If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies,…
1. The comfort of love — when love is mutual — no one questions. The dependent child, in the arms of the loving mother, experiences it. There is no comfort in selfishness, indifference, and hate.
2. As over against all the reasonings of the enemies of Christianity, there stands out in bold relief this unanswerable fact, that Christ comes with comfort — the com fort of love — to a world full of suffering. The mission of our Saviour, as put by Isaiah (Isaiah 41:2), is to "comfort all that mourn" (Luke 4:18). As light to the eye, as food and water to the body, more than as medicine to the sick, is this Divine comfort of love to a world full of broken hearts.
3. Stoicism, born before the story of the manger was told, teaching indifference alike to pain and pleasure, illustrates the highest achievement of human wisdom; but it offers no comfort to a suffering world.
4. The Lord's Supper is an object lesson — the culminating expression of God's comforting love.
5. Standing by the cross, we grasp the full measure of God's comforting love.
6. It is not strange that men with honest love have struggled to compass this mystery, but it is strange that men should have converted that which is the comfort of love into a battlefield.
(J. G. Butler, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies,