Hebrews 1:3 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person . . .
Jesus was a precise representation of the Father. Scripture refers to Him as "the express Image" of the Father's Person (Heb 1:3). The "fulness of the Godhead" was resident in Him "bodily" (Col2:9). In Jesus, the Father became understandable. His character was lived out before the Sons of men, particular those aspects of His nature that related to the salvation of humanity; i.e., longsuffering, kindness, mercy, grace, etc. We also saw His response to pretension and hypocrisy, as well as insincerity and dishonesty. As you walk through the Gospels, you are being introduced to God Himself. Jesus was, in truth, "God with us" (Matt 1:23).A concrete example of faithThere is also another indispensable aspect of Christ's enfleshment. We see in Him how heavenly life is lived out upon the earth. Jesus is a concrete example of the faith-life. While here in a state of humility, having "emptied Himself" (Phil 2:7), He lived by faith. Scripture highlights the natural and spiritual advance of our Savior when young. It depicts a life of faith, and is provided as an example for His people. "And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him . . . And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man" (Luke 2:40,52). His life was lived in dependency upon the same resources required by those He came to save. Speaking of this condition, He said, "But I have a baptism to be baptized with; and how am I straitened till it be accomplished!" (Luke 12:50). Later translations use the word "distressed" in place of "straitened." I prefer the latter word, because of the spirit of this text. The word translated "straitened," or "distressed," is soon-ekh'-o, meaning to hold together, i.e., to compress (the ears, with a crowd or siege) or arrest (a prisoner); fig. to compel, perplex, preoccupy--constrain, hold, keep in, press, lie sick of, stop, be in a strait, straiten, be taken with, throng (Strong). The idea is that of restraint--being held in, as it were. Living by faith is a privilege for us, it was an abasement for the Lord Jesus Christ! Jesus was restrained and held in by his incarnation. It was a burden to Him, yet was necessary for the salvation of the human race.
Provision for our condition
Christ's life of faith provided two requirements for our salvation. First, it enabled Jesus to be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God. He is able to be affected by the feeling of infirmity or weakness, providing a means through which Divine resources are given to us (Heb 4:14-16).Second, our Lord provided an "example" of living by faith. This example ranges from how to suffer, to spiritual productivity. Of particular interest in this study, are the Savior's remarks about being taught by His Father. These are arresting considerations, showing an aspect of spiritual life that is rarely considered or proclaimed by religious professionals of our time.
Speaking God's words
In a dramatic confrontation with His enemies, Jesus delineated the difference between living unto God and living for self. His indictment of the religious elite of that day is severe, and ought to provoke profound consideration by the people of God. "And He was saying to them, "You are from below, I am from above; you are of this world, I am not of this world. I said therefore to you, that you shall die in your sins; for unless you believe that I am He, you shall die in your sins" (John 8:24). Lest His enemies suppose that Jesus was merely reacting to their spiritual belligerence, He informed them He was giving the words of God to them. "I have many things to speak and to judge concerning you, but He who sent Me is true; and the things which I heard from Him, these I speak to the world. They did not realize that He had been speaking to them about the Father. Jesus therefore said, When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He, and I do nothing on My own initiative, but I speak these things as the Father taught Me" (John 8:28). Do not miss the power of this saying! Jesus said only what His Father TAUGHT Him to say! Not even the Son of God spoke out of Himself! When He was upon the earth, He lived by faith, relying completely upon the Father. How often this is expressed in the sacred record. "No man taketh it (His life)from me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of My Father" (John 10:18). "I speak that which I have seen with My Father" (John 8:38). "For I have not spoken of Myself; but the Father which sent Me, He gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak. And I know that His commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto Me, so I speak" (John 12:49,50).
Some do not see it
Some will reason that this circumstance has little to do with our situation. After all, He as the Son of God, was sent to save the world. The Father taught the Son because of the gravity of His mission--but the Father would never teach us. Such reasoning is flawed to the core. If God manifest in the flesh was "taught by God," what must be required of those that "have sinned and come short of the glory of God" (Rom 3:23)? Without further burdening you, the point to be seen is simply this; when our Lord humbled Himself, entering the realm of restriction, He also submitted to be taught by God. If this was the requirement for Him Who "did no sin, neither was guile found in His mouth" (1 Pet 2:22), what must be the requirement for us? We have in Him the supreme Example of dependency--utter dependency--upon the Father!
Yours, in the joyful expectation of glory, Given O. Blakely