King's Business - 1913-10



ist records as Having been, said or done by one person fits into what an­ other Evangelist records as having been said or done by another person, and that without any possibility of de­ sign on the part of either Evangelist. We have an instance of that here in the way in which that which John here records as being said by Jesus fits, by the use of one little word “ye,” into what Luke records as having been said by the angel Gabriel (Luke 1:35). Of course this could not have been designed by the Evangelists, but it was designed by the Holy Spirit who. was back of the Evangelists and guided them in their selection of the material that they had at hand, and in their recording of what was said, and done. Three times in the five verses (3-7) does Jesus repeat the solemn truth of the absolute and universal necessity of the new birth. He anticipated the opposition there would be to that fundamental truth in all coming ages. Do we put the insistence and empha­ sis on that truth that our Lord Jesus did? The man' who is the broadest is called narrow because he will not vary from the truth. He teaches the same multiplication table that has been taught for centuries; he refuses to be­ lieve that three and three make ahy- thing less than six; he continues to insist that a drop of water is made up of two parts hydrogen and one part oxygen. “Wouldst thou the holy hill_ ascend And see the Father’s face? To all His children lowly bend And seek the lowest place. Thus humbly doing on the earth What things the earthly7scorn; Thou shalt assert the lofty birth Of all the lowly born,”

out being born anew. He does not say, “We must be born anew,” but, “Ye must be born anew.” Why is this ? The answer. is given in the connection, verse 6 gives the reason for Verse 7. “It is a necessary and universal law,” says Jesus in effect in verse 6, “that the offspring in­ herits the essential nature of its par­ ents and nothing more, and as the es­ sential nature of man is flesh, and as therefore all you get by human de­ scent is flesh, and as the essential nature of the kingdom of God is Spirit (since God is Spirit) ; there­ fore, to see and enter into that king­ dom you must be born anew; born of the Spirit.” Why then the law did not apply to Jesus is plain, viz., be­ cause He at His birth out of Mary had also another parent who was not “flesh” but “Spirit,” a Divine parent. He was son of Mary it is true, but He was also “Son of God.” At His first birth He was “born of the Spirit,” and therefore did not need to be “born anew” (cf. Luke 1 :35). John nowhere in his gospel mentions our Lord’s supernatural birth out of a virgin, but the words of his Lord which he here records implies it, and it is more forceful and convincing than if he directly asserted it. One of the overwhelming proofs of the authenticity of the Gospel narratives and of their minute accuracy in their report of the words of Jesus and of others is seen in the -way in which some little and apparently insignifi­ cant word (and the very position of the word in the Greek text) carries in it a wealth of meaning that would have been missed if some other word, at first sight just as good, had been used (or if the word had been placed in some other position in the Greek text). Another proof of the same thing, and also of the fact that God led the different Evangelists in their choice of their material, is found in the way in which what one Evangel­

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