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Christ's Perfection and His Integrated Personality

I congratulate you all brothers and sons on Christmas and the new year, may God bring in happy days for all of you, for our beloved country Egypt and for the whole world, praying that the Lord may save the world from the dangers of earthquakes, floods and wars and that He might restore peace and structure to all those devastated regions and lighten the pain of its people those who survived, to expand His mercy upon the world, as God is merciful and compassionate.

May God grant us the blessing of this feast with its inducing influence on our lives.

+ It is likely appropriate for us to meditate upon the personality of Jesus Christ, Glory is to Him, and how it is an ideal personality, integrated in its virtues and attributes. He behaved with an exalted wisdom, as was mentioned in the Book of Ecclesiastes “To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven.” He used to do the suitable job on the appropriate time. Not acting monotonously in every matter or with everybody. And so, He knew when to be compassionate and when to chasten; whereas while chastening He is compassionate.

He knew when to talk and when to become quiet, whereby in His silence there is wisdom and advice…When to look with sympathy and when to look with anger? When to use strength and when to behave in a gentle manner? Generally, He knows how to behave with various aspects of people. So, He was practically the integrated personality which is characterized by acquiring attributes that seemed dissimilar but they accord in an amazing harmony.

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+ Solitude and also working for others He was in a life of both contemplation and also work. Life of contemplation was on the mountain. The mountain in the life of Jesus Christ had its stand and its own status, speaking about that needs more space. One of His most famous solitary places was the Mount of Olives and the Gethsemane garden. So how deep what is said about Him in the Book of Mathew “And everyone went to his own house. But
Jesus went to the Mount of Olives” (Mt 8:1).

On the mountain, He was pouring out His love to the Heavenly Fr.. And in the city, He was spreading out His love to people. It was said about Him that He “went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil” (Acts 10:38). He was teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease among the people (Matt. 4:23)… “All those who had any that were sick with
various diseases brought them to Him; and He laid His hands on every one of them and healed them” (Lk 4:40). He was teaching, healing the blind and raising the death…each one who met Him had a blessing from Him. So everyone loved Him.

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+ Jesus Christ was both Great, and humble He encompassed reverence and veneration; with Simplicity on the other hand… In His reverence they called him “Teacher”, “Good Teacher” or the Master… Some listened to Him while sitting at His feet, and some were bowing to Him… He was greatly esteemed by the people; He had such an honor, respect and great population… In His greatness, He transfigured in a great light on Mount Tabor (Mk 9).

In His humility, He emptied Himself and took the form of a servant, He bended His knees and washed the Disciples’ feet (Jn 13). He was so simple with the children. He attended dinners at the houses of tax collectors and sinners. When they blamed Him for that He answered “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick…I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance” (Mt 9:12, 13).

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+ In the Integration of His Personality, Christ also acquired both Meekness and Resolution: He was gentle and lowly in heart (Mt 11:29). In His gentleness it was said that “He will not quarrel no cry out, Nor will anyone hear His voice in the streets. A bruised reed He will not break” (Mt 12:19, 20). He was to a great extent gentle and passionate. In His compassion, He wept over Jerusalem (Lk 19:40). And wept on His way to Lazarus tomb (Jn 11:35). And in His gentleness also, he spoke with the Samaritan woman without hurting her feelings (Jn 4). And with the same meekness He spoke with the woman who was caught in adultery (Jn 8) with such kindness…

His gentleness though, didn’t contradict with His firmness. As in such resolution and forcefulness He drove out all those who bought and sold in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and said to them, “It is written, “My house shall be called a house of prayer, but you have made it a “den of thieves” (Mt 21:13). And with the same resolution, he Rebuked the Scribes and Pharisees (of the Jews’ scientists) and said to them “woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men; for you neither go in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in” (Mt23:13). He also rebuked the Sadducees saying to them “You are mistaken, not knowing the Scriptures” (Mt22:29).

He reprimanded the Jews many times on how they were literally keeping the Sabbath. He on purpose worked miracles on the Sabbath; He gave sight to the man born blind on a Sabbath (Jn 9) and raised Lazarus from the dead on a Sabbath (Jn 11). He also healed a man at the pool of Bethesda on a Sabbath. To show them that good deeds could be performed on Sabbaths (Mt 12:9-13). He sometimes rebuked his Disciples on their mistakes, in spite of His extreme love to them.

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+ Within His integrated personality; He knew when to talk and when to be silent? If He talked, He convinced. And if he exchanged views; He stroke and silenced. He spoke many times as a teacher, and they were astonished at His teachings (Mt 7). In His talk there were words of benefit, exhortation and teaching. He sometimes simplified His teaching as by saying parables and sometimes He taught them as one having authority (Mt 7:29). He presented teaching as obligatory principles…He often corrected old concepts, beginning with the phrase “But I say to you…” (Mt 5). Sometimes He kept quite, His silence hence is well spoken than talking and in His silence is wisdom as He was quite during His trial at the Sanhedrin (Mt 26) and in front of Pilate (Mt 27).

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+ He also knew when to give and when to hold back:

In His giving he was generous, He granted His Disciples various kinds of authorities and talents, He also highly ranked the child and woman and that was something to which the Jews were not accustomed to. He opened up the gate of Heaven for everyone and especially for the Gentiles and the Samaritans whom had no dealing with the Jews (Jn 4:9). He granted healing to the sick, release to those possessed by evil spirits, forgiveness to sinners (Lk 7) (Jn 8) (Mk 2). And blessing for many others…

And as He gave, He sometimes prohibited. As when he commanded against granting Priesthood to the Jews’ Priests at His days telling them “the kingdom of God will be taken from you and given to a nation bearing the fruits of it” (Mt 21:43). He also refused the demand of the Scribes and the Pharisees for a sign (a miracle), and said “An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and no sign will be given to it” (Mt 12:39).

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+ And as Christ was the man of people, He also cared for a single person. Thousands followed Him, great multitude and people. And in the miracle of feeding the thousands, it was said about them “were about five thousand men, besides women and children” (Mt 14:21) which means about 12 thousands. And when healing the paralytic, crowd gathered together so much that they uncovered the roof and let down his bed to where He was standing (Mk 2:4). And in His famous sermon on the mount, at its beginning it was said “And seeing the multitudes, He went up on a mountain” (Mt 5:1).

Despite of all the multitudes of people who were around Him, He cared for the one soul. In the story of Zacchaeus the tax collector, there was much crowd that he climbed up into a sycamore tree to see Him, and among this entire crowd the Master told him “Zacchaeus make haste and come down for today I
must stay at your house” and when the Jews complained that He will enter a house of a sinner He told them ” Today salvation has come to this house, because he also is a son of Abraham; for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Lk 19:1-10). He left the crowd and sought for the lost one, this was repeated in (Lk 15). Seeking the one soul was also obvious in His meeting with Nicodemus, with the Samaritan woman and with Mary and Martha…

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+ In speaking about the integrated personality of Jesus Christ, we mention some illustrations:

+ Acquiring both justice and mercy without any contradiction between both attributes; He was merciful in His justice and was justice in His mercy. His justice was full of mercy and His mercy was full of justice.

+ Also His care for both the soul and the body; besides His great care for the soul that He said “The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life” (Jn 6:63), He cared so much for the body and its healing (Mt 9:12).

+ He was precise in fulfilling the Law of Moses. But at the same time He cared for its right concept and for the spirituality of the law not just its literal

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Lastly, Jesus Christ left us a good example for us to follow concerning the integration of a personality.

In this feast, we pray for our dear country, for President Hosni Mubarak that God may support him with his strength and give him success in his efforts and in his trips that are for the sake of peace in the Middle East, in Palestine, Iraq, Sudan and the rest of the brother countries.

May you all have a prosperous new year.

Posted by Fr. Moses Samaan

April 9, 2009