Seventh, the Lord Jesus Christ is wonderful in His death for others. First of all, it was a voluntary death. He didn’t need to die. At His arrest, when one of the twelve disciples drew a sword and cut off the ear of the servant of the high priest, Jesus rebuked the disciple and said that if He wished, He could call forth legions of angels. God would send them to His aid to defend Him. We read in the Bible that death is the penalty for sin. Jesus was sinless, and therefore didn’t need to die. Yet He did die, nevertheless, for the sins of others. He did it voluntarily and He spoke about it on numerous occasions. 

Jesus’ teaching was truly unparalleled. On one occasion, the chief priests and Pharisees sent the temple guards out to arrest Him, and they came back a while later not having done it. When the religious leaders heard this, they asked, “Why didn’t you bring him in?" The guards replied, “No one ever spoke the way this man does” (John 7:45-46). Can you imagine a policeman refusing to arrest someone whom he was sent to arrest because the man spoke wonderfully? Yet, that’s what happened in the case of Jesus Christ. So wonderful were His words, so wonderful was His teaching, that His enemies were unable to effect His arrest until He Himself brought about His own arrest in order to line things up for His own crucifixion.

We talk about our Lord’s conception and we say, yes, His name is Wonderful, for our Lord’s divine nature is wonderful. Jesus was a true man; we confess that and we confess it gladly because He became like us in His humanity. He identified with us in all of the sufferings that we know. The Bible says He became like us in every respect, except in the fact that we are sinners and He was sinless.

It is appropriate at Christmastime to think together about this wonderful person Jesus, and consider why He was given this name that, so far as we know, is given to absolutely no other man or woman. I want to mention a number of things.

 

The final verse of our section deals with the mutually exclusive nature of serving God and riches. "No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon." Nothing could be said more clearly, or be more obvious. And it should be a heart-searching question for us all. Could anything be more insulting to God, who has redeemed us from the slavery of sin in Christ and has given us all things richly to enjoy, than to take the name of our God upon us, to be called by His name, and then to demonstrate by every action and every decision of life that we actually serve money?