Man and His Glory -- the Grass and its Flower
1 Peter 1:24-25
For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass wither, and the flower thereof falls away:…

These verses institute a comparison and bring out a contrast between the natural life and the spiritual. Every son of man is born into one life, and every son of God is born again into another. There is a mystery in every man, but a greater mystery in every Christian. Nature is deep, but grace is deeper. The two lives brought into contrast here are the natural life of man in the body which soon fades away, and the new life of the regenerated which will forever flourish. These two lives are not in all their aspects opposite, for the same person may at the same time possess both. He holds them, however, by different tenures: the first or natural life will soon depart, but the new or spiritual life will be his forever. The analogy employed is exact and full and beautiful — "All flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass." Man is like the grass, and his glory like its flower. Life is short, and the period of its perfect development is shorter still. The history of a man consists of a gradual growing to maturity, and a gradual declining to the grave. Such is his best estate, when no accident cuts him off in mid-time of his days. But if this is true of the flesh — the sensitive nature which man has in common with the brutes — what shall be said of all his distinguishing features as a moral and intelligent being? Although the mere flesh is evanescent, what of the glory wherewith his Maker has crowned his head? The text has two things to say of this glory — the first, that it greatly excels in worth and beauty the animal structure on which it grows; the second, that it is still more short lived. If all flesh be as grass, all its glory is only as the flower of grass. The flower is indeed the glory of the grass, but it comes up later and withers earlier. What shall we say, then, of all that is peculiar to man — of all that distinguishes him from the beasts of the field — of that human face divine, and that articulate speech, and that calculating mind, which mark him off as chief of God's creatures here and ruler of His world? Can the glory of man be compared to the herbage as well as his sentient nature? No; for though it is more brilliant while it lasts, it is sooner over. Beauty of form is one of the distinguishing glories of humanity. It has pleased God our Father so to arrange the features of our frame, and so to constitute our minds, that we count them comely. We admire the flower of the herbage, and devoutly see in it the Creator's wisdom. Shall we not look with deeper interest on a lighted human countenance, and see in that glory of man a glory to the Lord? This glory does not last long; it is a flower — fragrant, attractive; but it withers soon. The flower is later blown and earlier faded than the frail green stem that bears it. But the beauty of the new creature in Christ does not fade like a flower. It is an interesting speculation — although it can be nothing more — to imagine the beauty of man unfallen. The peculiar sweetness sometimes imparted to the countenance of an ordinary person by the sudden influx of a "great peace" in periods of spiritual revival suggests the probability that we lost by sin an external loveliness so great that we lack now the power of conceiving fully what it was. But, great though the loss be, Christians sorrow not over it as those who have no hope; for their gain is greater. Where sin abounded to mar, grace will much more abound to renew. Whatever is lost by sin is more than restored by redemption. The risen Christ is glorious, and risen Christians will be like Him. Humanity redeemed will be humanity perfect. I would fain realise the beauty of the resurrection body, as well as the spiritual purity of the saints in light.

(W. Arnot.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away:

WEB: For, "All flesh is like grass, and all of man's glory like the flower in the grass. The grass withers, and its flower falls;

Human Changes and the Divine Unchangeableness
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