religious fanatic, and even a prig—and of course there was the unfortunate fact that He was born out of wedlock. The House of David still wearied God, and missed the verse addressed especially to them (Isaiah 7:13).
How was it that the Son of God could escape the notice of the sons of men with whom He lived so intimately? There must have been something unusual about Him surely: there was indeed, but it was something that seemed to them to be of little or no value. He was obedient, both to God and man! At a time when the foreign invader held sway over the Promised Land, and his soldiers and tax-gatherers were in every village, who wanted obedience! No, rather give us daring courage, another Gideon or a Jephthah! Obedience—all very well for girls: we need someone who can disobey the Roman Emperor and set God's people free.
Yet the Almighty had other ideas for His Son, for God's thoughts are higher than men's. To the One whose Creation had been wrecked by lawlessness, whose every endeavour had been frustrated by man's disobedience, whose world was in chaos and whose kingdom in bondage, there was no higher virtue than simple obedience to His Word: and He was prepared to elevate to His Own Throne all who were ready to obey His Word, and renounce their own ambition.
There had been, and still is an age-long controversy with God about His Law. Since Adam's days men had disobeyed it, and declared that it could not be kept. It was too hard for humans, beyond their power. Even the softened law that proceeded from Moses had proved unwelcome to them. None had ever kept it, nor even could keep it. God was unreasonable to expect it, to give man free will and then expect him to withstand all temptation and yield that will in perfect obedience to another.
God had to answer this challenge; and He answered it