I am the rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valleys.
Jesus calls Himself first, "the Rose of Sharon," and then, "the Lily of the Valleys." Let us consider what He means.
I. THE ROSE OF SHARON. Of all the flowers that God has made, the rose, take it all in all, is the loveliest and the sweetest. It has three things in perfection — shape, colour, and fragrance. Indeed, we may call it the queen of flowers. Now, it is in its sweetness especially that the rose reminds me of the Lord Jesus Christ. His character was marked not only by manliness, but also with what we may call "sweetness," for he had all the firmness of a man and all the tenderness of a woman. I will give you another reason for the comparison of Christ to a rose. The rose is the most common as well as the most beautiful of all the flowers. You find it wherever you go, — in all countries and in all places. In fact, it is the universal flower: it belongs to everybody. And in this respect it resembles Christ, for Christ is the common property of all — of the peasant as well as of the prince; of poor as well as of rich; of the child as well as of the full-grown man. He belongs to all nations, too — to the dwellers in north and south and east and west; arid there is no one, whatever he may be, or wherever he lives, who cannot say, "The Lord Jesus Christ is my Saviour, and I claim Him as my own."
II. But the Saviour calls Himself in the text THE LILY OF THE VALLEYS, and we have now to consider what this second title is intended to teach us. Supposing that "the Lily of the Valleys" is the flower which we know by that name — you all remember how graceful it is, with pretty little white bells ranged in a row on a tapering stalk, and how it appears to hide itself modestly under the shade of its broad green leaves. Now, why is it thus chosen? Partly because the lily is of a beautiful white colour, and represents purity. And you know how pure the Lord Jesus Christ was. Never at any time did He think, or say, or do anything that was wrong. As a child, as a boy, as a man, He was absolutely free from fault. But the lily of the valley — because it has a drooping head, and retires behind the shade of its broad green leaves, instead of thrusting itself forward — may be taken as an emblem of lowliness or humility, and so will serve to remind us of the Lord Jesus Christ.
III. We will try, in conclusion, to APPLY THE SUBJECT TO OURSELVES, So that we may be the better, by God's blessing, for having talked about it and thought about it. We have the example of the Lord Jesus Christ proposed to us. He is perfect, and we can never hope to be perfect. But we may become, by the kind help of His Holy Spirit, more and more like Him every day.
(G. Calthrop, M. A.).
Parallel VersesKJV: I am the rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valleys.