The Youth’s Instructor


August 16, 1894

“A Man Among Men”


Jesus came to represent the character of God, in living out the holy law of Jehovah. In every lesson he gave to his disciples and to the people, he sought to define clearly its principles. By personal obedience to the law, he invested the common duties of life with a holy significance. He lived a man among men, and in all his teachings sought to remove the wall of separation which the Jewish nation had built up between themselves and other nations by their false conceptions and traditions. He lived among the people, he shared their poverty and their griefs. He dignified life in all its details by keeping before men the glory of God, and by subordinating everything to the will of his Father. His life was characterized by supreme love to God, and fervent love to his fellowmen. YI August 16, 1894, par. 1

Jesus taught that the religion of the Bible does not consist in selfish exclusiveness, in personal enjoyment, but in the doing of loving deeds, in bringing the greatest good to others, in genuine goodness. His life, from its beginning to its close, was one of self-denial and self-sacrifice. Upon the cross of Calvary he made the great sacrifice of himself in behalf of all men, that the whole world might have salvation if they would. Christ was hid in God, and God stood revealed to the world in the character of his Son. He declared, “The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.” YI August 16, 1894, par. 2

Love for a lost world was manifested every day, in every act of his life. Those who are imbued by his Spirit will work in the same lines as those in which Christ worked. In Christ the light and love of God were manifested in human nature. No human being has ever possessed so sensitive a nature as did the sinless, holy One of God, who stood as head and representative of what humanity may become through the imparting of the divine nature. To those who believe in Christ as their personal Saviour, he imputes his merit and imparts his power. To those who come to him with their burden of grief, disappointments, and trials, he will give rest and peace. It is through the grace of Christ that the soul sees his need of repentance toward God because of the transgression of his law, and is led to look to Christ by faith, realizing that his merit is efficacious to save to the uttermost all who come unto God by him. YI August 16, 1894, par. 3

Jesus was meek and lowly in heart, and his life was free from all pride and ostentation. While he encircled the world with his human arm, he laid hold of the throne of God with his divine arm, bringing to humanity the power of God. Although he was the Creator of all worlds, he yet testified of himself while on earth that “the foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.” “He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.” YI August 16, 1894, par. 4

Jesus was the Majesty of heaven, the king of glory; and yet in his human life he was patient, kind, courteous, benevolent, full of love for little children, and full of pity and compassion for the tempted, the tried, and the oppressed. Of himself he said, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the broken-hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord.” YI August 16, 1894, par. 5

Coming to earth to fulfil so gracious a mission, he was yet homeless, and often hungry and athirst. The men of his own nation hunted him with craft and intrigue, with jealousy and hatred. They despised him because he would not tolerate their sins, and praise, and glorify, and flatter them. His purity and holiness of character were a constant rebuke to those who deceived the people with their pretentious claims of superior righteousness. He knew the wickedness of the sanctimonious religious teachers, and said to his disciples: “Except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.” He was betrayed by one of his disciples, who opened his heart to the suggestions of the enemy, when Christ reproved him. Satan works in the same way upon human agents in our day. When sinners are reproved, the enmity of their wicked hearts is stirred into intense hatred against the reprover. Christ's stainless life was a rebuke to the world, and the world hated him. He died a most shameful death, and made a full and complete sacrifice, in order that no one might perish, but that all might come to repentance. He made an atonement for every repenting, believing soul, in order that all might find in him a sin-bearer. If those who believe in him will but practise his words, which are spirit and life; if they will follow his example, and become a precious light to the world, they will do that for the world which no human philosophy can accomplish. The lessons of Christ lay a foundation for a religion in which there is no caste,—where Jew and Gentile, free and bond, are linked in a common brotherhood, equal before God, because they are all branches of the living vine. They believe in Christ as their personal Saviour. YI August 16, 1894, par. 6

“My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: and he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.” What is the evidence that we are indeed the children of God?—“And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.” YI August 16, 1894, par. 7

The apostle John guards every point, in order that there may be no misunderstanding in reference to the commandments to be fulfilled. He says, “Brethren, I write no new commandment unto you, but an old commandment which ye had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which ye have heard from the beginning.” Let us open our hearts to receive the love which it is so essential that we should cultivate in order that we may fulfil the commandments of God. If sinners would contemplate the love of God, if they would look upon Jesus Christ upon whom their sins inflicted such an agony of suffering, their hearts could not but break, and they would love him whom their sins have pierced. If the living human agents, who are imbued with the love of God, would repeat to perishing souls the story of Christ crucified, many would be melted with his love, and would repent, believe, and be saved. YI August 16, 1894, par. 8

Mrs. E. G. White