“The Son of God came from heaven to make manifest the Father. ‘No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, He hath declared Him.’ John 1:18. ‘Neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal Him.’ Matthew 11:27. When one of the disciples made the request, ‘Show us the Father,’ Jesus answered, ‘Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known Me, Philip? He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Show us the Father?’ John 14:8, 9.
“In describing His earthly mission, Jesus said, The Lord ‘hath anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He hath sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised.’ Luke 4:18. This was His work. He went about doing good and healing all that were oppressed by Satan. There were whole villages where there was not a moan of sickness in any house, for He had passed through them and healed all their sick. His work gave evidence of His divine anointing. Love, mercy, and compassion were revealed in every act of His life; His heart went out in tender sympathy to the children of men. He took man’s nature, that He might reach man’s wants. The poorest and humblest were not afraid to approach Him. Even little children were attracted to Him. They loved to climb upon His knees and gaze into the pensive face, benignant with love.
“Jesus did not suppress one word of truth, but He uttered it always in love. He exercised the greatest tact and thoughtful, kind attention in His intercourse with the people. He was never rude, never needlessly spoke a severe word, never gave needless pain to a sensitive soul. He did not censure human weakness. He spoke the truth, but always in love. He denounced hypocrisy, unbelief, and iniquity; but tears were in His voice as He uttered His scathing rebukes. He wept over Jerusalem, the city He loved, which refused to receive Him, the way, the truth, and the life. They had rejected Him, the Saviour, but He regarded them with pitying tenderness. His life was one of self-denial and thoughtful care for others. Every soul was precious in His eyes. While He ever bore Himself with divine dignity, He bowed with the tenderest regard to every member of the family of God. In all men He saw fallen souls whom it was His mission to save.
“Such is the character of Christ as revealed in His life. This is the character of God. It is from the Father’s heart that the streams of divine compassion, manifest in Christ, flow out to the children of men. Jesus, the tender, pitying Saviour, was God ‘manifest in the flesh.’ 1 Timothy 3:16.
“It was to redeem us that Jesus lived and suffered and died. He became ‘a Man of Sorrows,’ that we might be made partakers of everlasting joy. God permitted His beloved Son, full of grace and truth, to come from a world of indescribable glory, to a world marred and blighted with sin, darkened with the shadow of death and the curse. He permitted Him to leave the bosom of His love, the adoration of the angels, to suffer shame, insult, humiliation, hatred, and death. ‘The chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed.’ Isaiah 53:5. Behold Him in the wilderness, in Gethsemane, upon the cross! The spotless Son of God took upon Himself the burden of sin. He who had been one with God, felt in His soul the awful separation that sin makes between God and man. This wrung from His lips the anguished cry, ‘My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?’ Matthew 27:46. It was the burden of sin, the sense of its terrible enormity, of its separation of the soul from God—it was this that broke the heart of the Son of God.
“But this great sacrifice was not made in order to create in the Father’s heart a love for man, not to make Him willing to save. No, no! ‘God so loved the world, that He gave His only-begotten Son.’ John 3:16. The Father loves us, not because of the great propitiation, but He provided the propitiation because He loves us. Christ was the medium through which He could pour out His infinite love upon a fallen world. ‘God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself.’ 2 Corinthians 5:19. God suffered with His Son. In the agony of Gethsemane, the death of Calvary, the heart of Infinite Love paid the price of our redemption.
“None but the Son of God could accomplish our redemption; for only He who was in the bosom of the Father could declare Him. Only He who knew the height and depth of the love of God could make it manifest. Nothing less than the infinite sacrifice made by Christ in behalf of fallen man could express the Father’s love to lost humanity.
“ ‘God so loved the world, that He gave His only-begotten Son.’ He gave Him not only to live among men, to bear their sins, and die their sacrifice. He gave Him to the fallen race. Christ was to identify Himself with the interests and needs of humanity. He who was one with God has linked Himself with the children of men by ties that are never to be broken. Jesus is ‘not ashamed to call them brethren’ (Hebrews 2:11); He is our Sacrifice, our Advocate, our Brother, bearing our human form before the Father’s throne, and through eternal ages one with the race He has redeemed—the Son of man. And all this that man might be uplifted from the ruin and degradation of sin that he might reflect the love of God and share the joy of holiness.”1
“The messages of John had a great influence in setting forth the fact that Jesus was the Messiah, the Redeemer of the world. No one could doubt the sincerity of John, and the messages from his lips had great power in turning many to the faith of Jesus Christ. The truths stated by John were the very message that the Lord would have him bear; but the Jews who rejected the truth were greatly annoyed at his testimony, and they thought that as long as John kept ringing his testimony in the ears of the people that Jesus was the Messiah, they should prevail nothing against those who had faith in Jesus whom they had crucified. Many were continually turning from their unbelief, and accepting Christ as the Messiah, and the enemies of truth declared that the testimony of John must be silenced in order that the miracles and mission of Jesus might be forgotten. They hoped to put John to death upon the false accusations of his enemies; but the Lord had his faithful witness preserved from death. Though imprisoned on the isle of Patmos for the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ, he did not cease to bear witness to the truth. His was a message of joy, proclaiming the fact that Christ was not in the tomb, but was a risen Saviour who had ascended on high, and was interceding for his people until he should return again to take them unto himself.”2