Posted on February 19, 2014
#42: A Golden Exchange
Welcome to Knowing Jesus, our study of Jesus’ life viewed through the lens of Mark’s gospel. As the Word made flesh (Jn. 1:14), Jesus came to “speak” or express God in human terms—to demonstrate how God would live as a man, partly so we can see how to live like God and partly to cover our failure to do so with His own righteousness.
In Him, we learn
• God-like priorities
• God-like treatment of our fellow man
• God-like management of difficult issues like temptation, anger, and betrayal
• God-like use of our time
• God-like surrender to divine will in a timeless plan that benefits all, not just self
• and much, much more.
Jesus came to be a living model of perfect godliness, without a single sin or flaw. If we want to be godly, we can confidently follow His example. The better we know His life, the more we understand what ours should be.
Read Mark 7, then read its final verse a second time.
Everywhere He went, Jesus left a sense of amazement. His wisdom and His power were unmatched. In Mark 7:37, the people said in wonder, “He has done everything well!”—and that, after seeing only a tiny sample of His full glory.
Colossians 1:19 says that God was pleased to have all His fullness dwell in Jesus. Later, in Colossians 2:9 we’re told that in Jesus, “all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form.” In other words, there is no attribute of God that is not also present in Jesus. Jesus Himself said, “If you have seen Me, you have seen the Father.”
Full of Righteousness
Jesus embodied everything God meant for us to be. The people of His day were stunned at what they saw in Him: a man living out pure righteousness with all the human distortions and misguided ideas removed. It was a far different picture than they’d seen in their “religious” teachers and leaders.
Many religious leaders today still try to impose rules and restrictions that were nowhere to be seen in the life of Jesus. If a teacher or church demands any requirement that is not found in Jesus’ example, beware. All the fullness of God dwelt in Him, with nothing lacking. Therefore, nothing needs to be added to achieve righteousness. Real righteousness comes into focus when we look at Jesus’ motives, actions, behavior, and teachings—everything we need for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3).
Full of Grace
Jesus showed us the high holiness of God—and in light of His example, we quickly see how shamefully short we fall. No matter how hard we try we can’t live one perfect day, let alone a lifetime. As much as we may seek to know Him, as deeply as we may admire Him, as hard as we may work to be like Him, we fail miserably.
When His perfection reveals our ugly imperfection, we’re in a position to truly appreciate another thing Jesus was the fullness of: grace (John 1:14b). His amazing grace rescued us. The definition of grace is this: “God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.” (2 Corinthians 5:21)
What we could never do, He did for us. What a golden exchange! Now we seek to know Him because we love Him. We admire Him because He selflessly traded His perfection for our sin. We work to be like Him because there’s no better way to live.
When the adoring crowds in Mark 7:37 said, “He has done everything well,” they didn’t know the full truth of their own words. The best was yet to come.
© Diane McLoud, 2014