“As the Father gave me commandment, even so I do." (John 14:31)
Jesus as the God-man had omnipotence slumbering in his arms. He had the hoarded treasures of eternity in his grasp. He had only to speak, and it was done. But, as an example to his people, his whole life on earth was one impressive act of subordination and dependence. At Nazareth he was "subject to his parents" (Lk. 2:51). There he remained in studied obscurity, occupying for thirty years a lowly dwelling, willing to continue in a state of seclusion, till the Father’s summons called him to his appointed work.
At his baptism, sinless himself, he gives this reason for receiving a sinner’s rite at a sinner’s hands—"Suffer it to be so now, for thus it becometh Me to fulfill all righteousness” (Mt. 3:15). The same beautiful spirit of filial subjection shines conspic-uous amid his acts of stupendous power. “Jesus lifted up his eyes and said. Father, I thank Thee that Thou hast heard Me; and I know that Thou hearest Me always; but because of the people which stand by, I said it, that they may believe that Thou has sent Me” (Jn. 11:41-42). Even among his own disciples his language is, “I am among you as he that serveth” (Lk. 22:27). With an act of submission he closed his pilgrimage and work of love. "Father, into Thy hands I commend My spirit” (Lk. 23:46).
What an example to us, in all this, is our beloved Lord! Surely, if he, “God only wise” (1 Tim. 1:17)—the Self-existent One, to whom “all power was committed” (Mt. 28:18)—the Sinless One, never liable to err, on whom “the Spirit was poured without measure” (Jn. 3:34)—if he manifested such habitual dependence on his heavenly Father, how earnestly ought we, weak, erring, fallible creatures, to seek to live every hour—every moment—as dependents on God’s grace and love, following in all things his directing hand!
As the servant has his eyes on his master, or the child on its parent, so should our eyes be on the Lord our God. However he speaks, be it ours with all docility to follow the voice, endorsing every utterance of providence, and every precept of Scripture, with our Lord’s own words, “This is the Father’s will!”
Beware of self-dependence. The first step in spiritual declension is this: “Let him that thinketh he standeth” (1 Cor. 10:12)! The secret of real strength is this: “Kept by the power of God” (1 Pet. 1:5)! How it sweetens all our blessings, and alleviates all our sorrows, to regard both as emanations from a loving Father’s hand. Even if we should be, like the disciples of old, “constrained” to go into the ship; if all should be darkness and tempest, frowning providences— "the wind contrary" (Mt. 14:24)—how blessed to feel that in embarking on the unquiet element, “the Lord has bidden us!" Paul could not speak even of taking an earthly journey, without the parenthesis, “if the Lord will" (1 Cor. 4:19).
How many trials, and sorrows, and sins, would it save us, if the same were the habitual regulator of our daily life! It would lead to calm contentment with our lot, hushing every disquieting suggestion with the thought that that lot, with all that is apparently adverse in it, was ordained for us. It would teach us not to be aspiring after great things, but humbly to wait the will and purposes of a wise Provider; not to go before our heavenly Guide, but to follow him, saying, in meek subjection,
“Lord, my heart is not haughty, nor mine eyes lofty, neither do I exercise myself in great matters, or in things too high for me. Surely I have behaved and quieted myself, as a child that is weaned of his mother: my soul is even as a weaned child" (Psa. 131:1-2).
Arm yourselves likewise with the same mind!
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