By Linda and Richard Eyre
Note: Each week this column provides a short essay on one particular aspect or facet of the Lord’s personality and character. It is intended that the reader focus on this facet while partaking of the sacrament this Sunday. (Click here to read full introductory column.) Review previous columns by going to the What Manner of Man Archives by clicking in the margin to the right.
Christ’s perfection has been referred to by millions – notably by Paul (“holy, harmless, undefiled”; Hebrews 7:26), John (“no unrighteousness is 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 imponderable. 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 this 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 imperfections 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 temped “in all points, like as we are” (Hebrews 4:15) and that he “descended below all things.”
Closing Note: Many have asked if it is possible to get all of the weekly “facets” or aspects of the Savior from this column in book form. We now have such a book, and we would like to give it as a gift to you loyal readers who have been with us for these many weeks. Just send a self-addressed, stamped book-sized envelope (the padded ones are best) to us at 1098 Augusta Way, Salt Lake City, Utah, 84108 and we will send you a signed copy. (You will need to put $1.84 in stamps or postage on your return envelope.) Please respond only if you have been reading and following the column, and please do not ask for more than one copy of the book. We hope this gift will help you continue this idea, and that it will “link” us with as we think about the same facet together each Sunday. All our best, Richard and Linda Eyre
2005 Meridian Magazine. All Rights Reserved.