“For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.”
“The Son of man is come.” What a blessed coming! The Lord Jesus seems to have taken to himself, with the tenderest condescension to our wants, that gracious title, “the Son of man.” He was the Son of God, and that from all eternity; but he delights to call himself the Son of man. We want one like ourselves, wearing the same nature; carrying in his bosom the same human heart; one who has been, “in all points, tempted like as we are, yet without sin;” and therefore able to sympathise with and to succour those that are tempted.
A sinner like man, when made sensible of his pollution and guilt, cannot draw near unto God in his intrinsic, essential majesty and holiness. Viewed as the great and glorious Being that fills eternity, Jehovah is too great, too transcendently holy, too awfully perfect for him to approach. He must therefore have a Mediator; and that Mediator one who is a Mediator indeed, a God-man, “Immanuel, God with us.” The depth of this mystery eternity itself will not fathom.
But the tender mercy of God in appointing such a Mediator, and the wondrous condescension of the Son of God in becoming “the Son of man,” are matters of faith, not of reason; are to be believed, not understood. When thus received, the humanity of the Son of God becomes a way of access unto the Father. We can talk to, we can approach, we can pour out our hearts before “the Son of man.” His tender bosom, his sympathising heart, seem to draw forth the feelings and desires of our own.
God, in his wrathful majesty, we dare not approach; he is a “consuming fire;” and the soul trembles before him. But when Jesus appears in the gospel as “the Mediator between God and man,” and “a Daysman,” as Job speaks, “to lay his hand upon us both” (Job 9:33), how this seems to penetrate into the depths of the human heart! How this opens a way for the poor, guilty, filthy, condemned, and ruined sinner to draw near to that great God with whom he has to do! How this, when experimentally realised, draws forth faith to look unto him, hope to anchor in him, and love tenderly and affectionately to embrace him!
J. C. Philpot 1802-1869