And they were in the way going up to Jerusalem; and Jesus went before them: and they were amazed; and as they followed…
See the union of two apparently contradictory things. The fear was not enough to stop the following, nor the following sufficient to arrest the fear. That walk up to Jerusalem illustrative of the path to heaven. You follow Christ, you love Him too much not to follow Him. But your religion is an amazement; it creates fear. Certainly, if you were not a follower, you would not be a fearer. I never knew anyone begin to fear till God had begun to love him, and he had begun to love God. The fear is an index that you are on the road. Fear! ought we not to be beyond it; ought not to be the motive. How is it that a real follower may be a real fearer?
I. THEY HAD NOT ADEQUATE IDEAS OF HIM WHOM THEY FOLLOWED. They did not know what exceeding care He takes of His own. If you knew the character and work of Christ you would get rid of fear.
II. THOUGH THE DISCIPLES LOVED CHRIST, THEY DID NOT LOVE HIM AS HE DESERVED. If they had, the love would have absorbed the fear; they would have rejoiced to die with Him.
III. They had not, what the Master had, one great, FIXED, SUSTAINING AIM. This will lift above the petty shafts of little disturbances; above yourself.
IV. THE DISCIPLES HAD THEIR FEARS UNDEFINED. It was the indefinite which terrified them. Take these four rules.
1. You that follow and are afraid, fortify yourself in the thought of what Christ is — His Person, work, covenant; and what He is to you.
2. Love Him very much, and realize your union with Him.
3. Set a high mark, and carry your life in your hand, so you may reach that mark, and do something for God.
4. Often stop and say deliberately to yourself, "Why art thou cast down, O my soul." Many increase their fears by thinking so much about them. The onward going will gradually overcome the inward fear.
(J. Vaughan, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And they were in the way going up to Jerusalem; and Jesus went before them: and they were amazed; and as they followed, they were afraid. And he took again the twelve, and began to tell them what things should happen unto him,
WEB: They were on the way, going up to Jerusalem; and Jesus was going in front of them, and they were amazed; and those who followed were afraid. He again took the twelve, and began to tell them the things that were going to happen to him.