Suddenly, when they looked around, they saw no one with them except Jesus.
I. JESUS OUTLIVES HIS RECOMMENDATIONS. He is ever more, far more, than he appears to be. Some things and persons have nothing remaining when you strip the pretense and tinsel away. The radiance subsides into damp mist, and the glorious brightness proves but bottle-glass. It is this overmastering intrinsic worth and power of Jesus which explains his enduring influence. Eloquent advocacy has been engaged in his cause, great ideas have been associated with him, his claims have been attested by miraculous powers and signs, and ever and again the background of the Divine mystery from which he emerged has revealed itself, and a multitude of external proofs etc., are forthcoming when required; but he himself is greater than them all, and contains their latent possibilities within himself. When excitement, etc., are over, there still remains the power to elicit faith and constrain personal attachment. He himself is the ultimate verification of the faith of his disciples.
II. NOT THE SIGN OR MARVEL, BUT CHRIST IT IS THAT SAVES. The former only provisional, the latter permanent. The familiar, continuing, sympathizing Christ. The crucified One; the risen again; and in spiritual presence the Dweller in the heart of faith. It is this Christ whose power is felt within, a vital energy and a moral impulse; an Interpreter of the mysteries of life and death.
III. HE ALONE IS SUFFICIENT FOR OUR NEED. There is an unhealthy longing for dainties in things spiritual as in bodily satisfactions. His teaching, his example, his sympathy, his perfect sacrifice, are ours if we but believe. God his testified his approval and acceptance, and commends him to us. Our own experience will seal and confirm the prophecies and attestations of others: "Now we believe, not because of thy saying; for we have heard him ourselves; and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Savior of the world" (John 4:42). - M.
Save Jesus only.I. When the workman is tempted to waste his employer's substance, or the time which is his property, and says to himself, "There is nobody to see; nobody will know," he would be checked if he remembered and realized that in absolute fact he owes his duty to no man, save to Jesus only, Jesus who for thirty years shared the workman's lot, and put dignity forever upon honest handiwork.
II. But not alone for this world's business and behaviour, and temperament, is this thought true: in the matter of the soul's salvation blessed are they who see no man save Jesus only.
1. There is danger for the young in letting their religion be based on mere love or regard for a minister or a religious friend.
2. Others there are who allow their religion to be unduly influenced by particular places and circumstances.
3. In the days when we feel burdened with a sense of our sin, may we then look to no man, save to Jesus only.
4. In the hour of death you will have the one Friend to go with you, when all others must leave you.
(Canon Erskine Clarke.)
"Bring forth the royal diadem,
And crown Him Lord of all!"If, in the closing hour of life, the Saviour is as near to us, we cannot complain of the lack of other comforters. We shall be sure to awake at last to His likeness, and shall shine forth as the sun, in our Father's kingdom.
(J. H. Norton.)
I. THOUGH PHYSICAL HEALTH DEPARTS, HE ABIDES. When heart and flesh fail, He is present to succour and strengthen the soul, and to bear it to one of the many mansions He has prepared.
II. THOUGH WORLDLY POSSESSIONS DISAPPEAR, HE REMAINS. Secular wealth, rightly used, is an incalculable blessing; it not only serves to relieve from all worldly anxieties, and minister to bodily comfort and intellectual enjoyment, but also gives us power to help our fellowmen both temporally and spiritually. But how often do riches take wings and fly away! But Christ is the true riches: He is of more value than untold gold; and nothing can deprive us of Him.
III. THOUGH DEAREST FRIENDS DEPART, HE ABIDES. Good men are constantly losing from their social sphere those who have charmed them with their presence, and inspired them with their talk. When listening to them either in the sanctuary, the club, or on the domestic hearth, they have felt it good to be there. But one by one they vanish; the time comes when the best is gone, and all is social desolation; and like the disciples, they look around, and see no man any more, save Jesus only, with themselves. He is the abiding Friend, and having Him we have all.
(D. Thomas, D. D.)I. It was a symbolical intimation that WHEN HE THAT IS PERFECT AND ETERNAL HAD COME, ALL THAT WAS IMPERFECT AND PREPARATORY SHOULD VANISH AWAY. And that this latter was the character both of the Law and the Prophets is obvious. Moses had Christ constantly in view, and the entire scheme of Levitical worship which he was inspired to draw up, looked forward to Him. So, too, the prophets in various ways predicted an age of surpassing glory, which should culminate at the Messiah's coming.
II. Not only was all prophecy fulfilled in Christ, BUT THE PROPHETIC CHARACTER ALSO RECEIVED ITS PERFECT DEVELOPMENT IN HIM. He not only announced, He was, the Word of God. The lesson of this mysterious scene was this: that Moses and Elias and Christ were three no longer, no more separated, but made one by God. Legislator and prophet both were summoned to the scene of the transfiguration, and both symbolically (by vanishing away, leaving Jesus only with the disciples) consigned their finished work into Christ's hands, knowing that henceforth there was but one dispensation, one tabernacle, one gospel.
(H. M. Luckock, D. D.)
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