Monday, October 27, 2008

Our loving teacher

While preparing for yesterday's sermon on the love of Christ, I was touched by this quote from Charles Spurgeon, taken from a sermon he preached in 1868. It brings out an aspect of Christ's teaching I'd never thought about before. How loving and patient Christ was with His disciples. And how blessed we are to now have the Holy Spirit as our aid.

[Christ] proved his love by being always ready to instruct [His disciples] on all points. His teachings were very simple, because he loved them so well. The epistles of Paul are, in some respects, far deeper than the teachings of Jesus; for instance, Paul more explicitly lays down the doctrine of justification by faith, of total depravity, of election, and kindred truths. And why? Observe the humility and loving-kindness of the Master. He knew infinitely more than Paul, for he is essential wisdom, but he was pleased, because their weak eyes were not able at that time to bear the full blaze of light, to leave the fuller manifestation of gospel mysteries until the Spirit had been given, and then he raised up his servant Paul to write under his guidance the deep things of God.

His love to his disciples is shown as clearly in what he kept back from them as in what he revealed to them. How loving it was on the part of the great Teacher to dwell so often upon the simpler truths, and the more practical precepts; it was as though a senior wrangler of the university should sit down in the family and teach boys and girls their alphabet day after day, or spend all his time in teaching village urchins simple addition and subtraction.

A man who is thoroughly acquainted with the highest branches of knowledge finds it a terrible drudgery to go over and over the first principles—and yet this very thing our Lord did, and made no trouble of it; he, by the space of three years, taught the simplicities of the faith, and thus indisputably proved his condescending love to perfection towards his own which were in the world.

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