The Attactiveness of Christ
There must have been great attractiveness in the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ, during the time of His earthly ministry, to gather around Himself so many different classes and conditions of mankind, and to detain them with Him as His disciples and willing servants. With the fickle multitude, who at times waited on His ministry, the loaves and fishes provided by Him to meet their hunger (John 6:26), and the healing virtue that flowed from His touch (Mark 1:32-34; 6:56), to their sick, might draw crowds into the deserts after Him, and around the doors of houses in which He found a rest (Mark 2:1-2).
But few of these had any real attachment to His Person. It was different with His true disciples, those whom the Father had “drawn” (John 6:37-44) to Him, who having responded to His call, had been received by Him, never to be cast out by Him (v. 37), nor to permanently desert Him, as false professors and apostates ultimately do. In answer to His inquiry, “Will ye also go away?” at a time when many “went back” to “walk no more with Him” (John 7:66-67), one who spoke on behalf of all, answered, “Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life.” This was the attraction that drew them to Him, and this the bond that kept them, spite of all their stumblings and their failures, with and around Himself He was the One who met the deepest cravings of their being, whose love won their hearts, and who, while He neither withheld His reproofs of their folly, nor condoned their ignorance of His will, yet so held them by the attractiveness of His Person, that they were ready to sacrifice all, and did leave all for His sake.
Yes, there was a wonderful attractiveness in “the Lord of glory,” to those who had been born of God and called by grace. “Fairer than the children of men” (Ps. 45:2) in His excellence, perfect in His character, or moral glory, He was the object of their devotion and the “chiefest among ten thousand” in their estimation. They clung to Him in evil and good report, and followed Him even when He was blamed for being “beside Himself” and with having a demon. Or if one in an evil hour denied Him, the bitter tears of repentance that flowed from his anguished soul, told more than the confession of his lips, how truly he loved Him, and could not rest until he was restored to His confidence and love.
And then, what different natures He was able to group and hold around Him, in these disciples! Some were impetuous and ardent, others slow and hard to convince, “Sons of thunder” and doubting Thomas, Martha of Bethany, cumbered with care, and Mary of Magdala, of loving and devoted heart, all around, near to and finding in Christ their Lord and Lover, One to whom they could come in their distresses, tell out the deepest plaint of their hearts, and find in His company their heaven on earth. And He is the same Lord Jesus still, enough, as we sing, “The mind and heart to fill,” as under the guidance and teaching of the Spirit He is presented to the soul in the Sacred Word.
Article series: Our Glorious LordA Minister of the Sanctuary: The Present Service of the Glorified Lord “He is Altogether Lovely”