Christ Our Model: The Model Son

It is well beyond the reach of our hearts and minds to comprehend the fullness of the incomparable majesty and perfection found in the Person of our Lord Jesus Christ. He is, and eternally will be, the focus of our unending wonder. God has revealed much to us in His Word concerning His Son and this, in turn, serves to give the believer joy and an ever-increasing appreciation and anticipation of Him. There are countless treasured truths seen in the Scriptures concerning our Lord, and in this article, we will endeavor to consider and explore one: our Lord Jesus Christ as the model Son.

In our earthly sphere, we commend those who have a desire to both honor and please their parents. At best, we can have the desire and intention to do so, but our feeble attempts often fall short and certainly fall by the wayside when we consider the peerless perfection found in the model Son – the perfect Son. It is in John 6:38 that we find the reason for which our Lord Jesus, the model Son, came to this earth. In one beautiful statement, the Lord declared, “For I came down from Heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him that sent Me.” While we may try, our efforts are often flawed and feeble, but His desire to do His Father’s will was constant, unwavering, and His zeal to do and accomplish His Father’s will was always, without fail, at the heart of all our Lord said and did. Who but the Lord could say, “I do always those things that please Him” (John 8:29)? Even in the garden of Gethsemane, being in an agony and knowing that Calvary and the immense suffering, abandonment, and sorrow were close at hand, He stood firm, truly continuing to do “always those things that please Him.” The Lord prayed, “not My will, but Thine, be done.” Philippians 2:8 reminds us of the extent to which the perfect Son went: “and being found in fashion as a man; He humbled Himself and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.”

It is in Luke 2 that we catch a glimpse of the Lord Jesus, the model Son, as a child. Children surround us in our daily lives, in the neighborhood, in the schoolyard, at family gatherings, and so on. Were we to describe them, what adjectives and descriptive words would we use? In Luke 2, in words uniquely concerning the Lord, we read, “and the Child grew and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon Him.”

In verse 46, we see the Lord in the temple at 12 years of age, sitting among the doctors, “both hearing them, and asking them questions.” He did not dispute with them but, rather, sat in the temple with humility. So wonderful and matchless was this Son, that we read, “all that heard Him were astonished at His understanding and answers” (v47). When Mary and Joseph returned to Jerusalem and found Him in the temple, we read that “they were amazed” and shortly thereafter we read of the Lord’s gentle answer to Mary, His first recorded words in Luke’s gospel, “How is it that ye sought Me? Wist ye not that I must be about My Father’s business?” (v49). When He returned to Nazareth with Mary and Joseph, we read that “He went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them” (v51). What an amazing truth this is that the Creator and Sustainer, the Maker of the stars, and the One in Whose hand our breath is, went down to Nazareth as an obedient Child in the humble Jewish family of Mary and Joseph. Truly, in all the Lord said and did, He demonstrated the reality that He was the model Son.

Another area where we see the truth of the Lord Jesus as the model Son is when we consider the amount of time He spent communing with His Father. We live in an age where we often hear and read of those who grow and directly or indirectly turn their backs on the very ones who raised them, cutting ties under the guise of “independence.” Yet our Lord was the perfect example of the model Son. In Mark 1:35, just one section of many, we read: “rising up a great while before day, He went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed.” So great a priority was it for the Lord, that He rose up early, even before the rising of the sun, to speak with His Father. Matthew 14:23 reveals a time when the perfect Son went up on a mountainside to pray and remained alone with His Father. Luke 6:12 tells us of our Lord spending the night in prayer, communing with His Father. And while we may have prolonged periods where we, sadly, let time slip by without communication, our Lord did not. He consistently communed in prayer with His Father, sought out places of solitude with Him, and even when thronged by crowds, He would stop and pray, continuing to enjoy fellowship with His Father.

We see the truth and beauty of the Lord Jesus as the model Son when we consider John 19. In this section of Scripture we read of our Lord being flogged, with a crown of thorns upon His head, a robe of purple placed upon Him, mocked, abused, rejected, and then crucified.  We are reminded in 1 John 4:14 that “the Father sent the Son to be the Savior of the world.” He sent Him all the way to Calvary.

The beauty concerning our Lord as the model Son continues in this chapter as we think about Him on the cross. While there, rejected and mocked by the vast majority of those standing by, the Lord looked down and beheld His mother alongside the disciple “whom He loved” (v26). In the midst of His suffering, despised and rejected, the Lord turned to His mother and said, “Woman, behold thy son,” and to John, “Behold thy mother” (vv26-27). What a striking portion of Scripture this is, for in a time of such great personal suffering, our Lord ensured that Mary would be cared for in His absence. For us the Perfect Son showed His matchless love and care in an immeasurable way, so that we who were once far off, in Christ now “should be called the sons of God” (1John 3:1).

“The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only Begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14).