Summary: 1. Are we focussing on Jesus - the Jesus of the Bible? 2. Why did Jesus come to earth? a) to die b) to destroy the devil
Jesus crowned with Glory and Honour!
We see Jesus - do we?
Verse 9 begins: But we see Jesus. This leads us to the first and most important question for us today. Do we really see Jesus? Is He central in our view or do loads of other things distract us? There are so many calls on our time and attention: families, health, jobs, homes even the fear of terrorism. It is so easy for Jesus to slip from our field of view. If He has then we need to consciously refocus on Jesus - and keep Him at the centre of our view.
Also, as we get older our eyesight deteriorates. This can happen so slowly that we don’t realise how bad it is until we realise that we just can’t read a sign, or our arms have shrunk so that we can’t read our newspaper or book! We need to spot it if our spiritual eyesight goes fuzzy or cloudy. Reading is a good test. If reading the Bible gives a headache, or we can’t focus and make sense of the words we need specialist help. The sooner the deterioration is recognised the sooner we can seek expert help so that we can focus properly again.
Peter began to sink once he took his eyes off the Lord and focussed on the wind and waves, but when He cried out to the Lord to save Him And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him Mt 14:28-33. If we recognise a problem then the solution is the same for us today.
How do we see Jesus?
Although it is good to see Jesus in our minds, it is not enough. How we see Him is crucial. Many see Him only as a good man or someone who was unjustly executed by a repressive government. To others He is thought of only as the little baby in Bethlehem or as perpetually suffering dying agonies on the cross. To many He is a remote figure, too great to be approached. This is why Roman Catholics put Mary and the saints between us and Christ as go betweens - mediators.
Sad as these misconceptions are what matters is how you and I see Christ. In chapter 1 the focus was on the unimaginable glory of Jesus’ deity; now the book moves to the glory and honour that He has earned through His obedience and suffering. He always had glory and honour because of his position as the eternal Son of God. But, because of His obedience and love, demonstrated when He went to the cross in our place, He has become even more glorious difficult as that is to grasp.
The Father has always been immeasurably proud of His beloved Son, but never so much as when Jesus demonstrated the extent of His love and obedience by his death on Calvary.
"But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels." How these words should melt our hearts! That He, the Creator of angels, the Lord of them, the One who before His incarnation had been worshipped by them, should be "made lower" than they; and this for our sakes! Our hearts must indeed be dead if they are not thrilled and filled with praise as we ponder that fathomless stoop.
It was a death in which He fully satisfied the demands of infinite holiness and justice. This was a task which no mere creature was capable of performing. Behold here, then, the wonder of wonders: Christ undertook a work which was far above the power of all the angels, and yet to effect it He was made lower than them! If ever power was made perfect in weakness, it was in this! …The "crown of thorns" which man gave Him, has been answered by the "crown of glory and honour" that God has bestowed upon Him. The humbled Christ is humiliated no longer; the Throne of the Universe is where He is now seated.
Have you "crowned with glory and honour" Him whom the world has cast out? Do you, in a practical way, own Him as your Lord and Master? Is His glory and honour ever the paramount consideration before you? Is He receiving from you the devotion and adoration of a worshipping heart? "Worthy is the Lamb." O may He, indeed, occupy the throne of our hearts and reign as King over our lives. In what esteem does the Father hold His once humiliated Son: He has crowned Him with glory and honour; then what must He yet do with those who "despise and reject" Him?” (Pink)
Why did Jesus come to the earth?
There are several answers given to this question in the Bible, indeed there are two in this chapter. Last time we saw that verse 10 tells us that Jesus became a man to make Him perfect through sufferings. While on earth He experienced what it was like to face the ordinary trials of human life. This means that Jesus understands us for He has faced all the sort of problems that we face and knows just how we feel. This morning I want us to look at the one given in verses 9 and 14.