The Plain Truth

And they understood none of these things: and this saying was hid from them, neither knew they the things which were spoken. – Luke 18:34

They listened to this private talk, but we are told by Luke that it was very much lost upon them, because they did not understand Him. “And they understood none of these things: and this saying was hid from them, neither knew they the things which were spoken.”…Numbers of people imagine that they understand mysteries, and yet the simplicities of the faith are hid from their eyes because they are gazing after abstruse doctrines. They search after difficult things and miss the plain truth. We groan as we wantonly dive into a profound abyss; and yet we stand confounded over a little transparent stream, which, to wade through, would bring us bliss. When our Lord told the twelve that He would die, they imagined that it was a parable, concealing some deep mystery. They looked at one another, and they tried to fathom where there was no depth, but where the truth lay on the surface. The deep things of God thousands will pry into; but yet these are not saving matters, nor are they of any great practical value. Fixed fate, free-will, predestination, prophecy, and the like, these have small bearings upon our salvation from sin; but in the death of our Lord lies the kernel of the matter. Beloved, when we try to commune with Jesus, let us wear the garments of simplicity. It is the serpent who trades in subtlety, but I would have you remember “the simplicity which is in Christ Jesus.” There is in Him a depth which we cannot fathom; but His every word is pure truth, and those things which are necessary are made so plain that he who runs may read, and he who reads may run. Believe Him to mean what He says, and take His promises as they stand, and His precepts in their plain meaning; and, oh, if we do this, we shall be made greatly wise! ~ C.H. Spurgeon

This is Our Lord Jesus Christ

…And shall deliver Him to the Gentiles to mock, and to scourge, and to crucify Him: and the third day He shall rise again. – Matthew 20:19

“The third day He shall rise again.” Oh, that blessed doctrine of the resurrection! If our Lord’s record ended at the cross, it might drive us to despair; but He is declared to be the Son of God with power by His resurrection from the dead. That He was raised from the dead makes us see the merit, the power, the great reward of His death. He that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the everlasting covenant, even He will make us perfect in every good work to do His will. Whenever the Master comes very near to us in His gracious condescension, He shows us not only that He shed His blood for us, but that He rose again, and ever liveth to carry on our cause. When you worship most closely, you will worship Him that lived, and died, and rose again, and now liveth for ever and ever. This is our Lord Jesus Christ. He is not a teacher only, or a bright example merely; but the One whose death is the source of our salvation, and whose resurrection and eternal glory are the guarantee and foretaste of our everlasting bliss. A living, dying, risen Christ is the One with whom we have joyful fellowship; and if we know Him not in this character, we do not know Him at all. It was well for Him to speak to them on such a practical theme: they would be cheered and comforted on after days when they remembered that He had told them of these things. He will draw us into very intimate communion if we are willing to take up His cross and bear His reproach. We lose much when we quit the separated path because it is rough, for we lose our Lord’s sweet company. Oh, for grace to love the rough paths, because we see His footprints upon them! ~ C.H. Spurgeon

He is Lifted Up in Every Grateful Heart

And this is life eternal, that they might know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent. – John 17:3

Beloved, our Lord Jesus has said many delightful things; and let Him say what He will, His voice is as angels’ music to our ear; but from the cross His voice is richest in consolation. We never come so near to Jesus-at least, such is my experience-as when we gaze upon His bloody sweat, or see Him robed in shame, crowned with thorns, and enthroned upon the cross. Our Lord’s incomparable beauties are most visible amid His griefs. When I see Him on the cross, I feel that I must borrow Pilate’s words, and cry, “Behold the man!” Covered with His own blood from the scourging, and about to be led away to be crucified between two thieves, you look into His inmost heart, and behold what manner of love He bore towards guilty men. We know not Christ till He putteth on His crimson garments. I know not my Beloved when He is only to me as the snow-white lily for purity; but when, in His wounding, He is red as the rose, then I perceive Him. “My Beloved is white and ruddy, the chiefest among ten thousand.” A suffering Savior bears the palm for me: a wounded Savior is my Lord and my God. The lower He went for my redemption, the higher does He rise in my soul’s loving esteem. He saw this when He said, “I, if I be lifted up”; for indeed it was a lifting up for Him to die upon the cruel gibbet. To the wondering universe the Son of God is lifted to a height of wondering admiration, by His becoming obedient unto death, out of love to His chosen. He is lifted up in every grateful heart and shall be lifted up for ever. Our fellowship with Jesus largely flows along the great deep of His suffering; and to me, at least, it is then deepest, truest, and sweetest. ~ C.H. Spurgeon

In Awe of His Word

And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, He expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning Himself. – Luke 24:27

I have never yet met with a person worthy to be called a saint who did not love and revere the inspired Book. I have heard in the last days the newly-coined word “bibliolatry”, which is meant to set forth the imaginary crime of worshipping the Bible. I know not who may be guilty of the offense: I have never met with such idolaters. When I do, I will try to show them their error; at present I am too much occupied with the enemies of the Bible to think much of its too ardent friends, if such there be. While the word may be used in an accusation against us, it most surely is a confession on the part of those who use it that they see nothing special about the Scriptures and are angry with those who do. Let them speak as they will, O Lord, “my heart standeth in awe of Thy Word.” I would be numbered with the men who tremble at Thy Word. The words of the Holy Ghost are more than words to me. I tremble lest I should sin against Him by sinning against them. I would not take away a word from the Book of this prophecy, nor add thereunto; but let it stand as it is; for here it is that Jesus meets us and communes with us. He opens the Scriptures to our understanding, and then He opens our understanding to receive the Scriptures. He makes us hear His voice in these chapters; yea, we see Himself in them.

“Here I behold my Savior’s face
Almost in every page.”

We cannot look up to heaven and see Jesus amid the celestial splendours; but He lovingly looks down from the throne of His glory into the looking glass of the Word, and when we look into it, we see the sweet reflection of His face. ~ C.H. Spurgeon

Reverence for the Word of God

Then He took unto Him the twelve, and said unto them, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of man shall be accomplished. – Luke 18:31

Luke says, “He took unto Him the twelve, and said unto them, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of man shall be accomplished.” Blessed theme-the Word of the Lord by His prophets and the fulfillment thereof. Have you never noticed how our divine Lord delights to speak upon the Scriptures? How often does He enforce His teaching by “as the scripture hath said”! If He has only two of them, and they are walking on the road, we read, “Beginning at Moses and all the prophets, He expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning Himself.” Communion with Christ Jesus must be based on the Word of the Lord. If you speak half a word derogatory of holy Scripture, your fellowship will evaporate. Men talk about building upon Christ, and not upon the Scriptures; but they know not what they say; for our Lord continually established His own claims by appealing to Moses and the prophets. They would be Christo-centric, they say: I only wish they would. But if they take Christ for a center, they will inevitably have the Scriptures for a center too; and these men neither want the one nor the other. They care nothing for the center; they only want to do away with the circumference, that they may roam at their own proud wills. Our Lord made the written Word to be the reason for many of His acts: He did this, and He did not do that, because of what the Scriptures had said. He comes not to take away the law and the prophets, yea, not a jot or a tittle does He destroy, so careful is He of the Scriptures of truth. We learn from Him to believe not only in inspired words, but in inspired jots and tittles. They that have been much with Christ always show a profound reverence for the Word of God. ~ C.H. Spurgeon

A Joyful Bracing Up

And Jesus going up to Jerusalem took the twelve disciples apart in the way, and said unto them, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man shall be betrayed unto the chief priests and unto the scribes, and they shall condemn Him to death… – Matthew 20:17,18

When our Lord, on this occasion, spoke to the twelve, the time was significant: it was on the way to a great trial. To Him His coming suffering was the sum of all trial. He was about to be wounded for our transgressions and bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was about to fall upon Him, that with His stripes we might be healed. But it was to be a time of great trial to the disciples also. Inasmuch as they loved their Lord, they would sympathize with His sufferings and death. Inasmuch as they trusted in Him, it would be a sharp trial to their faith to see Him dying on the cross, vanquished by His remorseless enemies. Inasmuch as they loved His company, they would weep and lament, and feel like orphaned children when He was taken from them. Therefore, they must be favored with a special private interview, to prepare them for the coming ordeal. Have you never noticed how our Lord, before the coming to us of a great tribulation, strengthens our hearts by some heavenly visitation? Either before or after affliction, it has happened to me to enjoy very special manifestations of the Well-Beloved. At such junctures He brings us into His banqueting house, and His banner over us is love, that we may go down to the battle like men refreshed by a feast. He gives us a joyful bracing up, that we may be ready for to-morrow’s stern service. I feel that it is so; and I pray that each of you may know, by personal experience, how wise is your Redeemer’s foresight; and how, by the communion apart, He prepares us for that which we are to meet at the end of the way. A drink from the brook of fellowship by the way will make you ready for the heat of the conflict. A word from His myrrh-dropping lips will perfume the air, even of the valley of death-shade. Speak to us, Lord, and we will not heed the howling of the dog of hell. ~ C.H. Spurgeon

Live Near to God

But it is good for me to draw near to God: I have put my trust in the Lord GOD, that I may declare all Thy works. – Psalm 73:28

No man can give out what he has not received. If you are to be a fountain of living waters to others, you must be filled yourself from the fullness of God. Dear brethren and sisters, you whom the Lord has chosen to be vessels of mercy to others, take care that you wait much upon Him yourselves, and are much with Him in secret retirement. Live near to God, that you may bring others near. I remember sitting, one rainy day, in an inn, at Cologne, looking out of a window upon a square…I saw a man coming to a pump that stood in the middle of the square, and from that pump he filled a vessel A little while after, I saw the same man again filling his buckets. All that morning I saw no one else, but only that one water-loving individual man, filling his buckets again and again. I thought to myself, “What can he be? Why is he always drawing water?” Then I perceived that he was a water-carrier, a bearer of water to families in the adjoining streets. Well might he often come to the fountain himself, since he was supplying others. You that are water-carriers for thirsty souls must needs come often to the living water yourselves and be thankful that your Master is always willing to meet you and give you rich supplies. He graciously waits to take you apart in the way and speak to you things which you need to hear and tell. Take care that you hear well that which you are commissioned to publish to all the world. Take good note of this, ye who instruct others: neglect not the yielding of your ear to your Lord quite as completely as your tongue. Hear Him that you may speak of Him. Be ye sure that ye are much with your Lord alone, that you may have Him much with you in public. ~ C.H. Spurgeon