April 3 PDF Print E-mail
"Jesus answered, I have told you that I am he; if therefore ye seek me, let these go their way." — John 18:8.

Here we see the Saviour's readiness to suffer. He makes not the least attempt to escape from the hands of his enemies, but tells them a second time that he was the victim they sought after; and yielded himself up to be bound, and led away, without murmuring or complaint. This willingness was magnified by the greatness of his sufferings, his knowledge of all he was to endure, his deserving it not, but bearing it for others, and his power of escape.

Here we see his tenderness towards his disciples. He would not have them die or suffer, or at present, even be apprehended and alarmed. They were unable to bear it. They could not follow him now. He has the same heart still, and from this instance of his conduct, we may conclude, that he will suffer no affliction to befall his disciples, unless for some wise and useful purpose; that he will sympathize with them in their suffering; that he will afford them support and comfort; that in due time he will wipe away all tears from their eyes.

Here also we see his authority and dominion over their adversaries. We are mistaken if we suppose that he presented a request, when he said. If ye seek me, let these go their way. A request would have been nothing in the present state of their minds, and provided, as they were, with officers, and an armed band of Roman soldiers. It was in the nature and force of a command. It was an absolute injunction. "I will not surrender unless these are allowed to depart. You shall not touch a hair of their head." Accordingly they make not the least objection, and suffer them to retire unmolested.

This was in character with his whole history. In his penury he always displayed his riches; in his deepest abasement he emitted some rays of his glory. The manhood was seen; but it was, so to speak, deified humanity. What majesty was combined with the humiliations of his birth and of his death! Does he here submit? He is a conqueror, demanding his own terms, and obtaining them.

And did not this serve to enhance the sin of his disciples in denying and forsaking him? They were overcome by the fear of man. But what had they to fear? Did they not here see that their enemies were under his control, and could do nothing without his permission? Did he not here obtain for them a passport, insuring their escape and safety? Yet they have not courage and confidence enough to declare themselves on his side, and to stand by him.

And do we not resemble them? How often do we shrink back from the avowal of our principles, or turn aside from the performance of some trying duty! And wherefore? We also yield to the fear of man, that bringeth a snare. Yet what can man, what can devils, do unto us? Satan could not sift Peter, nor touch an article of Job's estate, till leave was granted him. Our foes are all chained, and the extent of their reach is determined by the pleasure of him who loved us well enough to die for us. If he careth for us, it is enough.

When shall we realize this, and go on our way rejoicing? If he says to events, Let that man succeed in his calling, opposition and difficulties are nothing; he gets forward: the blessing of the Lord maketh rich. If he says to sickness, Touch not that individual, the pestilence may walk in darkness, and the destruction rage at noon-day: a thousand may fall at his side, and ten thousand at his right hand, it shall not come nigh him. If He has any thing more for us to do or suffer, though life be holden by a rotten thread, that thread is more than cable; we are immortal till our change comes.

"Hast thou not given thy word
To save my soul from death?
And I can trust my Lord
To keep my mortal breath,
I'll go and come,
Nor fear to die,
'Till from on high
Thou call me, home."

Morning Exercises For Everyday In The Year
By Rev. William Jay

 
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