My Beloved: His Hair
Our hair can often be an indicator of the aging process, whether our locks are greying or hairlines receding, both betray the fact that mankind is marked by mortality and in slow decline. The Psalmist too was aware of this when he said “when I am old and greyheaded … forsake me not” Psalm 71.18.
This is not the case with the beloved here; his locks are full, wavy and jet black. This is a man in the prime of his days, a little like Absalom in 2 Samuel 14.25-26. His flowing hair showed youthful strength and vigour, there was no deterioration.
As we apply this passage to the Lord Jesus, we are reminded of one who was without decay in every aspect of His life (physically, morally and spiritually). He never changes. Immutability is a divine attribute and is recognised as a divine title when the Hebrew writer says “Jesus Christ, the Same, yesterday, and today, and forever” Hebrews 13.8. The Lord Jesus also affirmed this when He said “before Abraham was, I AM” John 8.58.
The first words of the Lord Jesus as a boy of 12 were, “it is necessary … for me to be occupied in the things of My Father” (Wuest) Luke 2.49. This statement rings equally true when we see Him as a man of about 33 in the garden of Gethsemane, “not my will, but thine be done” Luke 22.42. Under extreme pressure and agony there is no change. Time and circumstance has not eroded His desire to please the Father.
The public service of the Lord Jesus is bookended by two declarations from Heaven. Whether on the banks of Jordan at the commencement of His service “Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” Mark 1.11 or in Jerusalem at the end “there came a voice from heaven … I have glorified (my name), and will glorify it again" John 12.28, He was the Same. There was no depreciation in Heaven’s value of The Son of God. Every moment He lived on earth delighted the Father’s hear, He always pleased Him.
The Spirit of God too bears witness to the un-changeableness of Christ, “the Spirit … abode upon Him” John 1.32 is a statement showing the Spirit was permanently at home in the Christ. The Spirit was never grieved by the perfect man, nor departed from Him. There was complete harmony all of the time. The Trinity testifies to the immutability of Christ.
References abound to the Sameness of the Lord Jesus in the gospel records. Mark chapter 1 is particularly illuminating as we view the perfect servant in the vigour of public service. Like a fast moving slide show Mark flicks from scene to scene on a sabbath day full of activity. From teaching in the synagogue (v21), to casting out an unclean spirit (v26) and on to the house of Peter’s mother in law to heal her fever (v31), there is no respite in the work. At evening when everyone else is at ease, He finds the whole city gathered at the door to be healed (v33). Remarkably none are sent away. In Him there is an exhaustless supply to meet every need. There is no decay in His strength. The next day is the same, He rises a great while before day (v35), and at the end of His prayer time, He emphatically says "Let us go into the next towns, that I may preach there also: for therefore came I forth" (v38). Little wonder God delighted in this servant (Isaiah 42.1). Zeal, energy and fullness always marked Him.
In a world that is ever changing, let us fix our eyes on the ever consistent one. God has said of Him "thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail" Hebrews 1.12.
"Change and decay in all around I see,
O thou who changest not, abide with me"