Made Many Things
Monday of Pentecost 12
13 August 2018
God the Son was made many things "for us men and for our salvation," as the Nicene Creed confesses. The one thing He was not made was God the Son. The Son is eternally begotten of the Father and therefore had no beginning. But according to His human nature He is made many things, but not for His benefit. He is made these things for us. He has no need in His divine person, that He should take on human nature. There is nothing lacking in His divine nature. Nothing could be added to His perfection that He desired. He elects to take human flesh of Mary through the incarnation. It is His choice. Decisively, He acts for us doing what we would never have presumed God should be willing to do: humbling Himself.
All this is "for us." He was willing to be humiliated that He might substitute Himself for us in His suffering, death, and resurrection. He was made flesh for us, made sin for us, made a curse for us, and made the lamb for us. These things are "apotelesmatic," that is, they have to do with the mission of Jesus to save the world, just as we saw in the writing of Cyril of Alexandria last week. Christ chooses to take our flesh for no other reason than that He should save poor sinners.

Rev. Dr. Scott R. Murray
Memorial Lutheran Church

   Gregory of Nyssa
"We must say that the Son is the true Son of the true Father, that we may both worship Him, and avoid condemnation as worshiping a false god. But to those who quote from Proverbs, 'Before the mountains had been shaped, before the hills, I was brought forth,' (Pro 8:25), and think that they thereby produce a strong argument that Christ, the Creator and Maker of all things was created, we must answer that the Only-begotten God was made for us many things. For He was the Word, and was made flesh (Jn 1:14); and He was God, and was made man; and He was without body, and was made a body; and besides, He was made 'sin' (2Co 5:21) and 'a curse' (Gal 3:13) and 'a stone' (1Pt 2:4-8) and 'an ax' (Mt 3:10) and 'bread' (Jn 6) and 'a lamb' (Jn 1:29) and 'a way' (Jn 14:6) and 'a door' (Jn 10:9) and 'a rock' (1Co 10:4) and many other things; not being by nature any of these, but being made these things for our sakes, by way of dispensation.
"Therefore, being the Word, He was for our sakes made flesh, and as, being God, He was made man. Being the Creator, He was made for our sakes a creature; for the flesh is created. As, then, He said by the prophet, 'The LORD formed me from the womb' (Is 49:5); so He said also by Solomon, 'The Lord created me as the beginning of His ways, for His works' (Pro 8:22 LXX). For all creation, as the Apostle says, is in bondage (Rm 8:21). Therefore, He who was formed in the Virgin's womb, according to the word of the prophet, is the servant, and not the Lord (that is to say, the man according to the flesh, in whom God was manifested). Also, in the other passage (Pro 8:22), He who was created as the beginning of His ways is not God, but the man in whom God was manifested to us for the renewing again of the ruined way of man's salvation. So that, since we recognize two things in Christ, one Divine, the other human (the divine by nature, but the human by the incarnation), we accordingly claim for the Godhead that which is eternal, and that which is created we ascribe to His human nature. For as, according to the prophet, He was formed in the womb as a servant, so also, according to Solomon, He was manifested in the flesh by means of this creation, which is in bondage." 

Gregory of Nyssa, On the Faith
Isaiah 49:5-13

The LORD says, he who formed me from the womb to be his servant, to bring Jacob back to him; and that Israel might be gathered to him- for I am honored in the eyes of the LORD, and my God has become my strength- he says: "It is too light a thing that you should be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob and to bring back the preserved of Israel; I will make you as a light for the nations, that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth." Thus says the LORD, the Redeemer of Israel and his Holy One, to one deeply despised, abhorred by the nation, the servant of rulers: "Kings shall see and arise; princes, and they shall prostrate themselves; because of the LORD, who is faithful, the Holy One of Israel, who has chosen you." Thus says the LORD: "In a time of favor I have answered you; in a day of salvation I have helped you; I will keep you and give you as a covenant to the people, to establish the land, to apportion the desolate heritages, saying to the prisoners, 'Come out,' to those who are in darkness, 'Appear.' They shall feed along the ways; on all bare heights shall be their pasture; they shall not hunger or thirst, neither scorching wind nor sun shall strike them, for he who has pity on them will lead them, and by springs of water will guide them. And I will make all my mountains a road, and my highways shall be raised up. Behold, these shall come from afar, and behold, these from the north and from the west, and these from the land of Syene." Sing for joy, O heavens, and exult, O earth; break forth, O mountains, into singing! for the LORD has comforted his people and will have compassion on his afflicted. (ESV)
Lord Christ, eternal Son of the Father, we honor you because You have chosen to bear our flesh. Amen.
For Becky Junker, who is suffering from cancer, that she would be strengthened in her body
For Carol Crump, that the Lord would restore her health and strength following surgery
For the elected officers of Memorial Lutheran Church and School that they might serve the Lord with faithfulness
Art: Albrecht DURER, The Adoration of the Trinity (1511)
Memorial Lutheran Church
© Scott Murray 2018
Memorial Lutheran Church, 5800 Westheimer Rd., Houston, TX 77057
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