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What Manner of Man

(A weekly program for knowing and following Jesus Christ)

By Richard M. Eyre


One of my favorite sacrament hymns that we don’t sing often enough goes:

When in the wondrous realms above
Our Savior had been called up,
To save the world of sin by love,
He said, “Thy will, O Lord, be done.”

The King of kings left worlds of light,
Became the meek and holy one;
In brightest day or darkest night
He said, “Thy will, O Lord, be done.”

No crown of thorns, no cruel cross
Could make our great Redeemer shun.
He counted his own will but loss,
And said, “Thy will, O Lord, be done.”

We take the bread and cup this day,
In memory of the Sinless One,
And pray for strength, that we may say,
As he, “Thy will, O Lord, be done.”
(Hymns, no. 199)

The first words that scripture ascribes to Jesus Christ are “Father, thy will be done” (Moses 4:1-2). The first words recorded in his mortal lifetime are: “How is it that ye sought me? Wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business?” (Luke 2:49). Among the last recorded words he uttered in Gethsemane were: “Nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt” (Matthew 26:39). The last words of his mortal life were: “It is finished” (referring to his completion of the Father’s will; John 19:30).

His first recorded statement after his resurrection was an admonition not to touch him until he had returned to the Father—whose will he had done (see John 20:17). The last words before his final ascension urged in effect that his disciples do the Father’s will as he had (Matthew 28:19-20).

Since Christ’s loyalty sprang from love, it is not surprising that the “apostle of love,” John, mentioned most often Jesus’ loyalty to the Father (see John 4:34, 5:19, 5:30, 7:16-18, 8:28-29, 10:29-30, 11:42, 12:26-28, 12:44-49, 13:16, 14:28-31, 15:8, 17:1, 18:11).

His challenge to us, as always, was to do as he had done: to “do the will of him that sent me” (John 4:34). And his promise, clarion clear, is the greatest promise of the greatest joy: “For whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother” (Mark 3:35).

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