Here Was Goodness

Christ graphic 77

Then there quietly appeared, out of the obscurity of a country village, and out of the lowliness of a carpenter’s shop, a Man… There was something about the Man that made the best of men feel that they were in deepest need. And yet the worst of men felt drawn to him.

Here was goodness attractive, winsome, compelling… Here was goodness that was not meticulous, but merciful, not standing on pedestals to be worshiped, but bending in lowly service over the lost. Here was goodness not pharisaical, but friendly, not terrible, but tender… Never did majesty and meekness so blend and become so beautiful as here.

— E. Stanley Jones,
The Christ of Every Road

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The unsurpassed life

Christ 9JBA principle without a concrete illustration is a person without feet—it gets nowhere. I don’t know whether a principle is true until it is put under life to see whether life will approve of it. A principle is only a hypothesis until it is verified by life. All the principles of the Christian faith have been verified in the life of Jesus—they work and have produced the character of Jesus. And “in any battle of ideas the victory will go to those ideas guaranteed by the facts.” In the Christian faith all its ideas have been guaranteed by the fact of Jesus. So the final victory goes to Him. For you will never get better ideas than Jesus held until you live a better life than Jesus lived. That can’t be done. He is the standard.

–E. Stanley Jones
The Word Become Flesh

Meekness and majesty

Christ 68

He was the meekest and lowliest of all the sons of men, yet he spoke of coming on the clouds of heaven with the glory of God. He was so austere that evil spirits and demons cried out in terror at his coming, yet he was so genial and winsome and approachable that the children loved to play with him, and the little ones nestled in his arms. His presence at the innocent gaiety of a village wedding was like the presence of sunshine.

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No one was half so compassionate to sinners, yet no one ever spoke such red hot scorching words about sin. A bruised reed he would not break, his whole life was love, yet on one occasion he demanded of the Pharisees how they ever expected to escape the damnation of hell. He was a dreamer of dreams and a seer of visions, yet for sheer stark realism He has all of our stark realists soundly beaten. He was a servant of all, washing the disciples feet, yet masterfully He strode into the temple, and the hucksters and moneychangers fell over one another to get away from the mad rush and the fire they saw blazing in His eyes.

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He saved others, yet at the last Himself He did not save. There is nothing in history like the union of contrasts which confronts us in the gospels. The mystery of Jesus is the mystery of divine personality.

– James S. Stewart
(1896–1990)

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