« EdellinenJatka »
can hope to attain perfect union with Him? The reason we are not willing altogether to accept the Master's teachings is that we have not in heart given ourselves to Him.
Second Thought.-There is no more crucial test of the measure in which our lives have been influenced by the precepts and example of our Lord than our behaviour under insult and maltreatment. The Jews in their rage and malice called Him a Samaritan, because they despised the Samaritans as bastard Israelites, affecting the faith and worship of the people of God, though they were but Gentiles, and had no divinely authorized priesthood. To call our Lord a Samaritan was to charge Him with disloyalty to the true religion, to make Him a despiser of the things of God. Surely He might have considered this a sufficiently outrageous charge to warrant an indignant denial upon His part. But He is wholly silent with regard to it. If we could but learn of Him to hold our peace under insults, to be indifferent about justifying ourselves, how much more like Him we should be! There was no need of His clearing Himself; they did not really believe any such thing of Him. In most cases which evoke a hot repudiation of false things said about ourselves there is no need of such repudiation. No one is ever the
worse for what is said about him; it is only in so far as shameful things are true, that we need be troubled when they are spoken of us. Almost always the passionate clearing of ourselves springs from pride; to hold one's peace under unjust accusation is to exercise humility; it is to follow in the Master's footsteps. Are we His disciples? There may be much helpful suggestion in the fact that His foes charged Him with being a Samaritan, for the good Samaritan whom He has pictured in the parable was without thought of self, but much concerned to succour his neighbour. Those whose lives are full of the thought of helping their fellows are not wont to be easily disturbed by ungracious speeches.
Third Thought.-The charge that He had a devil, that His works were done through Satan's help, was one of foul impiety, insulting to God. That He could not ignore, for the common people might believe it. Very gently He says, I have not a devil. No more vehement words could have added to the impressiveness of that simple denial. It carried conviction with it. But He will have them fully understand why He has spoken so strongly and sternly of their rejection of His message to them. It is because He honours His Father, and because they have
dishonoured Him as the Father's representative. We are bound to maintain most strongly always the dignity of our religion, the holiness of the things of God. Too often we show that we have not the spirit of Christ because we do not declare ourselves boldly on God's side, champions of His honour. It is a spurious humility, begotten of cowardice, which makes us hold our peace when we ought to bear witness to the truth. The Master rebuked them also for dishonouring Himself, not in His person but in His office. We are bound to magnify whatever good things God has entrusted to us, as the clergy their priesthood, and every one the gifts of sacramental grace which he has received: we may tolerate no disparaging of these. Are we then Christ's disciples?
"And I seek not mine own glory: there is One That seeketh and judgeth. Verily, verily, I say unto you, if a man keep my saying, he shall never see death."-St. John viii. 50, 51.
Exposition.-Isaac Williams comments as follows: "Whom would He have us to understand, says Augustine, but the Father. The Father seeketh the honour of the Son, and judgeth between Him and the Jews; by raising Christ from the dead, and setting Him on His own right hand. Therefore, on His approaching passion, our Lord said, God shall glorify Him in Himself, and shall straightway glorify Him. And, Now is the judgment of this world. . . He that receiveth not my words hath One That judgeth him. Ye say that I have a devil; there is One That seeketh my glory, and discerneth between us, even God. I seek not mine own glory, nor to revenge myself; there is One Who will do so. An example to every good man when falsely accused. 'Although,' says Ludolphus, 'Christ does often in His teaching severely re
prove the Jews, yet their evil words and doings against Himself He never answers with severity or harshness.'
Sadler paraphrases thus: "Though glory from men is a matter of indifference to me, there is One That seeketh and judgeth-there is One Who seeks that men should honour me as they honour Him, and will judge those who withhold from me the honour due to me.".
And Stier: "Even as every sincerely pious servant of God would be at the utmost remove from presumptuous and self-assuming error and fanaticism, so Christ also seeks not His own honour, because He knows that the Father hath honoured and will honour Him. The Father's will is that men should honour the Son, and therefore He bears testimony to the Son; but on that very account He will one day demand it of those who now refuse.
"All these significations of the word seek are wrapped up in one great idea: but the last makes the transition to the that judgeth. Yet we are not to make glory again the complement of this latter word, for this would be contrary to the language; but rather-God my Father will judge in what concerns me between me and you, in regard to your dishonouring me. The Son of man humbly places Himself as one party con