What Manner of Man:

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

As we begin to ponder the Lord as a teacher, perhaps the first thing to consider is His unmatched preparation.

It was Lindberg who said, “Preparation precedes power,” but it could have been said by anyone – anyone great enough to make real contributions.

Again, as with everything else, Christ epitomized and perfected this quality.  He underwent thirty years of preparation before his ministry began – and that preparation was mental, emotional, social, and physical as well as spiritual.  And as his ministry began the pattern of preparation continued – in mountaintop solitude, at seaside, in desert, or simply within the peace of his own mind. Frequently we observe a calm, inward, strength-gathering moment preceding miracles, sermons, temptations.

The Lord’s preparation started long before this world was made.  We know little of what it entailed, but we do know that, here on earth, his preparation was total and constant. His mental preparation was so extensive that he could out quote his Pharisee adversaries from what they considered to be their own books. He knew the law that he came to fulfill, and he know people, so that he always began where they were – on their level, talking first of things they understood and accepted, using analogies, parables, and metaphors with which they could quickly relate. All of this he was able to do because of his preparation.

Part of the explanation of Christ’s unwavering, sharply focused power was his total preparation. Most men have known those beautiful, sure moments when tight preparation brought tight confidence. Christ’s perfect confidence stemmed from his perfect preparation.

Beyond preparation, the Lord exhibited perfect understanding of all that he taught, and it is that profound understanding that we will contemplate next week.


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