What Manner of Man
(A weekly program for knowing and following Jesus Christ)
By Richard M. Eyre
WEEK 48: PERFECTION
Christ’s perfection has been referred to by millions—notably by Paul (“holy, harmless, undefiled;” Hebrews 7:26), John (“no unrighteousness was in him;” John 7:18), and Peter (“without blemish;” 1 Peter 1:19).
The most important person who has called Christ perfect is Christ himself (because his evaluation is more discerning than ours and because his definition of “perfect” is far more demanding).
To ponder Christ’s perfection is to ponder the unponderable. Christ was perfect not only in the sense that he never committed a wrong, but in the almost mind-boggling sense that he never omitted a right, never failed to help one in need, never failed to speak needed truth, never failed to be humble, to pray, to give all credit and glory to God.
Perfection is the outward symptom of the inward divinity, the factor that sets Christ apart and far above all other leaders of all other times. Among the founders of other religions, other philosophies (indeed, among all other great leaders the world has ever known) are none who, like Christ, achieved perfection in his life.
Mere men, as they grow and develop and learn and as they gain righteousness, become ever more aware of their faults, their weaknesses, thus the greater their stature becomes, the more they recognize their imperfection sad and the more they are able to contrast themselves with this world’s single perfect life—the life of a man whose development gradually revealed his perfection rather than his imperfection.
The Lord’s perfection came not in the absence of temptation, but through overcoming the greatest temptations. We know he was tempted “in all points, like as we are” (Hebrews 4:15) and that he “descended below all things.”