" The Son of Man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister."
—Matt. xx. 28.
Lord of all, Christ made Himself Vassal of all.
I cannot forget the unspeakable condescension in which His ministry began. The Son of Man came, with His own consent and of His own will, consciously and spontaneously. He had been a Monarch in heaven, and He was now a Subordinate on earth, misread by friends, pursued by enemies, and yet standing by choice and deed of His own in the lowly and menial sphere. Behind the miracle of His serving is the miracle of His stooping. He was the Eternal Son of the Father, and He emptied Himself.
I think, too, of the incomprehensible love which sustained His ministry. A holy intention, Jeremy Taylor says, is to my actions what the soul is to the body, what the fountain is to the river, what the root is to the tree, what the sun is to the world. It is in my intentions that I fall short, and the taint of self is apt to spoil my best deeds. But Jesus had no oblique thoughts about His own reputation. His one purpose was to please God and to bless men. He shows me a love without blemish and flaw.
And I remark the cheerful alacrity of His ministry. It is difficult for me not to flag sometimes. Hearts are stolid, and the outlook is discouraging. But when did Christ murmur ? when did He faint ? If a demoniac boy required Him at the foot of the Mount of Transfiguration, He left the glorious hill for the boy's sake. If a dying robber asked to be remembered in the Kingdom, He forgot His own Cross to answer the penitent's cry. It was impossible to interrupt Him. He was willing-hearted always.
And then I notice the rich many-sidedness that marked His ministry. Sometimes it was the cure of a diseased body, sometimes the pardoning of a conscience-smitten spirit. It might be a look, or a touch, or a word ; a discourse in the synagogue, or a heart-to-heart interview with a single enquirer ; or a miracle of Godlike power and Godlike tenderness. It was gentle, and it was severe. I find it hard to be efficient in one department ; but this Workman is not ashamed in any department.
There is no ministry like His. Yet it is the pattern for mine, if I am His disciple. I, also, am to serve in the New Testament style and after the Christlike model. I have been brought into the family for this very end. Noblesse oblige; my rank constitutes my responsibility ; my high honours carry great obligations along with them. Ah ! but do not let me be spiritless and despairing. Christ is Power as well as Pattern. He goes before me ; but He dwells within me too. He is not only King among the choirs and societies of the angels in heaven ; He is King in the citadel of my soul. His life will create my life anew, till I am signed with His autograph and changed into His image.
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