. (The mother is covered by these verses as well.) Study your Bible. Learn what God wants you to know to be a proper father or mother. Learn how God wants children to be cared for by parents. Share that knowledge with parents and with other children. If any of this is hard to understand, ask an adult to help you.

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