the Bible explained

The Incomparable Christ: Christ the Son

Good morning and welcome to Truth for Today. The title of our talk this morning is 'Christ the Son' which is the last in a mini-series called 'The Incomparable Christ'. Throughout these talks we have been learning of aspects of His character revealed in the parables. I trust we will see more of His wonderful characteristics today and, by application, that we may imitate them in our lives. I will be making reference to a few 'father and son's' in Scripture as well as other examples to illustrate points throughout this talk. I would like to be clear from the start that all the examples that are used by no way compare with, and always fall short of, the blessed One whom we have before us this morning, 'Christ the Son'.

I would like to take up the subject of 'Christ the Son' under four headings:

  1. What the Son means to the Father
  2. The willingness of the Son
  3. The work of the Son
  4. The walk and witness of the Son.

1. What the Son means to the Father

I recently had the privilege of visiting the Republic of China. During the trip, we were able to speak with our guide and we learned a lot about the culture and the people. One thing that struck me was the government policy of one child per family, thus enabling them to keep down the population to a manageable level. Having a son was the favoured option for cultural reasons. While I walked through the streets, I could not help noticing the care and love that was shown to the young child by both parents, and often by the Granny and Grandpa. They always had their eyes on the little one, watching with pride it's every move. The love they expressed towards that little precious one was amazing and quite touching to witness.

Many of us who have been privileged to have a son or daughter will understand the thoughts that I am trying to express. The child means so much more to the parents and family than anything in this world. When we come and consider 'What the Son means to the Father' we are on holy ground; by that I mean it is hard for us to fully understand the Father's thoughts. We can only go by what is said in the Bible and by the help of the Holy Spirit to enter into these things.

We are told in Proverbs 8:30 from the Son Himself that even in the palaces of heaven, before this world was made the Son was daily the delight of the Father. The Father would later declare from heaven His delight in His Son, Matthew 3:17: "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased". In Luke 3:22: "Thou art My beloved Son; in Thee I am well pleased". The angel declares at His birth, Luke 1:32: "He shall be great".

In Luke 1:35 we read. "That holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God". Demons recognised Him in Luke 4:41: "Thou art Christ the Son of God". In John 3:35, the Father clearly declares His affection for His Son: "the Father loveth the Son". The words of a hymn come to mind:

"The Father's full delight
Is centred in the Son
And countless hosts in heaven unite
To tell what He has done".

Thomas W Porter (1844-1917)

The Son was and is the Father's delight and He rejoiced in everything He said and did. I don't feel I can comment any further than the Bible verses that I have directed you to. We would do well to carefully consider these scriptures to try to get an understanding of the Father's love and feelings for His only begotten Son. There are a few good examples in the Bible of a father's love for his son and pictures of God the Father and Christ the Son. Firstly we have Abraham who was given a son who he called Isaac (Genesis 17:17-19), when he was an old man. God recognised the love that Abraham had for Isaac when He instructed him in Genesis 22:2: 'Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest'. We also see in Genesis 37:3 the love Jacob had for Joseph: 'now [Jacob] loved Joseph more than all his children'. In both of these examples there is a special relationship and love which is a great type or picture of God the Father and Christ the Son.

2. The willingness of the Son

One great joy for a Father is for his children to be obedient and willing to do what is asked of them. It is even more so when, without even having to be asked, they get on with a task. Sometimes children have to be almost forced to do something that they are not willing to do and there is an ill feeling and a grudging attitude. The joy is then taken away from the parents.

To have a willing heart is a great attribute. When we turn again to the story of Abraham and Isaac (Genesis 22:1-19) we see a willing and obedient son. Abraham tells Isaac what God wanted him to do. Isaac willingly follows the entire instructions of his father. Isaac did not even question his father when he was awakened early one day to follow the instructions of God. It was three days later that he humbly and quietly asked where was the lamb for the burnt offering.

When Abraham explained that God would provide a lamb (Genesis 22:8), he never questioned his father. When Abraham began to tie up Isaac (Genesis 22:9), he did not struggle; he could easily have overpowered Abraham, an old man. Isaac was then laid on the altar. Abraham's knife was in the air ready to come down on Isaac to kill him. Still there was no cry of complaint from Isaac. Of course God provided the lamb for the burnt offering and Isaac was spared. He was a loving, willing, obedient and faithful son. What a wonderful picture of Christ the Son.

In Isaiah 6:8 we read of a conversation that took place in the palaces of heaven. There was a problem that man had sinned and there was a distance between God and man. Something had to be done for man to be reconciled with God. Who was going to do it? God said, "Whom shall I send, who will go for us?" The answer came clearly, without hesitation, willingly from the lips of the Son of God: "Here I am, send me." The Son knew the consequences of what was before Him when He volunteered. He would have to come into this world as a man and die to give His life as a ransom for many (Mark 10:45).

His life would not be spared like Isaac. He knew of the pain and the suffering He was about to endure at the hands of God and the hands of man to pay the penalty of sin. He would have to be made sin, which was a terrible burden to bear for the sinless one. Yet without hesitation the Son willingly said He would go and do the Father's work.

3. The work of the Son

When we talk about the work of the Son, we are thinking about the work of the cross, that mighty work of redemption at Calvary, where we see the love that God has for us. Christ the Son was the only One who could do this work. He was the only one who could meet the claims of a righteous and a holy God. The Lord declared in John 9:4: "I must work the works of Him that sent me". In John 4:34 Jesus said: "My meat is to do the will of Him that sent Me, and to finish His work." He had one thing in view while here on earth, and that was the cross. Luke tells us of the Lord in Luke 9:51 that "He steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem". Whilst the Lord was obedient to the Father's will in doing His work, He was displaying the Father's heart to all mankind.

His was a heart that is full of compassion and love. We read in Hebrews 2:9-10 of the Lord Jesus: "But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that He by the grace of God should taste death for every man. For it became Him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain or their salvation perfect through sufferings". So we see that in His death He accomplished His Father's work and in doing so He was securing a people for Himself. You and I, who have come to know the joy of salvation, a people that would give Him praise and worship, a people that He would display in a future time for His glory and honour!

4. The walk and witness of the Son

God took great pleasure in His Son as He was quietly brought up in Nazareth. He learned the carpentry trade under His earthly father, Joseph. It was when He was twelve that we first have a glimpse of His early years, Luke 2:41-52. On the usual yearly pilgrimage to Jerusalem, His parents could not find Him. He was eventually found with the scholars asking and answering questions. It was then He revealed to His parents that He had to be about "His Father's business" (Luke 2:49).

Joseph and Mary could not understand what Jesus meant; from then onwards we read nothing about Jesus until He was thirty years old and was about to begin His three years of public ministry. We can trace through the four Gospels, and we can discover the Son's walk through this world in total obedience to the will of His Father. In John 6:38, the Lord Jesus declares to all: "For I came down from heaven, not to do Mine own will, but the will of Him who sent me". He walked through this world toward the cross doing many good things, healing the sick, making the lame to walk, and the blind to see. Crowds followed Him everywhere He went and they were all interested in witnessing His miracles, but He wanted them listen to and believe His words. Jesus wanted them to know His Father, but even more so, to know His heart of love and compassion. Many were blessed.

He was hated by the Pharisees who were always trying to catch Him out with their religious piety. But even they had to admit in Matthew 21:15 that they saw with their own eyes the wonderful things Jesus did. He knew of course their questions, and was ready to answer at all times. Men like Pilate could find no fault in Him. The centurion at the cross could declare that 'Certainly this was a righteous man'. His walk and witness was a perfect representation of God before men and before His Father. In John 14:8, Philip asked the Lord to "show us the Father", Jesus then said to him, "Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father".

In Matthew 21:33-22:14 we read of two parables of the Lord Jesus; parables are earthly stories with heavenly meaning. One (Matthew 21:33-45) is about an owner of a vineyard who had let out his property to some men. When the fruit was in season, the owner sent some servants to get his share of the crop. When the servants came the men killed them. The owner then sent his son thinking that they would listen to him. But he got the same treatment; they caught him and killed him too. The men who did this deed deserved to be killed for their actions. But the Lord points out that He was to be rejected, taken and killed just like the man in the story. He was speaking of the Jews but we also are in the same position. Having rejected Christ the Son here in this world and put Him to death, we deserve death for our punishment. But the Father in His love sent His son to be our Saviour.

The second parable (Matthew 22:1-14) is of a certain king who made a marriage for his son. Many were invited but they refused to come. He was angry and went out and killed all those who refused. Then there were others invited from the highways as guests to the wedding, and many came. This parable is speaking again of God the Father and Christ the Son. The Jews rejected God's well beloved Son as many are doing today. The worst sin of all is to reject Christ the Son, God's well beloved son. But God's house will be filled by those of us who have accepted God's offer of salvation through His son. The warning given here is that those who reject His son will be banished to a lost eternity. The parable also tells us that God's house will be filled and His son will receive the adoration, worship and praise He deserves.

When we consider subjects such as we have before us today, our hearts should want to bow down and worship in appreciation of the Lord Jesus. Practically also we must learn some lessons that in our lives we should be examples of Christ here in this world. We can best do this by studying the life of the Lord when He was here on earth.

Joseph in the book of Genesis, is an example to us of how even in unfair circumstances he never wavered in his life. He was always obedient; he always did the right thing; he always said the right thing; and no one could point the finger of blame at him. We see Joseph being obedient to his father, doing what he was asked to do (Genesis 37:12-17), but in doing so he was attacked by his brothers and sold as a slave into Egypt (Genesis 37:18-28).

Joseph went through many trials in captivity in Egypt because of this. He did not deserve the way he was treated, but he needed to make this journey, unknown to him to fulfil God's plans for His people Israel. We never read of anything but good about Joseph's character. The way he behaved whilst in prison was an example of this (Genesis 39:20-41:36). We must remember that God's work in this world is through men and women, you and me. We have a privileged position; we are fellow workers with Christ. We must never lose sight of the higher aspect of our work, which is obedience to God, faithfulness to God and doing His will. We also have the joy and responsibility of bringing glory to His name, of gladdening the heart of our God and Father by living and serving Him as obedient children.

I trust that today's study has brought our hearts to consider firstly the value of Christ the Son, secondly that we may be more like Him. We are children of God and we should be displaying the characteristics of Christ as we pass through this world. May you be a living example of Christ in your life!

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