Faith & Insight: Virtuoso: The touch of the master’s hand
He was the master, the craft reached its pinnacle in the work of his hands. In the mastery of his creations perfection was epitomized, singular quality achieved. He possessed a knowledge of the intricacies and nuances of his art that was transformed into stunning results. The subtle blending of components, the perfect union of rare and exotic pieces resulted in a harmony no one else could duplicate. The results were creations the like of which have never been duplicated. His creations defined the art, set the standard for the craft, became the hallmark for perfection. When at age 92 he was still bringing the touch of the master’s hand to his craft, Antonio Stradivari was universally recognized as the virtuoso of violin makers. The best of the best!
With all our science and technology today, the ultimate craftsmen of our day have yet to determine what it was he knew, what techniques he alone possessed, what singular knowledge he acquired, that allowed him to create the violins that could produce tones unrivaled in quality and clarity.
He was, by all accounts, the definitive virtuoso. Each of his creations was unique, no two alike, no two exactly the same, yet each was crafted for a singular purpose, to produce the most perfect tone and the most beautiful music possible.
Allow me, if I may, to take this term, virtuoso, and transcend from the temporal to the spiritual. Permit me, if you will, to introduce to you the ultimate virtuoso.
“Virtuoso: one with a special knowledge of, or skill in, a fine art. One who has mastered the technique of an art.” I believe without a doubt this definition applies to our Lord (Jude 1:24-25).
One who has mastered the techniques of an art. As ruler of the universe God is without a doubt the master of the art of administration. By his skill, knowledge and power alone are the heavens kept in place, the universe kept in harmony. Countless worlds administered by the originator of love (Matthew 19:26).
“One with a special knowledge of, or skill in a fine art.” It’s an undeniable truth Jesus, as the creator, has a special knowledge or skill in bringing into existence life. Who else in all the universe can bring into being, just by his word, a world, or by his perfect design, a life? No greater skill than that which brought you and I into existence. A virtuoso in every aspect of the term (Nehemiah 9:6).
Of all the countless deliverers who have ever walked this earth, who but Jesus Christ, the son of God, has accomplished the ultimate deliverance; final, eternal and everlasting? From the beginning to the end, God has shown the full scope of what true deliverance means. A master at delivering his faithful from every conceivable oppression and bondage. Yes, Christ is without a doubt the master of the art of deliverance! (Psalms 18:2)
So, if on a spiritual level, the finest art of all is love, then without question, Jesus is the ultimate virtuoso. One without equal in all the universe. The virtuoso of love. His was and is the greatest expression of love; his the greatest knowledge of love; and his the perfection of love. Scripture is clear and precise in stating the greatest expression of love is in the giving of one’s life for another. In Jesus, the God who brought mankind into existence has forever demonstrated that ultimate love by giving his life not just for one, but for all that will accept the sacrifice. One who has a special knowledge of love has become the definitive virtuoso of love.
Just like each of the Stradivarius masterpieces, each human soul represents a one of kind expression of God’s love. While we can and do celebrate the joy of being brothers and sisters united in the salvation through Jesus Christ, we’re nonetheless each different in some way, each with a unique tone, quality, spiritual pitch if you will. God didn’t mass produce us as carbon copies of each other, or himself, and then stand back and watch from a distance.
Ephesians 2:10 tells us we’re each God’s workmanship, God’s instruments, created in Christ Jesus to do God’s work, which he prepared in advance for us to do. Our lives, being his instrument through Christ Jesus, have had a special music (God’s work) prepared for each of us, prepared in advance. Unique, one-of-a-kind music that can only come out of us. No other human instrument can play it in the way God wrote it for you, or for me.
The music God has written for you alone is special, it can’t be played on any other instrument.
We will never know what masterpiece he chose for us unless we surrender the instrument of our lives and body to him, so he can play that special score he authored for us alone. You never know, in the midst of a battlefield, amidst the clamor of war, he may use you to be that beautiful note of peace, that special melody of reassurance. The ultimate virtuoso has created both you the instrument and the unique spiritual music only you can make. Let the world hear your music and your praise to the Lord your God.
Richard Martin is the head elder at the Carson City Seventh-day Adventist Church.