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Pictures of Jesus Christ.

Pictures of Jesus Christ.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on May 20, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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PICTURES OF JESUS CHRIST.BY JOSEPH PARKER LUKE 13The Mme day there came certain of the Pharisees, saying onto him, Getthee out, and depart hence: for Herod will kill thee. And he said ontothem, Go ye, and tell that fox, Behold, I cast out devils, and I do curesto-day and to-morrow, and the third day I shall be perfected. evertheless1 must walk to-day, and to-morrow, and the day following : for it cannot bethat a prophet perish out of Jerusalem. O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, whichkillest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee ; how oftenwould I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather herbrood under her wings, and ye would not 1 **HEREy then, is a picture of a threatened man. Jesus Christwas continually being threatened. There seemed everyday to be but a hair's-breadth between him and death. He wasdespised and rejected of men ; there was no beauty in him thatman should desire his presence. Yet there was something abouthim which excited the passion, the most terrible vengeance of mankind. He held his life in his hand, in a special and peculiarway. Who was there that did not lift up a hand against him ?Who was there not too mean to pucker up his face into a sneerwhen he saw the Son of God ? And who was there not too feebleto suppose that even he could do some damage to the name of theMessiah ? What was there, then, to induce Jesus Christ to liveupon the earth ? The foxes had holes and the birds of the airhad nestSy but the Son of man had not where to lay his head.Why, then, should he not have made short work of it; haveturned right round and said, '^ I leave the dust of my feet behindme as a testimony against you; I have made you an offer of truth and of life and of love, and you have rejected that offer.I leave you now to all the consequences of your obstinacy ''?Yet he came to be upon the earth in this very position in whichwe find him. He knew the kind of hospitality that awaited him ;he knew how homeless he would be; how hard would be the319
320 THE PEOPLE ' S BIBLE, p-uke xiii. 3 1-34.pillow on which his weary head was to rest; how unkind thelooks that would be waiting for him here and there, on the righthand and on the left Yet, for our sakes, he became poor, thatwe through his poverty might be made rich. There was nothingstrange in the revelation of this lot which met the Saviour— thatis to say, there was nothing strange to his mind; he was notstartled by the mode of reception that was accorded to him.From the height of heaven he foresaw it ; before coming to theearth at all he knew all the courses through which he most of necessity pass. Still, in the face of it all, he came to seek andto save that which was lost. Behold, then, in this text, a pictureof a threatened man. There b a sword against thy life ; thereis a king against thee I Thirty years before Herod the Greathad sought the young Child to destroy him ; and now, after thelapse of a generation, Herod the Tetrarch sends messages bythe Pharisees, that his hand was against him. What a threatenedlife I What a position of discomfort, of misinterpretation, of utter friendlessness, of sore distress! I want you to look atJesus Christ in this aspect, and to keep your eyes steadily uponhim whilst such messages are being delivered; because it isunder such circumstances that we may get some hint of thereal quality of his character.Why did Herod threaten Jesus ? Why was the life of Christa threatened life from the beginning to the end ? Because goodis always unpalatable to evil. That which is good alwaystorments that which is bad. But had not Herod far greaterinfluence in the world than Jesus Christ ? o. But Herod couldstrike! True, but in doing so his arm would rot Wherein,then, is the superiority of the influence of this threatened man ?It is in its goodness. Good men have everything to hope fromtime ; bad men have everything to fear from the lapse of days.Beauty can stand the wear and the tear of life — the inward andimperishable beauty of consummate goodness and divine truth.Goodness is a perpetual quantity, all penetrating, all searching;impartial, noble, a comfort in distress, a refuge to the weak, atower and a defence to all men who wish to be right and to doright Had it been a case of man against man, position againstposition, hand against hand, truly Herod would have made shortLukexiiL32.] PICTURES OF JESUS CHRIST. 321work of this controversy; he would have thrown down his
antagonist, set his foot upon him, and with a loud " Ha, ha ! "would have declared his triumph. But it was a question of lighton the part of Jesus Christ, — light against darkness, truth againstfalsehood, God against the devil. o wonder, therefore, thatwhen the controversy was so vital and so keen Jesus Christshould have been surrounded, if I may so express myself, by anatmosphere of menace, of threatening, of ill-will, and of latentdetermination to shed his blood. I am anxious to know howJesus Christ will conduct himself under such circumstances.Herod has pronounced the authoritative word. Kings ought notto be forced to the humiliation of eating up their own messages.When the Tetrarch speaks he ought to have meaning in hisspeech. It will tell to the disadvantage of Herod if, afler allthis, he come to humiliation and shame. Some men think theyhave only to threaten and the earth will quake at once. It wouldappear that some persons are under the delusion that theyhave but to shake their finger in the face of the sun, and it willbe night presently. Herod sent word to Christ to get out of his jurisdiction, or he would kill him. I am anxious to know howJesus Christ, without home or friend, will conduct himself undersuch circumstances. Let us read how he answered the messageof Herod the Tetrarch : — "And he said unto them. Go ye, and tell that fox, Behold, least outdevils, and I do cures to-day and to-morrow, and the third day I shall beperfected ** (ver. 32).Here you have a picture of impotent rage on the part of Herod the Tetrarch. He thought that Jesus Christ would trembleunder the message. He instantly treats it with disdain, withnoble haughtiness of conscious superiority to the shaft that islevelled against him ; and he describes Herod according to themoral traits of his character. He does not hesitate to call Heroda fox \ a mere cunning, designing man, only courageous whenthere is no danger at hand; scheming and plotting in his den,but having no true bravery of heart; an evil-minded person,whose whole character is summed up in the word '^ fox." What — did Jesus Christ, then, call men names ? ot in the usual senseof that expression. Did he call Herod a fox out of mere defianceor spite? He was incapable of doing anything of the kind.VOL. 31322 THE PEOPLE'S BIBLE. [Luke xiii. 32.

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