Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 2 * PART 3 * BOOK 73
INCARNATE CHRIST: GOD BECOMES MAN – 3
Genesis 3:15 and Galatians 4:4
All right, good to have everybody back again. We’ll go for program number three. For those of you in the studio audience, you can be turning to Matthew chapter 1. Again, we want to welcome our television audience. How we thank you, and we just praise the Lord for all your kind letters and your financial help. We couldn’t do it without you. A lot of people wonder, you know, where do you get the money for this? It comes in voluntarily, mostly twenty-five to a hundred dollars. But anyway, the Lord supplies, and like I’ve said before, and I’ll say it again, we will never ask for a dime, never have and never will. If we run short, we’ll just cut expenses. That’s the way it’s going to work.
All right, we want to keep going on Christ, the God-Man, the Incarnate. And like I mentioned in the very first program, you won’t find that word in your Bible. It’s been coined by Bible scholars and so forth. I looked it up again to be on the safe side just before I left this morning; the word incarnate simply means God-Man, or God who became human. And if I’m not mistaken, I stand to be corrected again. But if I am not mistaken, of all the religions in the world, and I don’t like to call Christianity religion, but for sake of my illustration, of all the religions of the world, I don’t think there is a single one that teaches resurrection from the dead as we do.
They know nothing of resurrection. Their word is Reincarnation. In other words, if you take the Hindu religion, you can start out as the very lowest of the low, and if you do pretty good, you’ll be reincarnated and come back as what? Something a little better, over and over until finally they attain a “god” position. Well, that’s reincarnation, and that is not a scriptural concept. We do not teach a reincarnation. We teach only resurrection from the dead.
Now, if you’ll remember when the Apostle Paul was confronting the intellectuals of his day up there on Mars Hill, what was the one thing that upset them so? Resurrection from the dead. They said whoever heard of such a thing? Yet the very basic premise of our faith is the resurrection from the dead—for salvation believe in your heart that Jesus died for your sins, was buried, and rose again the third day, as found in I Corinthians 15:1-4. Which is another thing, why did God have to become human? So that He could die. And why did He have to die? So that He could be resurrected from the dead and impart eternal life. Well, that’s all coming in the next half hour or two, or whatever it’s going to take.
All right, let’s go to Matthew chapter 1 and take a brief look at the genealogies of Christ from two different viewpoints. And why two? Well, we have to look at it from the father’s side, or what we would call the male element, and then Luke is going to show us from the mother’s or the female side. Matthew chapter 1 is the genealogy of Joseph. Even though he was not the physical father, he was the legal father. That’s what we have to look at.
“The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, (See that? It’s His genealogy.) the son of David, the son of Abraham.” Now the scoffer never stops to think; they just ridicule. But if you’re a Bible student, immediately you should ask yourself the question, why does this stop with Abraham? Why didn’t it go on back through Noah and Seth and all the way to Adam?
Well, because the promise of the King, which was a spiritual element, only came from Abraham on. There was no concept of a King and Kingdom between Genesis 1 and Genesis 12. Consequently, since Matthew is going to present Jesus Christ as the King, the Messiah, the Redeemer, the spiritual side of the coin, we only go back to Abraham.
Isn’t it amazing? Exactly as it should be. That’s the supernatural part of this Book. And like I said, the scoffer never sees that. He doesn’t look that far. He won’t study. But you have to understand that for a reason Matthew’s genealogy only takes us back from the time of Christ’s birth to the beginning of the Jewish race. The promises of a covenant people and a Redeemer and so forth go to Abraham. All right, here we have the generations of Jesus Christ.
“…the son of David, the son of Abraham. (Here it begins.) 2. Abraham begat Isaac; and Isaac begat Jacob; and Jacob begat Judas and his brethren;” And so on and so forth all the way up through (I’m not going to read all the generations), until we come all the way up to verse 16.
“And Jacob (Not the same Jacob of Genesis. This is just a common Jewish name.) begat Joseph, the husband of Mary, (but not the father of Jesus) of whom was born (speaking of Mary) Jesus, who is called Christ. (the Anointed or the Messiah) 17. So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations; and from David until the carrying away into Babylon are fourteen generations; and from the carrying away into Babylon until Christ (That is until His birth, His first advent.) are fourteen generations.”
Now, what does that show you? God is on a time factor. All the way up through the Old Testament almost every prophecy was given in what? A time frame. And God is meticulous. People think that He has nothing to do with time. Yes, He does. He has everything to do with time. It’s all according to His timetable. Right now today we are on the very day that He pre-prescribed for us to be. We are on His timetable.
You know, that’s why I’m getting less concerned about the whole political situation. Because after all we are so close to the end; it’s all in His control. I’m going to quit getting all upset about what’s taking place. I have in the past, but I’ve given up on it. It’s in God’s hands, and I’m going to leave it there.
All right, let’s go on to the other side of the genealogy tree. That’s in Luke chapter 3, where we have the genealogy of the female or Mary. This was the genealogy of the legal father, Joseph, and now we’re going to look at Luke chapter 3 and the genealogy of Jesus Christ through the side of Mary. All right, let’s start at the beginning in verse 23.
“And Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) (in the rank and file of Israel) the son of Joseph, who was the son (Actually, he was the son-in-law, if I’m not mistaken.) of Heli, 24. Who was the son of Matthat, who was the son of Levi, who was the son of Melchi,…” and so on and so forth.
Again, we aren’t going to go through all the begats and so forth. I’m going to bring you all the way up to verse 38 just to show you how far this genealogy goes. Well, it’s self-evident.
“Who was the son of Enos, (That’s Enoch in the Old Testament.) who was the son of Seth, (Remember, he took Abel’s place after Abel was murdered and Cain left. In Abel’s place came Seth.) who was the son of Adam, which was the son of God.” From God at creation.
All right, now you say, well, Les, what are you driving at? Just like the genealogy of Matthew was Christ as the King, the spiritual side, the God side, the Deity side; this genealogy takes us all the way back to the beginning of the human experience – to Adam. Christ was not only the progeny of God Himself as the Redeemer, the King, the Savior, but this genealogy takes Him all the way back and ties Him in with the humanity side of Adam. You see that?
Now this is the miraculousness of Scripture. That here we have two genealogies with two completely difference concepts—one only going to Abraham, but the other one going all the way back to Adam and tying us in with his humanity.
All right, since you’re in Luke anyway, and to show that He was so human that He suffered as a human; He got hungry as a human; He got tired as a human; and He prayed to the Father as a human. I want you to see just a few of these. All right, let’s look at the first one in Luke chapter 2 verse 40.
“And the child grew, (speaking of Jesus up in Nazareth) and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him.” All right, there it shows that He was typically normal in His growing up years.
All right, let’s go to John’s Gospel and look at another aspect of His humanity in chapter 4 verses 5 and 6.
“Then he cometh to a city of Samaria, which is called Sychar, near to the parcel of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. 6. Now Jacob’s well was there. Jesus therefore, being (What’s the next word?) wearied (He was getting tired.) with his journey, sat thus on the well:…”
Now you know, I just made that point again in Albuquerque last Saturday. I’ve made it in several other seminars in the last several months. My favorite way of expressing the Gospel in its purity, and, oh, how it has been besmirched and blemished by mankind. I’m going to take the time to rehearse it again, because I want people to get used to using it. Now you’re all going to remember what I’m talking about. I’ve done it before. I’m going to do it again.
There were two times in all of the biblical history where God did something so perfect, so flawless, that there wasn’t another thing that He could do. He couldn’t go back and fix something. There was nothing to smooth out. Everything was perfect. Twice. The first time was after creation. Genesis 1:31 says that He looked at creation and it was perfect. And after He saw there wasn’t anything more that He could do, you get into Genesis chapter 2 and what did He do? He rested. And I made the point that when you rest, what do you do? Well, you sit down. And this says the same thing. He was weary. They had been walking probably many a dusty mile in old, hot Middle Eastern Israel. So He came to a place and what could He do? He sat down. He rested.
All right, in Hebrews chapter 1 we have the second time, and it was after finishing the work of the cross which was so perfect. It was so complete. Even at the cross He said, “It’s finished.” And He went on through the power of resurrection and put the frosting on the cake, if I may put it that way. So in Hebrews He could now say that He had purged all our sin. There was not a speck of sin that wasn’t purged. He finished the work of the cross, and it was so perfect, it was so flawless, that what could He do? “He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on High.”
All right, then I go on to say that if our Gospel is so perfect, all you and I have to proclaim is that Christ was crucified and shed His Divine blood. That’s why He had to be the God-Man. We’ll come back to that again. He shed His blood. He physically died and was laid in the tomb and three days later He was reunited with body, soul, and spirit, like we will be one day. And by that resurrection power He could now proclaim salvation to the whole human race, by believing that plus nothing.
And from the day that the Apostle Paul was commissioned to take that glorious Gospel out into the Gentile world, from day one, what has man done with that finished work? Added to it. Always gluing something on and requiring something of people. You say, like what? Well. I guess the worst one is baptism. Look at the millions upon millions upon millions of people who have lived and died in the last 2,000 years and went out to eternity thinking that baptism was part of salvation—an integral part, an important part. And this Book tells us that if that’s the way they went out into eternity, they went out lost. Now that’s frightening, but it’s the truth of the matter.
All right, what’s the next one? Membership in something. Oh, you’ve got to do this. You’ve got to give. You’ve got to tithe. That’s all “stuff” that man has added to that glorious Gospel. And God won’t have it. He finished it! It was perfect! And that’s the only salvation that He can look at. And that’s what you and I have to let people know and, oh, they hate it. Don’t think I don’t know they hate it. They think you’ve still got to do something. No, you don’t. It’s all done.
All right, enough of that. I couldn’t pass it up when I saw that word wearied and He sat down. Now that’s the way I teach. I never had any idea of doing that today. But He sat down, and that’s what He did when He finished the work of salvation. He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on High. All right, so He, in his humanity, grew tired. He grew weary.
All right, let’s go back a few pages to Matthew chapter 8. Let’s see, I think I want verse 23. Matthew 8 verse 23. Oh, this is the one I’ve been waiting for. This is two-fold. I can give you both sides of the coin—His humanity and His Deity. All got it?
“And when he was entered into a ship, (Not a great big ship as we picture them today. It was just more or less an oversized boat.) his disciples followed him. 24. And, behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the boat was covered with the waves: but he was (What?) asleep.
What does that show you? His humanity. Does God ever sleep? No. God in His total Deity doesn’t ever sleep. But here God is in His incarnate human body, and it says He was sleeping? Why do we sleep? Well, we get tired. Just like we showed you in the Samaritan situation, He was weary and He sat down. Well, here He even went down, evidently below the deck, and He was asleep. That’s His humanity. But, oh, now we flip the coin, and we’re going to see a bit of His Deity in verse 25.
“And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish. (We’re sinking.) 26. And he said unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith?…” Now, what do you suppose He’s driving at? Don’t you know who I am?
You know, that reminds me. That’s like a guy that came rushing up to the head of the line at the airline ticket office, and the ticket lady told him go to the end of the line. And he said, “Lady, don’t you know who I am?” So she got on her microphone and announced to the whole airport, “Will somebody please come to such and such a ticket office. I have a man here who doesn’t know who he is!”
But see, that’s the same way with the Lord. Fellows, don’t you know who I am? We’re not going to sink. I’m the God of this lake. I’m the God of this Sea of Galilee. But now look what He does.
“…Then he arose, (from His sleep) and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm.” Now, I know you’ve all read that calming the sea, but do you really stop and analyze that? How that this seemingly normal human being could simply arise from His bed of sleep, stand on the deck of that little boat and speak to the wind – be quiet. This is a perfect illustration of the power of His Godhead, even in human form. He never stopped being God.
In the womb of Mary He was still the God of Creation. Never lose sight of that. So He stood up on that little boat, and He rebuked the wind. He spoke to it, and there was a great calm.
“But the men marveled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea (What?) obey him!” Why should they? He’s the creator. Everything is held together by His spoken word. The universe with all the billions upon billions upon billions of stars and galaxies are held together by the voice of this same Jesus of Nazareth.
Now, I have to emphasize that, because, beloved, if He were anything less than that, He could have not paid my sin debt nor yours. But He did. It’s paid in full. Simply because of who He is. And that’s why we have to teach, that, yes, He was totally human, because He had to die in the realm of humanity to suffer and shed His blood for us.
Now, I was going to use a little illustration to start this half hour and forgot. Many of you have probably heard of it. I heard it way back when I was a young teenager, and I’ve heard it more than once since. But it’s a good illustration. A gentleman had an anthill in his back yard. And he was always obsessed with watching those ants. And if you’ve never done it, try it. It’s enough to just hold your attention. He was standing there. He was watching those ants. And every once in a while he’d reach down in between and he’d pick his hand back up.
Finally his neighbor couldn’t take it any more, so he walked over and said, “What in the world are you doing?” He says, “Well, I’m watching this hill of ants, but the reason I lean down every once in a while is because that one poor little fellow is trying to put a little piece of straw down the ant hole, but he can’t make it work because it’s always laying crosswise. So I try to reach down and help him turn that straw so he can take it down into the ant hole.”
And the neighbor says, “Well, you dummy! You’ll never be able to do that until you become an ant.” You got the picture? Those ants weren’t going to have anything to do with him. They scattered. But if he could have become one of them, they would have accepted his help.
All right, now I love that illustration, because you see, that’s what God had to do. Why does the whole human race hang up on idolatry? Why are the humans so obsessed with idolatry, and they have been. Because, you see, they want to worship something that they can touch. They want to worship something sitting on their mantle that they can look at. That they can identify with. But to take something by faith? It’s so hard. So, yes, all up through the Old Testament they had to be satisfied with the Theophanies—when God appeared in human form and then disappeared. And from then on they had to take it by faith.
All right, beginning with our New Testament economy, with His first advent, we have God in the flesh. We no longer are looking at something that is invisible; that is impossible to imagine. He was here in the flesh. He said, “Handle me. Touch me.” Even after His resurrection. He was for real, beloved. And He never laid aside one ounce of His Deity. Never!
Now, our time is just about gone. Let’s look at one or two more in Luke chapter 22. This is, of course, at the time of the crucifixion—His passion. Let’s start at verse 39 when He’s in the Garden of Gethsemane.
Now you want to remember that Matthew, Mark, and Luke depict Christ primarily from His human side. John will depict Him from the Deity side. So, here we have things in Luke and Matthew and Mark that you won’t find in John, because he does not look at His humanity.
“And he came out, and went, as he was wont, to the Mount of Olives; and his disciples also followed him. 40. And when he was at the place, he said unto them, Pray that ye enter not into temptation. 41. And he was withdrawn to them about a stone’s cast, and kneeled down, and prayed, 42 Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine be done.” Of course, He was speaking of the horrors of the cross that were now right in front of Him.
“And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him. 44. And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground. (See, there’s His humanity.) 45. And when he rose up from prayer, and was come to his disciples, he found them sleeping for sorrow, 46. And he said unto them, Why sleep ye? Rise and pray, lest ye enter into temptation.’”
Well anyway, you come all the way down through the next series of verses, and it’s a constant exposure of His humanity.
“Then they took him, (He was completely submissive.) and led him, and brought him into the high priest’s house. And Peter followed afar off. 55. And when they had kindled a fire in the midst of the hall,…” You know the account of all this. All right now verse 63.
“And the men that held Jesus mocked him, and smote him. 64 And when they had blindfolded him, they struck him on the face, and asked him, saying, Prophesy, who is it that smote thee?” Well you see, he never responded except in His humanity. And that’s what we have to understand.