Man in the Light of the Incarnation
Galatians 4:4-5
But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,…

The pivots on which the crises of history revolve are seemingly very minute.

I. THE INCARNATION IMPLIES THE GREATNESS OF HUMAN NATURE. It is a fact, that God has been manifest in the flesh, in the person of His Son. God has expressed His attributes in many things. Men do the like in their works. In the Incarnation God did not embody mere qualities and perfections, but Himself. How closely must the nature of man be related to the nature of God; for God Himself became incarnate in Jesus of Nazareth! It was through the points of similarity between the nature of God and the nature of man, involved in the Divine Fatherhood, that the Incarnation of Deity in humanity became possible. We revolt at the heathen idea, that a Divine being can be enshrined in an idol of wood or stone, because there are no godlike faculties through which the radiance of a Divine presence can stream forth on the kindred faculties of the worshippers who are to be illumined by the manifestation. If man be the offspring of God, the Incarnation becomes rational and credible. Of the grandeur of our nature, as set forth in this early announcement, the coming of the Son of God in the flesh is the demonstration.

II. THE INCARNATION INDICATES THE HIGH DESTINY OF MAN. Christ Jesus was the sample of that moral perfection to which humanity may be raised by the power and grace of God. The nature of a thing discloses more or less distinctly its primary intention. In all departments of creation we argue from the adaptations of an organ to the uses for which it was designed. The eye is for light and for the objects of beauty and deformity which light unveils. The ear is for sounds — melodies, harmonies, and discords. Reason and conscience are faculties related to truth and duty. It is but an application of the same process to infer from the powers of man the purpose of his Maker.

1. Our souls were evidently intended for fellowship with God. That we have faculties resembling the Divine attributes, is an intimation of this purport of our being.

2. Men were plainly framed to work with God as well as to commune with Him. We have benevolent activities resembling the beneficent energies of the Almighty. From our humble level we can pity and succour. We were formed for God-like thoughts, God-like motives, and God-like deeds.

3. Human beings were distinctly marked out for dominion and glory.

III. THE INCARNATION BRINGS OUT IN DEEPEST HUES AND DARKEST SHADES THE SINFULNESS OF OUR RACE. But of this be sure, that the greatness of man's sin is inseparable from the greatness of man's nature.

IV. THE INCARNATION SHOULD INSPIRE MANKIND WITH BRIGHTEST HOPE. If our state had been without the prospect of deliverance, the Son of God would not have become flesh. He would not have appeared in our nature to mock our despair. The Incarnation is Divine testimony to our recoverability.

V. THE INCARNATION SEEMS TO SUGGEST, THAT THE MORAL AND REGAL PERFECTION OF OUR HUMANITY IS UNATTAINABLE UNLESS GOD DWELL IN US. Life and beauty, stem and leaf, bloom and fruit, lie hidden in the seed. While there is nothing but the seed, the wonderful vegetable fabric, with its verdure, fragrance, and loveliness, is merely latent. So all the spiritual capabilities of our nature continue undeveloped while the soul subsists in vital and moral isolation from God. The Divine ideal of humanity cannot be fulfilled by humanity alone. There must be a Divine vivification of the dormant energies. The re-creating Spirit must brood over the chaos.

VI. THE INCARNATION DEMONSTRATES THAT YOUR SOULS ARE VERY DEAR TO GOD. How vast is God's interest in us! He has sent His own Son to us in the nature of one of our race, one of our very selves. If a monarch waives the pomp of majesty, lays aside the burden of empire, and crosses the threshold of some humble cottage, to minister to a sufferer among the lowly poor, how obvious and how touching is his concern for his obscure and afflicted subject!

(H. Batchelor.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,

WEB: But when the fullness of the time came, God sent out his Son, born to a woman, born under the law,

Jesus Paid the Debt
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