"DESPISED AND REJECTED OF MEN."
ISA. 52:13; 53:3,12.--MARCH 31.
THIS is the Review lesson and requires little comment. The Golden Text serves us as a caption, and is itself a summary of the quarter's lessons. Evidently to be despised and rejected of men did not signify that our Lord was worthy of such treatment, but rather that those to whom he offered himself were so degraded and blinded by sin as to be unable to appreciate the glorious qualities of his character. Nevertheless, as the Apostle declares, "To us who believe he is precious;" and again, "To as many as received him to them gave he privilege to become sons of God." How thankful we are, and deserve to be, that the eyes of our understanding were permitted to see our dear Redeemer in somewhat of his true light of grandeur and holiness; and we rejoice also that seeing his glory we have been led step by step to transformation and renewing of our minds, and that we are being changed from glory to glory by the spirit of the Lord even now in our hearts. "We have the mind of Christ." Moreover, we have the good hope, built upon the divine promises, that if we follow on in his footsteps in the narrow way we shall ere long be with him and like him and share his Kingdom and glory.
"As he was so are we in the world."--1 John 4:17.
If the Master of the house was called Beelzebub and seditious and an enemy of law and order, against Caesar's government, etc., etc., by the false religionists of his day, so it should not surprise us, but should rather be expected, that all the way down through this Gospel age his followers, the members of his body, would be similarly misrepresented, slandered, maligned, despised and rejected by the popular religionists of Christendom. As a matter of fact, this is what the Scriptures teach us is to be expected; what history tells us has thus far been true; and what we are convinced from the Word of God will continue to be true until the last member of the body of Christ has finished his course. These oppositions from the world, the flesh and the devil (generally operating through some nominally Christian channel), are a part of the chiseling and polishing, a part of the testing and proving of the Lord's people which must determine whether or not they are worthy a share in the Kingdom--whether or not they esteem most the approval of men or the praise of God,--the honors and emoluments of this present life or the glorious but unseen things which God hath in reservation for them that love him. We cannot pass these tests in companies or groups, however small and select,--each must be tried, tested, individually, in order to prove him an overcomer, and before he can attain the promised prize. Each should remember the necessity for faith in what God has promised his people or he will be overwhelmed and defeated, and miss both the mark and the prize. "This is the victory that overcometh the world--even your faith." "Greater is he that is on our part than all they that are against us."