Word Pictures of the Most Wonderful Person | Part Two

February 10, 2016

Dr. Franklin L. Kirksey | Pastor
First Baptist Church, Spanish Fort, AL

Click HERE for Part One.

III. Jesus: The Model Citizen
Luke has a Greek focus. Dr. Luke wrote Luke and Acts. Remember the Greek games or the Olympics, where they sought physical perfection. Jesus was not a physical specimen of perfection as some might think. Quite the contrary, as we read in Isaiah 53:2, “For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant, And as a root out of dry ground. He has no form or comeliness; And when we see Him, There is no beauty that we should desire Him.” The Greeks also sought the elusive perfection in character. Jesus Christ is the model man with perfect character. Only Jesus could honestly ask, “Which of you convicts Me of sin?” (John 8:46a) Luke 23:4 reads, “So Pilate said to the chief priests and the crowd, ‘I find no fault in this Man.’” Paul later writes of Jesus, “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5:21). Hebrews 7:26-28 reads, “For such a High Priest was fitting for us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and has become higher than the heavens;  who does not need daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the people’s, for this He did once for all when He offered up Himself. For the law appoints as high priests men who have weakness, but the word of the oath, which came after the law, appoints the Son who has been perfected forever.” (Emphasis mine)  

Jesus Christ is the perfect man.    

IV. Jesus: The Message Incarnate
John has a universal focus. John records no parables and few miracles compared to the synoptic gospels. John explains that Jesus is the visible expression of the invisible God. He clearly proclaims the deity of Jesus Christ as we read in John 1:1, 10-18 reads, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. . . . He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him.  But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name:  who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. John bore witness of Him and cried out, saying, ‘This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me is preferred before me, for He was before me.’’ And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace. For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him.”

John 14:7-11 reads, “If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and from now on you know Him and have seen Him.’ Philip said to Him, ‘Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?  Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works.  Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me, or else believe Me for the sake of the works themselves.” (Emphasis mine) John 14:6 reads, “Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.’”

Jesus Christ is the pattern man.

Dr. Charles Wesley Pope writes, “Now put these four pictures of Jesus together, Matthew’s [Majestic King], Mark’s [Miracle Worker], Luke’s [Model Citizen] and John’s [Message Incarnate]—make of them one composite picture and you have a real picture of the historical Christ.

There is just one question which every reader or hearer should ask himself—It is the greatest question upon which the salvation that could ever be asked, and the question upon which the salvation of every soul depends—It is the question which Pilate asked of the mob at the trial of Jesus: ‘What then, shall I do with Jesus?’ Our salvation does not depend upon how good we have been, nor yet how bad we have been—it depends wholly on what we do with Jesus.”[i] (Emphasis mine)

Matthew 26:65-66 reads, “Then the high priest tore his clothes, saying, ‘He has spoken blasphemy! What further need do we have of witnesses? Look, now you have heard His blasphemy! What do you think?’ They answered and said, ‘He is deserving of death.’”

Dr. Lawrence O. Richards explains, “Today many Jewish scholars seek to distinguish the historical Jesus from the Christ of Christianity. The man Jesus, most argue, was a Hasid, a pious and charismatic Jew who emphasized an intimate and vital faith in Israel’s God. Verses like these in Matthew [26:65-66] must have been added after the church deified the young rabbi, whose early death was so tragic.

But it won’t wash. Jesus still stands before the court of each man’s mind, still claiming to be the Christ, the Son of God. And our eternal destiny hinges on whether our verdict is yes or no.”[ii]

1 John 5:1, 12-13 reads, “Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves Him who begot also loves him who is begotten of Him. . . . He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.  These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.” Acts 16:30-31 reads, “And he [the Philippian jailer] brought them [Paul and Silas] out and said, ‘Sirs, what must I do to be saved?’ So they said, ‘Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.’” Romans 10:4-13 reads, “For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes. For Moses writes about the righteousness which is of the law, ‘The man who does those things shall live by them.’ But the righteousness of faith speaks in this way, ‘Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’’ (that is, to bring Christ down from above) or, ‘‘Who will descend into the abyss?’’ (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). But what does it say? ‘The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart’ (that is, the word of faith which we preach): that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.  For the Scripture says, ‘Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.’ For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him.  For ‘whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.’” 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 reads, “Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures.” 2 Corinthians 11:4 reads, “For if he who comes preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or if you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted—you may well put up with it!” Galatians 1:6-10 reads, “I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed.  As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed. For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ.” Galatians 3:26-28 reads, “For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.  For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.  There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

Titus Flavius Josephus (37-100), the Jewish historian of the first century, writes:

At that time there appeared Jesus, a wise man. For he was a doer of startling deeds, a teacher of people who receive the truth with pleasure. And he gained a following both among many Jews and among many of Greek origin. And when Pilate, because of an accusation made by the leading men among us, condemned him to the cross, those who had loved him previously did not cease to do so. For they reported that he appeared to them three days after his crucifixion and that he was alive. And up until this very day the tribe of Christians (named after him) has not died out.[iii]

 

[i]Pope, Living, 52.
[ii]Lawrence O. Richards, The 365-Day Devotional Commentary (Wheaton, IL: SP Publications Inc., 1990), 679. Database © 2009 WORDsearch Corp.
[iii]The City: A Publication of Houston Baptist University, Summer 2015, Volume VIII Issue 1, Michael R. Licona, “What Jesus’ Enemies Said About Him” (Houston, TX: Houston Baptist University, 2015), 98. Accessed: 01/31/16 http://www.hbu.edu/HBU/media/HBU/publications/thecity/201506-TheCity.pdf .

 

 

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doug sayers

I had a great breakfast this morning, Franklin, and I don’t mean the steak McMuffin and hash brown.

You have shown from Scripture that the Christian and Muslim do not worship the same God and any Muslim worth his salt would agree.

Jesus is utterly unique and all 4 Gospels show Him to be so as the Lamb of God, Who takes away the sin of the world. Thanks for setting Him before us.

    Franklin L. Kirksey

    Doug, Thank you for your encouraging words! Psalm 116:1-2 Blessings, Franklin

Pam Knight

Thanks Franklin for an awesome word here. Really what God is about in the lives of those who are in Christ. As Jesus the Son of man fulfilled His purpose to be the visible expression of The Invisible God we too who are in Christ have that same purpose. We are to be the visible expression of The Invisible God as we practically apply what Galatians 2:20 teaches us.
Just as you have said in your article above that Jesus Himself was explaining to the disciples that nothing that Jesus said or did was done by Him but everything He said or did was done by His Father in and thru Him as Jesus made Himself available to God the Father In fact Jesus said that apart from the Father I can do nothing.
Jesus truly was the man God created man to be. And Jesus tells us that as the Father sent me so send I you. We as men today have exactly every single thing that was available to Jesus as man available to us today in Christ. And Christ is alive today and living underneath our skin if we are in Christ. 2 Peter 1:3-4 assures us that God has given us EVERYTHING NEEDED FOR LIFE AND GODLINESS.
God’s purpose for creating man was because God wanted to have a physical visible manifestation of Himself thru a love relationship with man as man thru faith and out of love for dependence on and obedience to Him made their bodies available to God. Man in doing that would then become an instrument of God’s Righteousness as empty earthen vessels filled with the precious treasure of Christ.
The Bible tells us that we are predestined to be transformed into the image and likeness of His Son. A quote from one of my favorite men of God Major Ian Thomas says that…
The presence of God IN The Man is indispensable for the Likeness of God in the Character of man….
God IN The Man…..
It’s not us trying to duplicate what Jesus did…
But it’s actually Jesus IN US …
Living the Life He lived then…lived now…by Him..IN AND THRU US…
That’s normal Christianity and there is just too many people who are not being taught …
WHY God created man…His purpose…
HOW God created man’s body to function…&
God’s provision In Christ to fulfill that purpose..
God IN The Man revealing who and what He is to a lost and dying world thru a Faith Love Relationship with the people He created….
Great article revealing this great Truth…
In Christ
Pam

    Franklin L. Kirksey

    Pam, Thank you for your encouragement! What wonderful thoughts! Blessings, Franklin

      Pam Knight

      Thank You….The normal Christian Life just can’t be beat…The pure excitement of knowing that we have The Very God of The Universe alive under our skin. And the joyful anticipation we have as that excitement rises as we read His Word to us discovering all the things He desires to do in and thru us as we avail ourselves to Him.
      What a Life ! What a Savior ! My prayer is that we will remind people of this wonderful and exciting Life that God has provided for us in Christ…Let’s encourage others to..
      Rediscover Christ IN US…..
      In Christ
      Pam

        Franklin L. Kirksey

        Amen. Recently, I shared the following with a fellow servant: “Please remember Christ in you, Christ for you, and Christ through you. You do not have to be superhuman because He is supernatural. He is great and He is good.”

Ken

Dr. Kirksey

Thanks for the solid confirmation about the role of Jesus in God’s Plan of Salvation and that acceptance of Jesus Christ as Savior is the one and only way to gain eternal life – it is the only way that any person will ever gain entrance into the Kingdom of Heaven.

What a sadness, in light of the scriptures you point out, to think that there are so many people in this world who have concluded that salvation can be attained only if God has selected each person He wanted to be saved before the foundation of the world and simultaneously sentencing all others eternally to Hell without any hope of escape.

Too bad they can’t understand that if they are right then God’s sending Jesus into the world to suffer and die to provide each and every person a way to salvation was a cruel and inhuman hoax perpetrated against Jesus but also that the multitude of scriptural promises pointing out God’s Plan of Salvation through Jesus which provide assurance to each and every one of us who so believe that we are saved, is not only another monstrous hoax but a litany of lies.

    Franklin L. Kirksey

    Ken, You are most welcome. It is my pleasure. Let’s keep sharing the death, burial, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, the only hope of the forgiveness of sin and eternal life (1 Corinthians 15:1-4), with passion and compassion!

Jim P

The point of intersection and division is and will remain with the Person of Christ, Who He is and what His Father intends through Him.

For anyone to ‘know Him and the Power of His resurrection’ must face the fact of knowing ‘the fellowship of His suffering.’

A line in the sand impossible to ignore and almost as impossible to cross.

    Franklin L. Kirksey

    Jim, Sadly, many Christians settle for a powerless life without suffering. Your citation from Philippians 3:10 serves as a solemn reminder. A multitude of Christians settle for a philosophy that asks, “What Would Jesus Do?” without desiring to genuinely follow in His steps. 1 Peter 2:21 reads, “For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps.” The context in 1 Peter 2:18-25 is all about Jesus’ suffering and ours. Paul writes, “Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution” (2 Timothy 3:12).

    Jim P

    Thank you, Dr. Kirksey for your article and the centrality of the One Person.

    I’d like to add this. The phrase ‘eternal life’ is used so much in the discussions of God’s work of Salvation yet without grounding from scripture.

    The clearest meaning is from Jesus, Himself, and ties into this discussion: “This is eternal life, to know You the only true God and Jesus Christ Whom Thou has sent.” Jn. 17:3

    Concentrating on the benefits while ignoring the responsibilities is, to put it scriptural, carnal, fleshly.

      Franklin L. Kirksey

      Jim, I love the truth of John 17:3! Several years ago, I cited this verse and shared five strategic uses of the word translated “eternal” in the book of Hebrews, in a message and later article titled, “The Gist of Eternal Life.”

      Jim P

      Dr. Kirksey,

      Hope this gives something to consider, although you may have already. It is this that I just wrote earlier:

      ???? ??????? for those who don’t know is not Chinese. It is Greek. The phrased is used 40 times in the New Testament and its meaning is determined by the writers who used the phrase in the Gospels and Epistles.

      The writers were Jews not Greeks. Is this significant? Yes it is.

      Greeks had their own view of the world, their own background of philosophy, morality, politics, and on and on. The Jews had their own perspective of those areas. Both had frameworks of looking at the world around them that was being driven by centuries of conditioning. A big separation between the Jews’ and the Greeks’ framework was that the Jews had the one true God working on them even as rebellious as they were toward Him and His work.

      So what does ???? ??????? mean when the Jewish writers used the phrase in scripture, and why is it significant here? It is significant because so much of the work of God and a correct or incorrect understanding of that work revolves around this phrase.

      Now the ???? ??????? is translated ‘eternal life’ but that translation may suggest more than the writers intended and also may distract from what they intended.
      It is a fitting translation for Greek thinking though. Why so?

      The actual words translate ‘life’ and ‘aeon’ or ‘age.’ There is good support to see the phrase as a shortened way of saying the ‘life of the age to come,’ a fitting translations for Jewish thinking of the 1st century. Again Why so?

      Hope this adds. Thanks

        Jim P

        The ??????????? in the previous post was the Greek font that wouldn’t take. ???? ???????

        Jim P

        The transliteration might look something like zw’nv aiw’niow.

          Franklin L. Kirksey

          Jim, Thank you for sharing your scholarship! Blessings, Franklin

Dennis Lee Dabney

Dr Kirksey,

This portrait of our Lord Jesus Christ is the only picture God saw fit to give His people and the world beyond His ascension. We are so blessed to have the opportunity to peer into His face each time we open the Scriptures, as you have for us, while He opens our understanding and see Him as He was, as He is, as He shall ever be.

Thank you for your labor of love to Him by presenting this article to us.

Preach!

    Franklin L. Kirksey

    Dennis, Thank you for your encouragement in this endeavor. I look forward to the day when faith ends in sight and hope ends in delight! (1 John 3:1-3). Blessings, Franklin

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