Evening Reading for December 1

John 20:14-18
Suggested further reading: Hebrews 2:10-13

When our Lord speaks of God as `My Father and my God', he seems, as usual, to point to the close and intimate union which he always declared to exist between himself and the first person in the Trinity. `The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ' (1 Peter 1:3) is a kindred expression. He does not, we should observe, say, `I ascend unto our Father', etc., but `my Father and your Father'. He thus shows that there is a certain distinction between his relation to the Father and ours. Believers are not naturally sons of God; they only become so by grace, by adoption and by virtue of union with Christ. Christ, on the contrary, is in his nature the Son of God.

How kindly and graciously our Lord speaks of his disciples! He bids Mary Magdalene carry a message to them as `his brethren'. It was but three days before that they had all forsaken him shamefully and fled. Yet this merciful Master speaks as if all was forgiven and forgotten. His first thought is to bring back the wanderers, to bind up the wounds of their consciences, to reanimate their courage, to restore them to their former place. This was indeed a love that passeth knowledge. To trust deserters and to show confidence in backsliders was a compassion which man can hardly understand. So true is that word of David: `Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him. For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust' (Ps. 103:13-14).

Let us leave the passage with the comfortable reflection that Jesus Christ never changes. He is the same yesterday, today and for ever. As he dealt with his erring disciples in the morning of his resurrection, so will he deal with all who believe and love him, until he comes again. When we wander out of the way, he will bring us back. When we fall, he will raise us again.

For meditation:

Though for good we render ill,

He accounts us brethren still

(Newton).


These readings (ISBN: 0 85234 420 1) are copyrighted and made available with permission by
Evangelical Press; 12 Wooler St., Darlington, Co, Durham, England, DL1 1RQ