because He was teaching His disciples. He told them, "The Son of Man will be delivered into the hands of men. They will kill Him, and after three days He will rise."
words are concerned, it was the same gospel as that which woke the nations at Pentecost; yet it was as if still-born; an abstraction; a mystery past finding out. It is a sad monologue; a recitative upon a minor key. Reasons for this failure and ineffectiveness -
I. IT WAS NOT UNDERSTOOD. From human standpoint all but incomprehensible; as it certainly could not have been originally conceived by man. A mood and sentiment too elevated for ordinary moral natures. An important consideration in determining the question as to who founded Christianity - Christ or his disciples. The "prophet" must not discourse in an unknown tongue.
II. IT COULD NOT BE UNDERSTOOD UNTIL IT WAS ACCOMPLISHED. Intelligence, moral perception, and spiritual illumination waited upon the finished work. It was, so to speak, a moral creation, which beforehand only the Author could comprehend, and afterwards still he alone perfectly. Each step in the evolution of it, up to a certain point, only deepened the mystery. When Christ realized his work of salvation in act, his people began to realize it in thought and experience.
III. AND THEN ONLY COULD IT BE UNDERSTOOD THROUGH THE SPIRITUAL LIFE IT CALLED FORTH. Christ had to evoke the very faculty by which the plan and spirit of his work were to be discerned. It is "unto Jews a stumbling-block, and unto Gentiles foolishness; but unto them that are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God" (1 Corinthians 1:23, 24). The world by wisdom knew it not, "but we received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us by God Now the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness unto him; and he cannot know them, because they are spiritually judged" (1 Corinthians 2:12 -14). It is not until we learn the true character of God, and, in the light of that, the nature of sin, that we can from the heart approve of the career of Jesus as "the way of salvation." - M.
And they departed thence, and passed through Galilee.I. HE EXPLAINED TO THEM HIS PRESENT STATE. He was about to be delivered by a traitorous disciple, etc.
II. HE TOLD THEM THE PARTIES INTO WHOSE POWER HE HAD BEEN GIVEN.
1. To be delivered into the hands of men, is to be put into their power — to do to Him, and with Him, as they chose.
2. They could have this power only by special permission — from the Father, and Himself.
3. It is marvellous that He should have been so delivered. God in humanity! It brought out their desperate wickedness, proved the voluntariness of His obedience, showed how blind sin is in its supposed triumphs, etc.
III. HE TOLD THEM WHAT MUST BEFALL HIM AT THE HANDS OF MEN.
1. That Christ was to die, was not now foretold for the first time, predicted, etc.
2. This death of Christ was necessary, etc.
IV. HE FURTHER REVEALED TO THEM THE FUTURE, BY TELLING THEM OF HIS RESURRECTION. The result of an agency, neither human nor satanic, but Divine; prophecy, etc., called for it. Conclusion:
2. In His sufferings and resurrection He saw His people.
3. He unveiled the future to His disciples. They were contending for honour — on the brink of sufferings — understood not the warning of Christ
(J. Parker, D. D.)
(Frances Ridley Havergal.)
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