King's Business - 1928-04


T h e K i n g ’ s B u s i n e s s

April 1928

International Lesson Commentary

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

To use a modern slang phrase, the dis­ ciples had told the man to “cut it out.” Said they— “Either line up with us or close up.” This is sectarianism, pure and simple. Bear in mind that this man was sincere, and apparently successful in his work, ,and that he was doing his work in the name o f Christ. Are you a Baptist? Can you bear to see Christ’s kingdom ad­ vanced by the Presbyterians—the Meth- odistS^Sa Dr. Adam Clarke once said: “ Some are so wedded to their own crowd, that they would rather let sinners perish-than suf­ fer those who differed from them to be­ come the instruments o f their salvation.” This is the very spirit that Christ rebuked. The supreme question is—“What is Christ’s attitude toward those with whom we disagree?” If, in His name, they are causing men to be miraculously born from above, He is still saying : “Forbid them not.” If a worker is teaching serious error in His name, and is known to be using deceptive methods, a different case is pre­ sented, but we are to beware o f nar­ rowing Christ’s cause down to our own party. Remember that Jesus may look with approval upon a work which even a John would forbid. W e may pity and pray for those who lack the full perception o f truth as we may see it, guiding those who give evidence o f sincerity, but let us not expect absolute conformity either of opin-- ■ion or -methods. “H e that is not against us,” said Jesus, “is on our part” (v. 40). It is useless to try to stretch this statement to cover the whole reformatory system. He does not give His approval to all who are engaged in suppressing evil. He is referring to those who sincerely work in His name (cf. vs. 39, 41), which implies that they preach a salvation based upon His merits as the divine Redeemer. ■ Although this unattached worker had been, criticized by the disciples, he should not lose his reward, for Jesus adds: “ Whosoever shall give a cup o f cold water to drink in my name, and because he belongs to Christ, shall not lose his re­ ward” (v. 41). Note the two qualifica­ tions and remember that whether it is a “miracle” (v. 39) or but the giving of a “ cup o f COLD water” (implying that some pains have been taken to procure it), Jesus takes note of what His true servants do, and they cannot fail to be rewarded. Carrying on the thought of service, the lesson now takes us to chap. 10:35-45, re­ cording the attempts o f James and John to secure places of preeminence for them­ selves. Alas, how little had the words of Jesus sunk into their minds! These two, no doubt, had occupied a better social po­ sition than some of the others; probably they had given up more to follow Jesus. They came to Him saying: “ Grant unto us that we may sit, one on thy right hand, and the other on the left in thy glory" (10:37). Can it be that any of us are guilty of abusing our comradeship with Him, to ask unreasonable things?

M ay 6 , 1928 Greatness Th rough Service Texts : Mark 9 :33-41; 10:35-45. , —o— L esson in O utline I. Strife fo r Preeminence. 9 :33-50. 1. The disciples, in Capernaum, quizzed concerning their reasonings on the way. V. 33. 2. No reply, caused by guilty con­ science. V. 34. 3. True attitude o f a Christian illus­ trated by little child. Vs. 35-37.- 4. The selfish sectarian spirit o f James and John condemned. Vs. 38-42. 5. The necessity of parting with every­ thing that hinders in the spiritual life. Vs. 43-48. 6 . The necessity o f being preserved by being salted with fiery trials and tests. Vs. 49, 50. II. A selfish petition requested and re­ jected. 10:35-40. 1. James and John’s request for posi- . tions of. honor in the future kingdom. Vs. 35-37, 2. Such honors for those for whom in­ tended. Vs. 38-40. III. The false and true views o f great­ ness. 10:41-45. 1. Tlie popular false conception of greatness, current among the Gen­ tiles, denounced to the ten indignant disciples. Vs. 41, 42. 2. The true standard of greatness seen in a life of humility, self-renuncia­ tion, and service for others, Jesus be­ ing the type. Vs. 43-45. —o— TF all men—or even all professing Chris- A tians— fully realized that the Son of God knows their conduct and conversa­ tion along the way, and that He will call them to face the wrong-doing, what a different w o r l d it would be! As Jesus came to Capernaum, when He was in the house, He a s k e d : “ What was it that ye disputed among your­ selves (lit. “ debated” ) by the way?’’ (9 : 33). He needed not to ask, but He would shame them by bringing them to a con­ fession. Here were some o f His disciples bringing strife to the very gates of Geth- semane—the place of prayer. From such a thing may God save u s! Yet how often it occurs! Those who go to the Lord’s house for the purpose o f outshining some­ one else—who. want to be the whole thing or nothing—are sure to get into a debate. “ They held their peace, fo r they had disputed among themselves, who should be the greatest” (v. 34). This is a ques­ tion that is still much disputed. It will never be settled aright until it is brought to Jesus. If we try to settle it for our­ selves, we shall eventually come, face to face with Him, and all the embarrassment will be ours.

Many have requested an out­ line o f the lesson for teach­ ers. Mr. Cooper is therefore furnishing this material in place o f the comments sup­ plied heretofore, U n d e r “ Lesson Heart” a very com­ plete treatment o f the lesson will he given.

Calling the twelve unto Him, Jesus said: " I f any man desire to be first, the same shall be last o f all, and servant o f all” (v. 35). False pride is bound to bring a man down. The sure way to be first in the sight o f God and man, is to get busy and be serviceable to everybody. Those who will be owned of Christ are those who have most resembled Christ. The Master proceeds to give them an object ■lesson. He sets a child in the midst of the whole world to teach the highest les­ son . , /' '. , '■ “ When H e had taken the child in His arms, H e said, Whosoever shall receive one o f such ¡children in my name, re­ ceiveth me; and whosoever receiveth me, receiveth not me, but him that sent me” (vs. 36-37). What is the connection with the preceding words ? The lesson was ap­ parent. The very sight of the child would suggest that, to such, human distinctions mean nothing. A child, true to his nature, won’t be worrying about social or political standing, elegance or inelegance. Child- likeness means trust, simplicity, humility, guilelessnes|j; As Dr. Jowett says: “When we grow away from childlikeness we are in a decline.” These .are days when we hear much about “self-made men.” Men are taught the laws of psychology that they may know how to take advantage o f others and push their way into places o f honor. Doubtless lack of self-confidence is a fault in some, but as certain as our Lord’s, words are true, the doors which men force for themselves, do not open into en­ during service and into eternity. _The man who humbly desires to do the will of God and serve in the name o f Christ, is the one who makes the greatest progress. Another lesson is here thrown in—the obligation to receive little children in His name. They are sharers with believers^ in the divine covenant. It is a serious thing when a Christian stands in a child’s way and cheats him out o f his immortal por­ tion. Evidently John was made a bit uneasy by the Saviour’s words as to “receiving others in His name,” for he recalls a re­ cent happening and breaks in on the dis­ course: “Master, we saw one casting out demons in Thy name, and he followeth not us; and we forbade him” (v. 38). In other words, “Was it right for us to for­ bid one to cast out demons in Thy name, if the receiving even of a little child in Thy name, is the same as receiving Thee ?”

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