Obrazy na stronie
PDF
ePub

CHAPTER V.

THE RECEPTION GIVEN TO

CHRIST BY THE

PEOPLE.'

JOHN THE BAPTIST required of his disciples a confession of sin, reformation in life, a hope of forgiveness, together with a belief that the Messiah was soon to make His appearance.

But Jesus Christ had no sins to confess, no guilt to be forgiven. Nor did He require to be informed that the Messiah would soon appear; for He knew that the high office belonged to Himself.

Between Jesus, then, and all others who received John's baptism, there was no resemblance in situation or character.

The only circumstance in which there was any agreement was the external form of baptism. The baptism of Jesus may be considered as a consecration to His high office as Messiah and Saviour of the World; for, immediately after He was baptized He was acknowledged by Divine interposition; and after that event His ministry commenced.

This baptism of Christ was a baptism of sympathy. Sympathy means feeling with, having a common emotion or passion, and He, the Saviour, was in all points made like unto His brethren, that in all points He might have a fellow-feeling, a kindred passion.

That there might be no tone in all the scale of their life's utterance to which He could not respond, giving it a keener and a truer accent. Jesus Christ identified Himself with all the dispensations of Providence. He was the spirit of the Prophets, and now He came to the baptism of John.

So He accepted that baptism, not because the word "

repentance was associated with it, but because it extended itself to righteous

ness.

Again. It was a baptism of Inauguration and a baptism of Approval. The Spirit de scended. God the Father approved.

“ This is My Beloved Son, in Whom I am well pleased.” Here is a new name introduced. It is a short name—it is the name of “ Son."

[ocr errors]

“ This is My Beloved Son.” This new name marks a new epoch in human history. As we read the Bible we discover that the line of development moves in this form—“Man, Servant, Prophet, Messenger, Son.” Last of all He-Jehovah-God-sent His Son also. It is infinitely exciting and interesting to see how these new words came into human speech. All the time it seemed as if something was wanting “Man” was a great name;

“Servant high office; “Prophet” a marvelous function; “Messenger” a high ministry; but the name “Son ” takes them all up and rounds them into completeness, and lights them with ineffable splendor.

The Divine movement is always upward, the Divine progress is an ascension. Each word can be emphasized : “ This is My beloved Son.” God's image! God's equal! Jesus Christ is installed in office. His work began. We now bid farewell to John the Baptist, his work is completed, his last words are spoken when he said: “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” The Christ, the Son of God, now enters the arena, and as the

curtain is lifted upon the drama of His majestic life, we see IIim led forth by the Holy Ghost into the wilderness, there to fast for forty days and forty nights, and then to be tempted of the devil. The temptations of Our Lord were three in number.

First." There was an attempt to induce Him to misapply His miraculous power for the relief of His own wants.”

Second.—“The second was for the purpose of gratifying vanity.”

Third—“ To gratify His ambition."

Satan has only three things to say, the tempter's program is short and shallow. Beyond these three things he has never advanced one step

The same things presented to Christ were presented to our first parents in Eden. The first temptation was to the senses, an appeal to the appetites, an impulse given to that lower nature which man shares with all the animal creation. “If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.“If thou be the Son of God, cast Thyself down,” and put God to the test.

All these things will I give Thee if Thou

1

wilt fall down and worship me.” Satan has no other temptation to offer.

He appeals to the dominant appetite, he asks man to make God his servant, in order that man may have good harvests, a fine income, plenty of good food, and an abundance of possessions.

Satan has no other temptation to level at the human heart. He may vary the form, he may change the manner and expression; but this is substantially his program. Satan simply says: “Eat and live. Take plenty of bread and refuse to die.” The answer which Christ made to Satan

“ Man shall not live by bread alone.” How beautiful and comforting is the answer.

Life is not a question of eating and drinking, but righteousness. The second temptation was answered by Christ in this manner:

“ Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.” Again.—“Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve.”

Looking at the answers which 'Our Lord makes to the tempter, we find: First—“ That they were written answers." Second—“They were simple and plain.” Third—“They were authoritative."

was:

« PoprzedniaDalej »