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Victorious over the concentrated temptation, triumphant in the fiery ordeal, the Saviour left the wilderness and returned to the fords of Jordan; and now begins His wonderful, busy, public life.

CHAPTER VI.

HIS CHARACTER AND HIS MISSION.”

The fourth Gospel was written by the beloved apostle, St. John. He wrote more especially to the Church, and hence from the Divine standpoint. John wrote his Gospel in his old age, and it contains many of the sweetest and most sacred accounts of his Lord's life and death. He loved to contemplate the Master as a Divine Being. He viewed Him almost constantly during his later years from this standpoint. He saw in Him the Alpha and Omega, the Incarnate Word, the Rabbi, the Messiah, the Son of God, the Father's gift of Love.

After the fast and the temptation, Jesus goes forth from the desert to preach the glorious Gospel. The Lord Jesus declares Himself to be the “Son of Man,” but both His words and His works declare Him to be the “Son of God” as well. The Son of Man and the Son of God! What a fascinating picture is that where the human and the Divine are so sweetly blended. What sweetness and what majesty sits upon His brow! What power and inexpressible tenderness is seen in His looks! What a fountain of love flows from His heart! The four Evangelists are most artless in describing the character of their historic hero.

They recorded no bursts of admiration at the displays of His matchless power, or of His infinite condescension. They simply chronicled His words and works without approval or applause; and thus they most successfully set forth His glorious character, tell of His marvelous nature, and gave the world its greatest wonder and richest blessing, the Christ of the Gospels.

History nowhere records a more perfectly human, or a more genuinely divine character, than these Gospels give to Jesus Christ.

How humanity and divinity were harmonized. “ The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.”

The God-Man walked forth in His humanity amongst men, and they readily recognized His divinity. The Representative of heaven and earth was seen in all the manifestations of His human weakness and divine power. In the Redeemer earthly sorrow was blended with heavenly wisdom, and His eternal glory was blended in His compassionate love for sinful man.

The commencement of Christ's ministry is thus described by St. Matthew, Chapter 4th, 23-25: “And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom, and healing all manner of diseases among the people. And His fame went throughout all Syria; and they brought unto Him all sick people that were taken with divers diseases, and those which were possessed with devils, and those which were lunatic, and those which had the palsy; and He healed them. And there followed Him great multitudes of people from Galilee, and from Decapolis, and from Jerusalem, and from Judea, and from beyond Jordan.”

What a blessed beginning of the most blessed of all ministries was this! He came to bless our world, and here we see how He entered upon His work. Observe, one of the first things He did after thus beginning His ministry was

to gather His disciples round Him. The first two that we find named among His disciples are John and Andrew.

John and Andrew had been disciples of John the Baptist. Their master pointed them to Jesus, and said: “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” When they heard this they followed Jesus, and became His disciples. When Andrew met with his brother Simon Peter, he said unto him: “We have found the Messiah, the Christ." And he brought him to Jesus.

After this we are told that “ Jesus findeth Philip, and saith unto him, Follow Me." He obeyed the call at once, and became one of the greatest of the apostles of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Then Nathaniel and Matthew joined the company of the disciples and followed the Master. So it was with the others. Of these Ile chose twelve, whom He set apart for a spe. cial work in the early Church. Followed by these apostles, He went through the towns and cities, preaching the glad tidings and scattering blessings as He went. The people followed Him in crowds. Never had they seen

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