Of the thirteen (that’s the twelve plus our precious Christ) who do you think was the strongest? Who would win an arm-wrestling contest? Who could outrun the pack?
Certainly not Matthew; tax collectors got flabby sitting around collecting coins. It’s hard to imagine loser Judas winning anything. Perhaps one of the rugged fishermen?…. a guy got tough wrestling fish and nets and Lake Galilee all his life. Maybe Peter, considered the eldest?
Nope, none of these.
It was not “His daily toil of handling, hewing, and shaping the tough wild olive wood and hard acacia common to the region” [See note.] for more than two decades that made Lord Jesus stronger than the twelve. Nor the thousands of miles He trekked over rough trails as He ministered life to His people. (Someone estimated a compiled distance greater than the earth’s circumference.)
Only (the before the fall) Adam matched Christ in vigor and health and strength. Only these two could say, “He [the devil] has nothing in Me”.
Romans 5:12: Through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin.
The after Adam was much weaker than the before Adam. With sin came death. Slowly but steadfastly the man deteriorated. He lost his wholeness.
Only “Him who knew no sin” knew no sickness. Never was His body violated by infirmities common to us, we who are quite familiar with sin and unbelief.
So when you think of The Teacher, don’t associate Him with your pasty, spectacled fourth-grade teacher puffing his way up the flight of stairs. “The Son of Man” was a man’s man. The “Lamb of God” was plenty tough. Didn’t need help overturning the money-changers’ tables and clearing the temple. After a beating that would kill most He still had the capacity to prophesy to the “daughters of Jerusalem”.
This man’s Man would have us recover that which was lost through forgiven sin. To be strong and whole. To be like the before Adam. To win the arm-wrestling contest. To outrun the pack.
NOTE: Rabboni, The Life Story of Jesus. W. Phillip Keller. Excellent, excellent book.