Saturday, January 16, 2010

We Will Not Have This Man to Reign Over Us

He was alone. Among men of His own age and of His religion after the flesh, there was none able to enter into His conception of things or to soar to the height of His outlook.

Spiritually, He found no sympathy in the world at all. His spiritual concepts were not accepted by men, not understood of men. He stood alone. Such was His loneliness; materially without home, mentally without comrades, spiritually without sympathy. Life to Him was the bearing of a testimony to the essential and eternal things; the bearing of a testimony that men never apprehended, would not apprehend or receive. From the beginning to the end there crushed and pressed upon him the false concepts and false ideals of men, which at last found their supreme expression in the words so often quoted and yet so terribly revealing: "...we will not have this man to reign over us." This pressure upon Him of circumstances found its culminating expression and experience in the Cross of Calvary.

The persistence of this experience of tribulation in the history of His people has been equally definite. The story of loyal-hearted discipleship has ever been, and still is, that if a man will live godly in this world he shall suffer persecution. The church forever contradicts the world. That is its business. That is what it is in the world for; to contradict it in its fundamental conceptions, in the conduct that grows out of its fundamental conceptions, and in the character which results from the persistent conception expressing itself in conduct. The church in the world is an eternal negative to the things which are supremely of the world.

With what result? The world is forever opposed to the church. It is against the church. It will bring all its pressure to bear upon the church. It will do everything to silence her voice and destroy her influence and end her propaganda. If this is not so, it is because the church has forgotten her message. If the world now is making friends with the church, then alas for the church. The world has not changed. Its central conception of life, its ideal, is still that of the magnificence of mastery and the glory of the material. The church's ideal is still that of the magnificence of service and sacrifice and the beauty of the spiritual. These things cannot merge and mix without the quality being changed entirely on the one side or the other. The church is in the world to affirm the things of the beginning, the original things of truth, the meaning and the reason of things; to tell man what man has honestly sought to discover for himself but never has been able, the reason, the truth behind everything. The world is still saying: "We will not have these things"; the world is still against the church. The church stands in the center of this pressure, bearing her witness and feeling the agony of her loneliness and her strife with the things against which she is called to protest.

G. Campbell Morgan, Tribulation, Kingdom and Patience

No comments: