The Loveliness Of Jesus
This article also appears in the website under the title Jesus Is Altogether Lovely. He*s Altogether Lovely was written by C. I. Scofield and heard on J. Vernon McGee*s radio program Thru The Bible Radio. You might recall reading it here in early 1011. Though more than two type-written pages, it is worth reading again and again. If you can read it without shedding tears you have a frightfully hard heart.
All other greatness has been marred by littleness.
All other wisdom has been flawed by folly.
All other goodness has been tainted by imperfection.
Jesus Christ remains the only being whom without flattery it could be asserted He*s altogether lovely.
His loveliness consists in His perfect humanity.
He was perfectly human in everything but in our sinful natures.
He is one of us. He grew in stature and in grace.
He labored and wept and prayed and loved.
He was tempted in all points as we are sin apart.
With Thomas we confess Him Lord and God.
We adore and revere Him.
Beloved there is no other that establishes with us such intimacy, who comes so close to these human hearts of ours.
There is no one in the universe of whom we are so little afraid.
He enters as simply and naturally into our 20th Century lives as if He had been reared in the same Street.
He*s not one of the ancients.
How wholesomely and genuinely human He is.
John who has seen Him calm the storm, raise the dead and talk with Moses and Elija on the mount does not hesitate to make a pillow of His breast at supper.
Peter will not let Him wash his feet but afterwards wants his head and hands included in the ablution.
They ask Him foolish questions, rebuke and venerate and adore Him all in a breath.
And He calls them by their first names and He tells them to fear not.
He assures them of His love and in all this He seems to me altogether lovely.
The saintliness of Jesus is so warm and human that it attracts and inspires.
We find in Him nothing austere and inaccessible like a statue in a niche.
The beauty of His holiness reminds one rather of a rose or a bank of violets.
He is the rose of Sharon and the Lily of the Valley.
Jesus receives sinners and eats with them, all kinds of sinners, moral religious sinners, demon possessed sinners, the shocking kind of sinners.
He comes into the sinful life as a bright clear stream enters a stagnant pool.
The stream is not afraid of contamination but its sweet energy cleanses the pool.
His sympathy is altogether lovely.
He is always being touched with compassion.
The multitude without a shepherd, the sorrowing widow of Nain.
The little dead child of the ruler, the demoniac of Gadara, the hungry 5,000.
Whatever suffers touches Jesus.
His very wrath against the Scribes and Pharisees is but the excess of His sympathy for those who suffer under their hard self-righteousness.
Did you ever find Jesus looking for deserving poor?
He healed all their sick, and what grace in His sympathy.
Why did He touch that poor leper? He could have healed him with a word as He did the Nobleman*s son.
Why for years the wretch had been an outcast, cut off from kin, dehumanized.
He lost the sense of being a man. It was defilement to approach him.
Well the touch of Jesus made him human again as well as healing.
His humility was altogether lovely.
And He the only one who ever had the choice of where He should be born, He began this life as one of the masses -- what meekness -- what lowliness.
I am among you as one that serveth.
He began to wash His disciples feet.
When He was reviled, He reviled not again.
As a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so He openeth not His mouth.
Can you think of Jesus posing and demanding His rights?
But it is in His way with sinners that the Supreme loveliness of Christ is most sweetly shown.
How gentle He is, yet how faithful. How considerate, how respectful.
Nicodemus, candid and sincere, but proud of his position as a master in Israel, and timid lest he should imperil it, comes to Jesus by night.
Before he departs, the master has learned his utter ignorance of the first step toward the kingdom and goes away to think over the personal application of they loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil.
But he has not heard one hard word, one utterance that can wound his self-respect.
When He speaks to the silent despairing woman, after her accusers have gone out one by one, He used for the woman the same word he used when addressing His mother from the cross.
Follow Him to Jacob*s well at high noon, and hear his conversation with the woman of Samaria.
How patiently He unfolds the deepest truths, how gently, yet faithfully He presses the great ulcer of sin which is eating away her soul.
But He could not be more respectful of Mary of Bethany, even in the agonies of death.
He can hear the cry of despairing faith.
When conquerors return from far wars in strange lands, they bring their chiefest captives as a trophy.
It was enough for Christ to take back to heaven the soul of a thief.
Yea, He is altogether lovely, and now I*ve left myself no room to speak of His dignity, of His virile manliness, of His perfect courage. There is in Jesus a perfect equipoise of various perfections.
All the elements of perfect character are in lovely balance.
His gentleness is never weak.
His courage is never brutal.
You may study Him and follow throughout all the scenes of outrage and insult on the night and morning of His arrest and trial. Behold Him before the high priest, before Pilate, before Herod. See Him brow-beaten, bullied, scourged, smitten upon the face, spit upon, mocked.
How His inherent greatness comes out. Not once does He lose His self poise, His high dignity.
Let me ask some unsaved sinner here to follow Him still farther. Go with the jeering crowd without the gates. See Him stretched upon the great rough cross, and hear the dreadful sound of the sledge as the spikes are forced through His hands and feet.
See as the yelling mob falls back, the cross bearing this gentlest, sweetest, bravest, loveliest man, upreared until it falls into the socket in the ground, and sitting down they watched Him there.
You watch too. Hear Him as He asks the Father to forgive His murderers. Hear all the cries from the cross. Is He not altogether lovely?
What does it all mean? He bore our sins in His own body on the tree. Through Him all that believe are justified from all things.
Verily, Verily I say unto thee, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.
His birth was contrary to the laws of life. His death was contrary to the laws of death.
He had no corn fields or fisheries, but He could spread a table for 5,000, and have bread and fish to spare. He walked on no beautiful carpets or velvet rugs, but He walked on the waters of the Sea of Galilee and they supported Him.
When He died, few men mourned, but a black drape was hung over the sun. The men trembled, not for their sins, the earth beneath them shook under the load.
All nature honored Him, sinners alone rejected Him. Corruption could not get over this body. The soil that had been reddened with His blood could not claim His dust.
Three years He preached His gospel, He wrote no book, built no church house, had no monetary backing, but after 1900 years, He is the one central character of human history, the pivot around which the events of the ages revolve, and the only regenerator of the human race.
Was it merely the son of Joseph and Mary who crossed the world*s horizon, 1900 years ago? Was it merely human blood that was spilled on Calvary*s hill for the redemption of sinners?
What thinking man can keep from exclaiming my Lord and my God?
This is my beloved, this is my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem.
She loves Him and she makes Him known.
J. Vernon McGee --
This is my beloved, this is my friend. Will you not accept Him as your Saviour and Beloved?