THE GOD-MAN THEN IS THE GATEWAY BETWEEN GOD AND MAN. Through Him God has found His way back to man, from whom He had been excluded by his rebellion. In Him man finds his way back to God from Whom he had been alienated by the darkening of his intelligence, the death of his love, and the disobedience of his will. God finds Himself in this Person and is with men. Man finds himself in this Person, and is with God.
Through the God-man, Deity takes hold upon humanity. Through the God-man, humanity takes hold upon Deity. This is THE two-way street.
This revelation of God in Jesus may be illustrated both by His teaching, and His deeds. Let there be selected any word that fell from His lips, any incident of His wonderful life, and when carefully considered, it will be discovered that there is sounding in the air the very Word of God, and appearing before the mind His activity. The simplest simplicity of humanity to be found in Jesus of Nazareth is the gateway through which the reverent and submissive soul passes into the most inspiring sublimity of Deity.
HIS TEACHING WAS THE SUM OF ALL WISDOM. The sweet and tender words that come like music still, to all who in the stress and strain of life hear them, "Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light," (Matt 11:28-30) are yet the words that none but God could have uttered in the hearing of the restless feverishness of a fallen race. How human the utterance. Take out the words that arrest attention, "Come . . . labor . . . heavy laden . . . rest . . . yoke . . . burden." Is there one of them that sounds at first like the language of the infinite God, or the speech of the perfect heaven? The whole passage thrills and throbs with a common consciousness of human life. Yet sit down in front of it, and take time to think. Press the ear closely to these little words of earthly value, and there will be heard sounding through them the deep organ notes of the Eternal Wisdom. The tender call of the man is the putting into such words as may be heard and understood by the heavy laden masses, all the deepest philosophies of life. Surely never man spake like this Man. The speech of this Man is the speech of God.
Or take HIS DEEDS, any of them. Take them almost at haphazard. The cleansing of the temple, the nursing of little children, the human interest that watched people as they gave at the treasury, the tears which chased each other down the face, the white hot anger that flamed and burned and scorched. And yet behind all is the evident going of Deity, not one of them has explanation apart therefrom. Let any man who imagines that the cleansing of the temple was a purely human act, possess himself of a whip of small cords, and attempt to drive out the vested interests and the hoary superstitions, which gather around and spoil the temple which should be a place of prayer. It is simply absurd to suppose that the men who fled from His presence were frightened of a Galilean peasant. That anger at the desecrated house of God, which flamed from His eye, and made His whole demeanor terrifying, was the flashing forth of the outraged God, Whose house of support had been made a den of thieves. It is not conceivable that a mob of Jews would yield their money tables to the claim of a peasant fresh from Galilee. They were conscious for once of the anger of Deity.
It was indeed a Man Who took the children in His arms and blessed them. The picture is so human, so suggestive of all that is finest and most beautiful in true manhood; and yet listen, for He is speaking, and the word is revolutionary and yet authoritative. “Suffer the little children, and forbid them not, to come unto Me: for to such belongeth the Kingdom of Heaven." (Matt 19:14) If this Man be Man alone, He is an ignorant fanatic. The children were never counted as in the Kingdom of God, until from the sacred rite of confirmation; they became themselves sons of the law. Yet this Man, holding in His arms young children, babes, says that they are the true type of the character of such as are in His Kingdom. The centuries have vindicated the declaration, and have proved that it was the voice of God, rebuking false conceptions of human greatness, which cured human thinking, and announced the supremacy of simplicity.
And yet again, it was A GREAT HUMAN HEART THAT SHOOK WITH EMOTION, and cast forth tears when from the mountain He beheld the city of His love, corrupt, and hastening to her doom. And yet it is unthinkable that that is all, for in the tears is caught the flash and glory of that Divine compassion, which pronounces doom, not with the note of exultant triumph, but with the despair of wounded love.
The teaching of Jesus, considered and followed to its final conclusions, brings the mind into contact with the infinite wisdom of the Eternal God. The deeds of Jesus, correctly appreciated, reveal the activities of God as to purpose and method.