WHAT MANNER Andy Hollifield 9-26-17
1 John 3:1-3 Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. (2) Beloved, now we are the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. (3) And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.
“What manner” is a question that was raised by different people about various things and often about Jesus and the attributes of God. It is used 22 times throughout the scriptures including a couple of times in the Old Testament. The first time in the New Testament was in Matthew 8:27. This was right after Jesus called his disciples. They were in a ship crossing over to the Gergesenes, also called Gadarenes, when a great tempest, or a violent windstorm, arose that had the ship covered with waves. These men, although several of them were fishermen, were in fear for their lives and went and woke up Jesus who was in the hinder part of the ship asleep according to Mark 4. Mark gives a little more detailed account of the story. He said the ship was full of water in verse 37 and in verse 36 he mentions that there were also other little ships with them. It goes on to say that they woke him with one question: “Carest thou not that we perish?” Mark goes on to say that after this great tempest Jesus rebuked the wind and spoke to the sea and said “Peace be still” that there came a great calm. God just don’t do anything halfway does he? Little did they know at this time how much Jesus did care. In three years he would show them how much he cared by dying on a cross for their sins. After calming the sea and wind, Jesus asked them why they had no faith. The disciples were very afraid and talking amongst themselves and talking about the miracle they had just witnessed said; “What manner of Man is this?” That question actually started before he was even born into this world. Luke 1:29 talks about when the angel came to Mary to announce that she would be mother to the Christ. In verse 28 the angel gave her the now famous greeting; “Hail, thou art highly favored, the Lord is with thee: thou art blessed among women.” In verse 29 she was troubled and wondered “what manner of salutation this should be ” or plainly put; what the angel was talking about.
Going on down to verse 66 of that same chapter, as the news spread people began to wonder “What manner of child shall this be?” They didn’t have a clue that they were getting in on the little end of something big with this child. In chapter 7 verse 39 the Pharisees found fault with him when they were in Simon’s house to eat and the sinful woman washed his feet with tears and kissed them and dried them with her hair. They took issue with him allowing it because they knew what manner of woman she was. Do you want to know “what manner of woman” she was? She was the kind that Jesus came to seek and to save.
The next time that it talks about Jesus and the question “what manner?” is in Luke 24:17 talking with two people on the road to Emmaus after his resurrection. As he talked with them, they probably caught him up on the latest news about the crucifixion. Jesus asked them, “What communications are these that ye have one to another?” After breaking bread with them and blessing it, he departed. It was only then that they realized who it was they had been talking to.
The last one I want to look at is the scripture in 1 John 3:1. “Behold”, which means look, “What manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us.” That is a true statement if I have ever heard one. To “bestow” means to confer upon someone or to present. I am glad there was some presenting going on, aren’t you?” Jesus told Mary in the garden not to touch him because he hadn’t ascended yet. But the angel also told Mary to get word to his disciples and Peter to go to Galilee and they would see him there. Jesus told her to tell his disciples that he was ascending to his God and their God. Ascending to present his spotless blood on the mercy seat before the throne as the supreme sacrifice for our sins.
What manner of man would do that for me and you? What manner of love must it have taken to stay on that cross? Often we do like the disciples and begin to doubt and grow cold. I am glad that Jesus don’t just kick us to the curb when our faith grows weak and the storms of life rage against us. Think about what manner of love God has for us to give his Son and his Son give his life. Now do you really think he is going to leave you alone in your storm to make it on your own? Noooo! Sometimes he calms the storm and sometimes he calms you. What manner of love? Have a blessed day in the Lord!!!