The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God;…
I. CONSIDER THE MEANING OF THE INCIDENT ITSELF, THE SPIRIT AND TRUTH WHICH IT EXPRESSES. It was, in fact, an expressive illustration of His claims as the Messiah. It was a spontaneous heart offering. It indicates Christ's influence on His own age. The truth does get honoured at times, even in its own time. The prophet is not without his reward. A noble life will touch the hearts of the people.
II. CONSIDER SOME OF THE LESSONS WHICH ARE TO BE DRAWN FROM THE CONDUCT OF THE MULTITUDE. The reputation of Christ was great. The multitude was lashed into enthusiasm. But then came disappointment. He assumed no royal dignity. "Crucify Him!" It was the fickle element that helps to constitute public opinion. We should, therefore, consider the grounds and motives from which we honour Christ. He demands more than our fickle, transient homage. He is not truly honoured by mere emotions. Men get glimpses of Christ's beauty and power. His sacrifice in its incidents moves to tears; but the real spirit and significance of it all are missed. Christ needs more than good resolutions under the influence of emotional excitement. We have to honour Him by our perfect self-surrender and trust; and by our actions amid the mire, and toil, and dust of daily traffic. Real honour must be faithful and persistent, like that of the loving women who, when Peter meanly shrank, stood at the last hour by His cross, and were, on the first dawn of Easter Day, at His sepulchre. There will necessarily be variations in religious moods. But uplifting moments should leave us higher when they pass. Christ asks more than public honours. Professional respectabilities not enough. He wants individual honour and homage. The true heart's sacrifice more than the hosannas of the thoughtless hollow crowd.
III. CONSIDER THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THIS TRANSACTION IN ITS RELATIONS TO CHRIST HIMSELF. It reveals His true glory. He despised the earthly crown. Outward glory was not His object. He manifested the internal, spiritual, eternal. The kind of triumph here symbolized. That was one to be reached through sorrow, agony, death; a triumph of self-sacrificing love. It was not the coronation of sorrow, but victory through death. There is no real victory which does not partake of the qualities of the Lord's. Obedient, submissive, self-sacrificing love is in our appointed path to the upward heights of glory. You may share Christ's victory. Then honour Him in a kindred spirit of sympathy and self-renunciation. My Lord and my God! Let every heart honour Him!
(E. H. Chaplin, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God;