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The Christmas Guest

The Christmas Guest

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Published by glennpease
LOUIS ALBERT BANKS


They sought therefore for Jesus, and spake one with
another, as they stood in the temple, What think ye?
That he will not come to the feast? — John 11. 56.
LOUIS ALBERT BANKS


They sought therefore for Jesus, and spake one with
another, as they stood in the temple, What think ye?
That he will not come to the feast? — John 11. 56.

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Published by: glennpease on Apr 28, 2014
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THE CHRISTMAS GUEST LOUIS ALBERT BAKSThey sought therefore for Jesus, and spake one with another, as they stood in the temple, What think ye? That he will not come to the feast? — John 11. 56. This question had its origin, no doubt, in a great variety of motives. Doubtless the motive in most cases was curiosity. The fame of J esus had spread throughout the country. They had heard of his wonderful works — stories concerned with his opening the eyes of the blind, making deaf men to hear, cleansing lepers, and causing lame and crippled people to walk and run, and last of all had come the startling announcement of his bringing Lazarus back from the grave. This miracle had been the talk of the country in an ever-widening circle for many weeks, and they had come up from the towns and villages and country places to the feast, hoping more than for anything else that they might see Jesus. Of course among them were some sullen and vicious Pharisees who hoped to see him that they might do him harm ; but the great multitude felt a true desire to see him, and to hear from his own lips the messages of wisdom. To see Jesus and hear him spea&, and possibly be healed by him, was the prevail- ing motive that had drawn the people to the feast r 381 382 THE GREAT THEMES OF THE BIBLE and so on every lip was the question anxiousl/ asked, "Will he come to the feast ?"
 
We are drawing near to our feast of Christmas good cheer, and I can imagine no theme more appropriate to the occasion and no theme with more promise of profit in it than that we should ask ourselves the question, "How can I insure the presence of Jesus as my guest at Christmas time ?" I Since we are assured in God's Word that J esus is "the same yesterday, to-day, and forever," we have some sure ground of faith as to the conditions which are necessary to assure to us the presence of Jesus as our Christmas guest. In the first place we know that if we hold Christ in loving remem- brance, and think about him, recalling his kind- nesses, and converse with our friends about his loving personality, he will be with us as our guest and commune with us. One of the sweetest incidents in all the ITew Testament is the story of Christ's appearance to the two disciples, in all probability Cleopas and his wife, who on the morning after the resurrec- tion walked out of Jerusalem to their home in Emmaus. As they went they conversed about their experiences with Christ; they talked over all they had known of him ; and as they talked the tears rolled down their cheeks, and their hearts THE CHRISTMAS GUEST 383
 
melted. And in the midst of their conversation, while they were yet a long way from their destina- tion, Jesus came and walked with them. Their eyes were holden so they did not recognize him, and the Stranger, as they took him to be, with sympathetic kindness deferentially asked them what was the subject of their conversation, which evidently gave them such great sadness. And they told him that they had been talking about Jesus, a wonderful personality who had lived a life of great purity and beauty, who had wrought marvelous deeds of kindness and love, and who had been taken by wicked hands and crucified, and it was now the third day since his death, and some of the women among his friends who had gone to the tomb in the morning had brought back news of his resurrection, and they knew not what to think. Then the Stranger began to talk to them about the Old Testament Scriptures, and he recalled the prophecies to their minds, and showed thern with great clearness how the death and resur- rection of Christ were part and parcel of the prophecies of the old prophets, and as he talked their sadness dropped from them. Their tears were dried, their heavy hearts became buoyant, and their cheeks flushed with hope and faith. About this time they came near to their home, and the mysterious Stranger was bidding them farewell and going on his way. But the conversation had 384 THE GREAT THEMES OF THE BIBLE been such a comfort to their hearts that they could not bear to have him leave them. So they begged and entreated him to go in with them and spend the night as their guest. lie went in with them and tarried until the evening meal was spread, and

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