What makes Jesus so appealing?

  • 12 December 2016

Close to the heart of what makes the glory of God glorious is the way his majesty and his meekness combine. Or another way to put it would be that God is more glorious because he is a paradoxical juxtaposition of seemingly opposite traits rather than being a manifestation of only majestic strengths. And the unifying mark if these paradoxical juxtapositions is that the majestic heights of God are glorified especially through the way they serve or stoop in lowliness to save the weak. In other words, what is distinctly stunning...about the Christian God...is that he wins the praise of his majesty not by amassing slave labour to serve him but by becoming a servant to free the slaves of sin.

We admire Christ for his transcendence, but even more because the transcendence of his greatness is mixed with submission to God. 
We marvel at him because his uncompromising justice is tempered with mercy. 
His majesty is sweetened by meekness. 
In his equality with God he has a deep reverence for God. 
Though he is worthy of all good, he was patient to suffer evil. 
His sovereign dominion over the world was clothed with a spirit of obedience and submission. 
He baffled the proud scribes with his wisdom but was simple enough to be loved by children. 
He could still the storm with a word but would not strike the Samaritans with lightning or take himself down from the cross.

John Piper, A Peculiar Glory
 

There do meet in Jesus Christ, infinite highness, and infinite condescension. Christ, as he is God, is infinitely great and high above all. He is higher than the kings of the earth; for he is King of Kings, and Lord of Lords. He is higher than the heavens, and higher than the highest angels of heaven. So great is he, that all men, all kings and princes, are as worms of the dust before him, all nations are as the drop of the bucket, and the light dust of the balance; yea, and angels themselves are as nothing before him. He is so high, that he is infinitely above any need of us; above our reach, that we cannot be profitable to him, and above our conceptions, that we cannot comprehend him. Proverbs 30:4, “What is his name, and what is his Son’s name, if thou canst tell?” Our understandings, if we stretch them never so far, can’t reach up to his divine glory. Job 11:8, “It is high as heaven, what canst thou do?” Christ is the Creator, and great possessor of heaven and earth: he is sovereign lord of all: he rules over the whole universe, and doth whatsoever pleaseth him: his knowledge is without bound: his wisdom is perfect, and what none can circumvent: his power is infinite, and none can resist him: his riches are immense and inexhaustible: his majesty is infinitely awful.

And yet he is one of infinite condescension. None are so low, or inferior, but Christ’s condescension is sufficient to take a gracious notice of them. He condescends not only to the angels, humbling himself to behold the things that are done in heaven, but he also condescends to such poor creatures as men; and that not only so as to take notice of princes and great men, but of those that are of meanest rank and degree, “the poor of the world” (James 2:5). Such as are commonly despised by their fellow creatures, Christ don’t despise. 1 Corinthians 1:28, “Base things of the world, and things that are despised, hath God chosen.” Christ condescends to take notice of beggars (Luke 16:22) and of servants, and people of the most despised nations: in Christ Jesus is neither “Barbarian, Scythian, bond, nor free” (Colossians 3:11). He that is thus high, condescends to take a gracious notice of little children. Matthew 19:14, “Suffer little children to come unto me.” Yea, which is much more, his condescension is sufficient to take a gracious notice of the most unworthy, sinful creatures, those that have no good deservings, and those that have infinite ill deservings.

Jonathan Edwards, The Excellency of Christ

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