How We Should Think of Christ

Erik Raymond —  January 3, 2013

As i like to do about this time of year, I am reading through the classic The Bruised Reed by Richard Sibbes. In addition to having the best nickname in church history, “The Sweet Dropper” this book is great. Sibbes throws strikes while encouraging, confronting, conforming and comforting us with Christ.

Here is a sample from what I read this morning: How Should we Think of Christ?

When we think of Joseph, Daniel, John the Evangelist, we frame conceptions of them with delight, as of mild and sweet persons. Much more when we think of Christ, we should conceive of him as a mirror of all meekness. If the sweetness of all flowers were in one, how sweet must that flower be? In Christ all perfections of mercy and love meet. How great then must that mercy be that lodges in so gracious a heart?

Whatever tenderness is scattered in husband, father, brother, head, all is but a beam from him; it is in him in the most eminent manner. We are weak, but we are his; we are deformed, but yet carry his image upon us. A father looks not so much at the blemishes of his child as at his own nature in him; so Christ finds matter of love from that which is his own in us. He sees his own nature in us: we are diseased, but yet his members. Who ever neglected his own members because they were sick or weak?

None ever hated his own flesh. Can the head forget the members? Can Christ forget himself? We are his fullness, as he is ours. He was love itself clothed with man’s nature, which he united so near to himself, that he might communicate his goodness the more freely to us. And he took not our nature when it was at its best, but when it was abased, with all the natural and common infirmities it was subject to.

Let us therefore abhor all suspicious thoughts, as either cast in or cherished by that damned spirit who, as he labored to divide between the Father and the Son by jealousies, by saying, ‘If thou be the Son of God’ (Matt. 4:6), so his daily study is to divide between the Son and us by breeding false opinions in us of Christ, as if there were not such tender love in him to such as we are. It was Satan’s art from the beginning to discredit God with man, by calling God’s love into question with our first father Adam. His success then makes him ready at that weapon still. (Richard Sibbes, The Bruised Reed< /a>), pp. 62-63

Erik Raymond

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Erik has been writing at Ordinary Pastor since 2006. He lives in Omaha with his wife and kids while pastoring at Emmaus Bible Church. Follow regular updates on Twitter at www.twitter.com/erikraymond

2 responses to How We Should Think of Christ

  1. Thanks, Erik. I needed that.

  2. Although maybe only obliquely touching on the main thrust of the section quoted above, the words did generate a thought or two:
    It’s been my tendency to think that Jesus is so big, and his nature so expansive, that I must often lose sight of one aspect of his character as I focus on another. Case in point: forgetting or neglecting the meekness and tenderness of Christ while zooming in on those attributes related to his power and authority. This partitioning of Christ’s nature might have seemed a reasonable accommodation to the limits of a fallen mind, but is most likely, as I can see it now, a sentiment which must have originated with “that damned spirit.”
    As a result, it seems to me that I’ve missed the extent to which Jesus is shown in the Gospels to be meek and gentle, and also bold and authoritative – and these all to perfection! It must be the richness of Christ’s nature that he is the absolute standard for qualities which, at least in my mind, sit on opposite ends of the spectrum. What is most amazing, and testament that he is indeed the Christ, is the wisdom with which he manifested these qualities. Myself, I’m meek (or cowardly) when I should be bold; loud, or quarrelsome, and quite unloving, when I should show gentleness. Only the Son of God could get it so right every single time!