King's Business - 1928-03


March 1928

T h e

K i n g ’ s

B u s i n e s s

International Lesson Commentary

Heart of the Lesson—K .L .B . Devotional—David L. Cooper Little Folk—Mabel M . Hope

once, death would be made a servant, rather than a master. Death cannot hold the Son o f God. Do not overlook the fact that whenever Jesus foretold His approaching death, He added: “ A fter three days I will rise again” (cf. 10:34). This proves His death was not the result o f circumstances that were too strong for Him. He was no mere martyr. His death was before Him from the beginning, the goal toward which He was working. How much more His pa­ tient self-forgetfulness means over against that background ! “Peter began to rebuke Him” (v. 32). Peter could not shake himself free from the idea (which, by the way, some teach­ ers today seem to hold) that Jesus had come to take a temporal throne. Jesus persistently taught that this was not His mission. This is the whole point o f His rebuke to Peter. He came to die as “ the Lamb o f God" (not, at that time, to rule over Israel). Here is Peter blaming Christ for not hoisting the flag o f revolt against the Roman government. Once for all, Jesus sought to shatter the notion that He had come for any other purpose than to deal with sin. He turned upon His disciples;!, and said to Peter : “ Get thee behind me, Satan. Thou savourest not the things that be o f God” (v. 33). He saw with lightning glance, that the suggestion was not so much Peter’s as Satan’s. Already, in the wilderness temptation, had not Satan attempted to draw Him away from the cross of shame, God’s on e. plan for saving men, to a throne over world king­ doms? A truth that Jesus enforced repeatedly is next set before us. “ Whosoever will

come after meir let him deny himself and take up his [cross and follow me" (v. 34). Self-conceit, self-assertion, self-glory, self- indulgence, self-satisfaction, self-seeking, self-will—all must be put down, before we are in any position to represent Jesus before men. A saint once placed a candle before the face o f Christ painted upon the canvas, and as the candle burned, he exclaimed: “ So may my self-life waste away, so that men may see His face.” We are “ crucified with Christ ”—a lingering death—to SELF. Taking up His cross signifies something of what it did to Jesus Himself. It was an instrument for death. It stood for the last malignant expression of the world’s hostility— for rejection by the godless— for the scorn o f the “high-brows.” To live in fellowship with Him involves one in ' something o f the same hostile treat­ ment. That is “taking up the cross.” The testimony of a life which brings the con­ sciousness o f God before sinners, cannot but meet opposition. Let us expect it and meet it as Jesus did. ■ “ Whosoever will save his life shall lose it," said the Master, “ but whosoever shall lose his life fo r my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save1 it." According to this —nothing FAILS like SUCCESS. The desire to preserve one’s life is often de­ praying to character. Real self-preser­ vation comes by devotion to God. Let us now face a practical business question: “ What shall it profit, a man?” (v. 36). Suppose it were possible to gain the whole world! The supposition is far from fact. How few ever attain even a small part o f the worldly objects at which they aim ! How rarely are the hopes of the ambitious, covetous and sensual, realized! But suppose! As MacDuff says: “As well try to fill a yawning chasm with a few grains o f sand as to satisfy the gulf o f the soul’s desires with the pleasures of an empty world.” ■ Cyrus, the conqueror, thought he was making a fine thing out o f the world. Before he went to his grave, he wrote his awn epitaph: “ 1 am Cyrus. I occupied the Persian Empire. I was king over Asia. Begrudge me not this monument.” What bargain have you made with God? Jesus shows us clearly what a bad bargain amounts to. “ Whosoever shall be ashamed o f me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, o f him also shall the Son o f man be ashamed, zvhen H e cometh in the glory o f his pather with the holy angels”- (v. 38).. That can mean nothing except—a'tptal loss.- The lesson committee call$ our attention to tw o’’later prophecies o f our Lord, in which He seeks to impress upon His dis­ ciples the thought that His path led straight to Calvary—and then—a resur­ rection. Read 9:30-32 and 10:32-34. This leaves us with something very definite to think through. He who arose from the dead submitted to the death of the cross. Here lies the mystery o f the atonement. There was, on the human

April 1, 1928 The Suffering Messiah Text : Mk. 8 :27-9:1 ; 30-32 ; 10:32-34. T F one will read the short story o f the healing o f the blind man o f Bethsaida (vs. 22-26 o f Chapter 8) he will discover a remarkable connection with the account

of Peter’s confession of Christ. Jesus had healed this man in an unusual way, for the blind man’s sight had come gradually in­ stead o f immediately. At . the Saviour’s first touch, the man

was able to see "men as trees, walking.” After the second touch, “he saw every man clearly." Our lesson story next re­ lates an illustration o f the gradual open­ ing o f eyes to spiritual truth. Peter’s spiritual sight had been at first confused. Now we read that after Jesus, asked His disciples: “ Whom say ye that I am?” (v. 29), Peter declares for the first time: “ Thou art the Christ—the Son o f the liv­ ing God?’Tfi Let it be noticed that Jesus first asked: “ Whom say MEN that I am?" This com­ pels them to face the fact that they were a small minority in the world. Let the children o f God realize that this is still true—nevertheless, like the disciples, we may have the witness o f the Spirit within that our Master is none other than "the Son o f the living God." Men said various things about Jesus. Some thought He was John the Baptist. Some, Blijah; some, a prophet. : Regard­ less o f what MEN think, the vital ques­ tion is : “ Whom say YÉ that H e is?" We are called to individual testimony. We cannot hide behind the general opinion. We must have firm, personal convictions. The Saviour’s deity had many times been implied and John the Baptist had clearly taught it, yet only gradually did it dawn upon the disciples, through His, words and works, that the Son o f man was the Son o f God. Matthew’s account shows that Peter’s utterance was the very cornerstone o f the church. Jesus saw in Peter’s reply the germ of all that living faith by which true be­ lievers throughout the age, should be animated. “ On this rock I will build my church,” said Jesus, and on this the church has always stood. Take away the corner­ stone o f the experience o f Christ the Son of the Hying God, and the church will crumble into'the sand. Immediately after Peter’s clear acknowl­ edgment o f His deity, Jesus “began to teach them” (v. 31) o f His coming rejec­ tion, suffering, death and resurrection. Thé cross sinks to a low level unless we realize the deity of Christ, The heights of His glory had been revealed; now He may tell them o f the depths of His sacri­ ficial humiliation. The knowledge o f His deity should give them assurance that for

“ Take My Class Away” In a certain Sunday school, there was a godly man, who used to be a sailor. He knew little of history, and nothing of science, but he knew Jesus. He wanted to teach a class, and they gave him fourteen boys who had been gathered in from the street. He so taught the class that every one became a Christian and joined the church. When these boys reached the teen age, he said to the Superin­ tendent : “Take my. class away! I am uneducated. I can not lead, them any?higlfer; but I have led them to Christ. Give me,” he said, “a new class that does not know Christ, and I will try and lead them to the Good Shepherd.” Another class o f the same type and number was given him, and before he died every one of them had found Christ.

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