What is Man?

 Neil Armstrong died last Saturday just two days following our 44th wedding anniversary.  Norma Jean  and I had only been married for 11 months when Armstrong made the historical flight on Apollo 11.  I remember that Sunday evening.  I had preached that day.  And we returned to our apartment on Bearss Avenue in Tampa.  Turned on our little black and white TV.  We heard Neil Armstrong say those famous words, “One small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.”

While unbelievers gloried in the genius of man’s  accomplishments, Bible Believers were reminded of the greatness  of God and the grandeur of His creation.  It reminded me then and does now as I think back on the declaration of the Psalmist.

“When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, The moon and the stars, which You have ordained, What is man that You are mindful of him, And the son of man that You visit him?  For You have made him a little lower than the angels, And You have crowned him with glory and honor.”   

What is man?  That is a good question.

Man is made in the image of God.  He is soul and spirit.  As C. S. Lewis once expressed it, “You don’t have a soul.  You are a soul.  You have a body.”  Man reflects the glory of God’s genius.   He  was made with creative abilities like God.  Made with a mind to figure out how to get to the moon.  Man’s accomplishments prove that he is, as Peter put it, “a partaker of the divine nature.”  Man is made just a lower than the angels.  Man is made higher than the animal kingdom.  We’ve been given a spark of God’s eternal nature.

When John F. Kennedy was President he had a cabinet member who enjoyed a unique relationship with President Kennedy–the Attorney General, who was his brother Robert. It is said that Robert Kennedy would greet new lawyers entering the Department of Justice with this message. “This may appear to be a large organization, but when you do something well, I’ll hear about it and it will go on your record. I want you to recall that I was recently a lowly worker in the Justice Department myself, but that I now serve as Attorney General, due to perseverance, long hours, hard work, and the fact that my brother became President of the United States… not necessarily in that order.”

Moral?  It helps to be related.

One of the key doctrines of the Bible is this simple Truth.  We are related to God. He is our Father.  We are His children.  We matter to God.  He places great value on humankind.  He loves us.  He cares for us.  He hears our prayers.  He knows our hurts.  He feels our pain.  He understands our problems.

One author put it this way.  “God is crazy about you. If God had a refrigerator, your picture would be on it. If God had a wallet, your photo would be in it. He sends you flowers every spring, and a sunrise every morning.  Whenever you want to talk, He listens. He could have chosen to live anywhere in the universe, but He chose to live in Your heart. Face it, God is crazy about you.”

What is man? A blessed being by a benevolent Creator.  One who should seek his Savior.  Glorify his God.  And honor his Maker.   All of our small steps proclaim “There is a God!  There is a God!”  And will one day result in a giant heavenly leap when we go to live with Him eternally.

—Ken Weliever, The Preacherman

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