"What manner of Man is this...?" - Mark 4:41
"What manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us..." - 1 John 3:1
"What manner of persons ought ye to be..." - 2 Peter 3:11
In each of these
Scriptures we have described someone or something unique. "What
manner of Man is this...?" asked the disciples when the Lord stilled the
storm by the word of His power - a unique Person.
In each of these Scriptures we have described someone or something unique. "What manner of Man is this...?" asked the disciples when the Lord stilled the storm by the word of His power - a unique Person."What manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us...!" exclaimed John - a unique affection. "What manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness," says Peter - a unique people. We are not surprised at this unique triad since everything in connection with God is necessarily unique, and we have presented to us in these Scriptures the Son of God, the love of God, and the people of God.
It is impossible to think of God manifested in flesh without contemplating someone who was entirely different from everyone else, and such our Lord was. He was unique in His birth, unique in His life, and unique in His death. But it is in connection with His life that these words of amazement were uttered by His disciples. The Savior must have been a continual source of wonder to all who met Him. Here was one who was Master of every situation, in whose presence death was conquered, demons were powerless and disease put to flight. No wonder "the people were astonished saying, 'From whence hath this man these things? And what wisdom is this which is given unto Him, that even such mighty works are wrought by His hands?" (Mark 6:2). No wonder that when the daughter of Jairus was raised from death, "they were astonished with great astonishment" (Mark 5:42).
As a man, Jesus was unique. He was the Man of Bruised Heel (Genesis 3:15). He was the Man of Bored Ear (Exodus 21:6). He was the Man of Broken Heart (Psalm 69:20). He was the Man of Beautiful Feet (Isaiah 52:7). He was the Man of Black and Bushy Locks (Song 5:11). He was the Man of Blessing Hands (Luke 24:50). He was the Man of Bended Knee (Luke 22:41). He was the Man of Bleeding Side (John 19:34). Beloved, take a steadfast gaze at this unique person and walk in His steps. Allow this gaze to make dim the things of this life in the light of His glory and grace.
If our Lord was unique to the multitude of His day, how much more so is He to us who are His people! He is our Savior, or Shepherd, our Lord, our Master, our great High Priest, our Advocate with the Father; and one day we must stand before His judgment seat. Seeing then what manner of Man He is, a Person absolutely unique, may we each give Him a unique an unrivalled place in our hearts and lives.
In 1 John 3:1 we are presented with a unique affection. God's love is unique because it is eternal. "I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee" (Jeremiah 31:3). God's loves is unique because it is causeless. Human love is only excited when some cause for loving is apparent, but "the Lord did not set His love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people, for ye were the fewest of all people: but because the Lord loved you..." (Deuteronomy 7:7,8). There was nothing in us to evoke His love; there was everything in us to repel it. We have rebelled against our Maker, trampled upon His commandments, revolted against His will and defiantly declared, "Depart from us for we desire not the knowledge of Thy ways" (Job 21:14).
Yet, "behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God" (1 John 3:1). A unique love indeed by cost. "God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8). "Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propititation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another" (1 John 4:10,11).
"Dear friends, God is good. So I beg you to offer your bodies to Him as a living sacrifice, pure and pleasing. That's the most sensible way to serve God. Don't be like the people of this world, but let God change the way you think. Then you will know how to do everything that is good and pleasing to Him" (Romans 12:1,2 CEV).
In this way we will be observed as a unique people as the Holy Spirit proclaimed through the Apostle Peter. Before the proclamation we were reminded of the fate of this doomed world when the day of the Lord comes (2 Peter 3:10). So be a unique people through holy conversation and godly living. This does not mean we are trying to appear strange and unreasonable in our manner of life. As God's people we should be sober and level-headed. Apart from holy conversation and godly living we display our uniqueness in various ways.
1. Our lives should be blameless when we contemplate the fearful doom which awaits the ungodly all around us. How careful we should be in every detail of our lives lest anything should stumble an unbeliever.
2. Our affections should be set upon things above (Colossians 3:2); we should be seeking first God's kingdom and righteousness (Matthew 6:33): knowing all things will be burnt up, how lightly we should grasp the things of this life and rather be concerned with that which which will last eternally.
3. We should be characterized by a holy zeal in the extension of God's kingdom. If such a terrible doom awaits the lost around us, if before them there is "a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation" (Hebrews 10:27), how concerned and how zealous we should be in the propagation of the good news of salvation. Such was the spirit which characterized the Apostle Paul. In 1 Corinthians 9:16 he wrote, "For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!" "I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some" (1 Corinthians 9:22).
Finally, we should be watchful. "But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober" (1 Thessalonians 5:4-6). "...it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed (Romans 13:11).
May this unique Person occupy the first place in our hearts and affections. May this unique love be shed abroad in our hearts, and then most certainly we shall be for God a unique people.
Dr. T. Cyprian Kia
August 4, 2002
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