Monday, September 8, 2014

Humbled Beginnings of Christ

      By Todd Lockwood: Jesus Christ came from humbled beginnings. Usually, we look to the events of his birth to emphasis that he was born in a lowly place and placed in a manger. But the word of God also speaks of the humbled beginnings of Jesus' ancestry. Hebrews 2:16 says that Jesus took on the seed of Abraham. At first, this might not seem like a lowly beginning seeing that Abraham is recorded as a man of great faith who was willing to heed to God's calling to a strange land and who was willing to sacrifice his son, Isaac (Heb 11). But where did God find Abraham before these events? God chose Abraham from among the many inhabitants of Mesopotamia, where Abraham and his family were accustomed to worshiping idols (Josh 24:2). Is it not lowly enough for God to take on the nature of man, is there any more need to choose an ancestry of idol worshipers?
"Thou art the Lord the God, who didst choose Abraham, and broughtest him forth out of Ur" (Neh. 9:7). It was not Abraham who chose God, but God who chose Abraham. "The God of glory appeared unto our father Abraham, when he was in Mesopotamia" (Acts 7:2): this title "the God of glory" is employed here to emphasize the signal favor which was shown to Abraham, the glory of His grace in electing him, for there was nothing in him by nature that lifted him above his fellows and entitled him to the divine notice. It was unmerited kindness, sovereign mercy, which was shown him. 
This is made very evident by what is told us in Joshua 24 of his condition before Jehovah appeared to him: "Thus saith the God of Israel, your fathers dwelt on the other side of the flood in old time, even Terah, the father of Abraham, and the father of Nachor: and they served other gods" (v. 2). Abraham was living in the heathen city of Ur, and belonged to an idolatrous family! At a later date God pressed this very fact upon his descendants, reminding them of the lowly and corrupt state of their original, and giving them to know it was for no good in him that he had been chosen: "Hearken to me, ye that follow after righteousness, ye that seek the Lord: look unto the rock whence ye are hewn, and to the hole of the pit whence ye are digged. Look unto Abraham your father, and unto Sarah that bare you; for I called him alone, and blessed him" (Isa. 51:1, 2). What a flesh-withering word is that: the great Abraham is here likened (by God) to "the hole of the pit"—such was his condition when the Lord first appeared unto him. - A.W. Pink, The Doctrine of Election

Conclusion

I have said this before but I will say it again, to say that you just want Christ as an alternative to an exhaustive theology is an oxymoron. The rich truths of Christ are like deep waters; they are like vines intertwining on every page of the word of God. Our great King served us in humility and the moment you think you grasp this or any other truth, God reveals that the depth of his truth is deeper still.