King's Business - 1915-02



for John, “Blessed is he whosoever shall find none occasion of stumbling in Me.” This also was a reference to Old Testament prediction concerning the Messiah (Isa. 8: 14, 15). Saturday, February 6. Matthew 11:7-11. Our Lord had sent to John a word of cheer, but with it a gentle word of reproof; but when the messengers were out of hear­ ing, He gave to the multitudes a glowing testimony to John’s worth and greatness. As for the moment John had been shaken in his faith, it might seem to them that he was a “reed shaken with the wind,” but he was not. Niether was he a man seeking his own glory and comfort, gorgeously appar­ elled and living delicately (cf. Luke 7:25). He was a prophet, i. e. a man directly com­ missioned, sent and inspired of God, by God’s own authority declaring God’s mind to man (cf. Luke 1 :76, 15-17). But John was even more than a prophet. He was himself the subject of Old Testament prophecy, one of whom the great prophets of olden time had spoken (v. 10; Mai. 3:1; 4:5, 6; Isa. 40:3; John 1:23). He was the one man chosen from the whole human race to be God’s messenger, to go before the face of God’s incarnate Son and prepare the way before Him. He filled one of the loftiest positions ever filled by man; among purely human beings, there is “none greater than John, the Baptist,” and yet our Lord Jesus Christ was so much greater than John the Baptist that the latter was not worthy to bear His shoes (ch. 3 :11; John 1:27). Great as John was as a forerunner of Christ and as a preparer of the way for the kingdom, he was not yet in the kingdom, and the one who is “but little” but really “in the king­ dom” is greater than even John, We who today are “in the kingdom” see and hear of things which prophets desired to see and hear but did not (Luke 10:23, 24). Things are now clearly revealed to us which had been hidden from the beginning of the world (Eph. 3:8, 9; Col. 1:25, 27; 1 Peter 1: JO- 12). The one who in this dispensation is ac­

tually in the kingdom enjoys privileges im­ measurably beyond what any before the kingdom was established ever knew. And yet the full establishment of that kingdom upon earth is still ahead of us. Who then can measure, or even imagine, what its priv­ ileges shall be? Sunday, February 7. Matthew 11:12-19. John’s preaching had aroused such an in­ terest in the things concerning the kingdoin of God that many were endeavoring to vio­ lently press into the kingdom. Both the prophets and the law had set forth the com­ ing of the Messiah, but John came in the spirit and power of Elijah (Luke 1:17) and in him Elijah came again (Matt. 17:11-13). But still the leaders of the Jews would not have him nor would they have Jesus though they were so unlike one another. Here we have an illustration of the cavilling stub­ bornness of the human heart; it will not accept John because of his austerity; it will not accept Jesus because of His geniality. The human heart is just the same today, it is prone to criticism and npt to obedience; if the messenger of God is an ascetic, it criticizes him; if he mixes with the people and mingles in their innocent enjoyment to win them, it criticizes him for that. Man will no( be pleased with the messenger of God, no matter how he comes. There is perhaps nothing today in which we are more like the Jews of our Lord’s day than in our readiness to criticize His messengers and in our sharpness of vision to see some fault in those who are sent by Him. Monday, February 8. Matthew 11:20~24. The gracious works of God are a call to repentance (Rom. 2:4; Acts 17:30, 31) and a challenge to faith. The greater and more manifest the works, the louder the call to repentance. If we see great works of God and do not repent, we bring great guilt and condemnation upon ourselves. Chorazin and Bethsaida had been witnesses of marvelous works of God’s grace and power in and through our Lord Jesus. This should have

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