P. 1


|Views: 4|Likes:

I am Jesus, whom thou persecutest. — Acts ix. 5.

I am Jesus, whom thou persecutest. — Acts ix. 5.

More info:

Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Oct 16, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
download as PDF, TXT or read online from Scribd
See more
See less







I am Jesus, whom thou persecutest. — Acts ix. 5. TT strikes us with wonder that our Lord could ¦*¦ say, even when He was in human form, of all ministry to suffering man, " Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these My brethren, ye have done it unto Me." It is even more difficult to grasp the great fact that in the midst of the joys at the right hand of God the ascended Lord could so feel Himself one with His humble followers that He could make to the affrighted Paul the declaration, "I am Jesus, whom thou persecutest." What had the wrongs of those lowly men and women in that little spot of earth to do with the "Only Begotten Son, full of grace and truth,'' in the glory of His Father's presence? Our Lord in His great compassion has chosen to link Himself, the Head with the body, even the Church of faithful believers. Ascended into

ASCE DED. 235 heaven, it had not pleased Him to sever that connection. He could feel the sufferings of His humblest members, and count their persecution as directed against Himself. Our sense of our unworthiness to be brought into this sacred relation with our Great Redeemer fosters a kind of unbelief in this most consoling of realities. As the soul resides in the body and permeates and

influences its every part, so, it is revealed to us, our Master dwells, after His wonderful fashion, in the hearts of His true servants one and all. "Know ye not that Christ dwelleth in you, except ye be reprobates?" — "I in them, and they in Me." Let us welcome with deep adoration this great mystery, in which the Lord makes us, His poor human children, His temple, consecrated to His use. And let us not stupidly and self -righteously assume that we individually alone are to have this privilege, or that it is limited to the small body of Christians to which we ourselves belong. Let us respect the humblest and most faltering of the servants of Christ as a part of His body, — a trifling part, a diseased part possibly; yet a part to be healed and exalted and made useful through the indwelling power of God. Let us not set ourselves on a pinnacle, as so perfect in the interpretation of the Word that we may cast out in scorn the self-denying fol-

236 OUR ELDER BROTHER. lowers of Christ who may differ from us in some minor point of doctrine, at best but dimly revealed, lest we hear the voice of the Master saying, "I am Jesus, whom thou persecutest in the form of My blinded and devoted disciple." We are not to suppose that in the early days of the Church, when converts were suddenly made by thousands, they were all deeply versed in the subtle truths of the new religion. Indeed, we know through the inspired Epistles that many of those first Christians were in dark-

ness as to what we might now consider cardinal points of belief and practice. Yet they had a devotedness that risked all for the cause of Christ. They would rather die than deny their Master, and He was so one with them that He reckoned their persecution as persecution of Himself. If our Lord so unites Himself with the whole Church, how specially He must consider Himself represented by the appointed ambassadors who preach and minister in His name. An ambassador at an earthly court must be honored, because he represents his ^ sovereign and his people. He may be awkward and uncouth, and personally unworthy, but he must receive a certain amount of outward respect, as he stands, not for himself, but for the power from which he is accredited. To his own master he is respon-

ASCE DED. 237 sible for what lie is, and for his fitness for the office he holds. An indulged, unfounded dislike for this or that clergyman, for what he is privately and personally, a light criticism of his manners and peculiarities, an assumption of superiority in speaking of him, as if he were responsible to the critic for his amount of gifts and graces, may seem trifling offences; yet by disrespect to a clergyman, an undeserved reproach cast on his person and name, his influence may be slowly undermined, and his office brought into contempt. The Lord, identifying Himself with His servant and ambassador, may whisper reproachfully to the self-satisfied fault-finder

and scandal-monger, "I am Jesus, whom thou persecutest." It is a serious matter, that touches the honor of the King of kings. Let those who know certainly of real wrong-doings by such authorized messengers of the Gospel be ready to suffer themselves for the purifying of the Church. Let them be willing to testify openly against such offenders before the proper authorities, and so have them lawfully deposed. This is a far better way to show zeal for truth and righteousness than by casting slurs upon the whole clerical body, or privately denouncing this or that clergyman as unfit to minister at the altar.

238 OUR ELDER BROTHER. What a solemn responsibility rests on the clergy, who so particularly and officially represent the Heavenly King ! How pure they should be in life and conversation, how above all reproach ! How sound they should be in doctrine ! How diligent they should be in their high calling! How they should shine with the brightness of them who are much " on the Mount " in sweet, loving communion with the Great Head of the Church ! It is not alone private Christians and clergymen who are honored images and substitutes of the King of kings. We have His messengers in the nursery and the hovel, in the hospital, and even sometimes in the prison. If we withhold rights from the lowly, freedom to worship from the devout, and help from the needy, to us comes. the voice of reproof, "I am Jesus, whom thou persecutest."

David could cherish the lame Mephibosheth, and welcome the unfortunate cripple to the royal table, for the sake of the princely friend of his humble youth. Is there no sufferer you can succor for the sake of a higher Prince, who has given you a share in His birthright, and an inheritance with Him in His kingdom? Observing children might tell of flattering guests who have praised and caressed them in the presence of their parents, but, meeting them

ASCE DED. 239 in other society, have shown a profound indifference to their merits and attractions. How do we meet the despised, the distressed of this world, when forgetful that the eye of the Great Friend of all is upon us? Let us beware lest we, now heartlessly indifferent to the sufferings of our brethren, should hear, at the last solemn Day of Retribution, the voice of the Judge Himself pronouncing our doom in the words, "I am Jesus, whom thou hast persecuted! "

1. 68 FREE BOOKS http://www.scribd.com/doc/21800308/Free-Christian-Books

2. ALL WRITI GS http://www.scribd.com/glennpease/documents?page=1000

You're Reading a Free Preview

/*********** DO NOT ALTER ANYTHING BELOW THIS LINE ! ************/ var s_code=s.t();if(s_code)document.write(s_code)//-->