Sermon 3443. Seeing Jesus
A SERMON PUBLISHED ON THURSDAY, JANUARY 28, 1915.
DELIVERED BY C. H. SPURGEON,
AT THE METROPOLITAN TABERNACLE, NEWINGTON, ON THURSDAY EVENING, SEPTEMBER 9, 1896.
"Yet a little while, and the world sees Me no more; but you see Me." John 14:19.
WHATEVER religious privileges men of the world may have, they will lose them. It was a great favor to see Christ in the flesh.Kings and Prophets had desired to see His day and had died disappointed because He had not come, but that sight of Him whichthe generation in which Christ lived enjoyed was taken from them. They were none the better and, in some respects, they wereall the worse for having seen Him, whose blood was on them and on their children. So, as a general Truth of God, all the outwardreligious privileges which any of you may enjoy, if you do not become spiritualmen and are not, indeed, Christ's disciples,will be taken from you, speedily taken from you, leaving no blessing behind, but rather a curse! You are hearers of the Gospeltoday, some of you, though unconverted-but you shall not always hear it. There is a land where Sabbath bells never ring, wherethe joyful feet of the messengers of mercy are never seen, and where no loving expostulations and no affectionate entreatieswill be addressed to you! Now you join in song with God's people but you will not do so soon-another sound, more strange andfull of trembling-will be in your ears! Some of you, it may be, unconverted as you are, even venture to touch the ordinancesand have been baptized and have come to the Lord's Table. There will be another baptism for you and you will eat bread ata far different table from that of the Lord, by-and-by, for unless you are converted, these, instead of being means of Grace,shall be swift messengers against you to your condemnation! It is a very sorrowful case when a man is so bad that that whichis good becomes bad to him, and a fearful proof of the fall of our race and the depravity of our unregenerate nature-thateven the best religious privileges will only become a savor of death unto death unto us unless the Grace of God shall changeour hearts!
Note, then, that as the text says that the world which saw Christ should soon see Him no more, so it teaches us that thereare many outward privileges in religion that even worldly people enjoy that they shall soon enjoy no more, for, as they wouldnot have the inward spiritual Grace, they shall not forever have the outward and visible sign to tread beneath their feet!As they would not receive the Grace of God into their hearts in the power of it, so shall the very offers of love and theoutward ministrations of mercy be withdrawn from them!
With that black foil, the gem of our text may shine the brighter. "But you see Me"-you, My people. You that have believed,you who, by Grace, have received the new nature. You who have passed from death unto life-when the world sees Christ no more,you shall see Him in His Glory! And even now, while a blind world beholds Him not, you are enjoying a sight of Him. Our firstword tonight, after this preface, shall be-
I. SPIRITUAL DIFFERENCES.
The world sees Him no more, but you see Him. The difference lies in the kind of sight. The world's sight of Christ, in thefirst place, was only a sight to the eyes and, consequently, the moment Christ was gone out of this world, the world saw Himno more. But when He was gone, there were others who had seen Him with a different sight, which was not affected by His corporealabsence-they continued to see because their seeing had been something other than the sight of the eyes. Now, when Jesus Christwas here upon earth, all that an ungodly man saw of Christ was His outward form-as some think incomparably beautiful, andso I suppose it was at the first. So perfect a spirit must surely have been enshrined within a matchless, outward form! Ican conceive Him to have been full of Grace, even in the common sense of that term, as well as in its higher meaning. Butin later years, such were the griefs of His heart that we know that He appeared to be older than He was, for the Jews said,"You are not yet fifty years old," when He was but a little more than thirty. Such was the decay, probably, such the emaciationthat grief brought upon Him, that He had no form or comeliness, and when men looked upon Him they saw Him as the Man of Sorrowsand the acquaintance of grief. Whatever the
outward form may have been, it was certainly all that the ungodly man saw, all that the Pharisee saw, all that Pilate saw,all that Herod saw-just that outward form. They did not, therefore, see the real Christ of God at all, and in proof that theydid not see Him, we find that some of them could only see in Him an impostor, who pretended to be what He was not. Otherscould only see in Him an ordinary Prophet, a remarkable man, but still one of the common of Prophets, and no more. They couldnot see in Him what His disciples saw, namely, His glorious inward Character, the Glory as of the Only-Begotten of the Father,full of Grace and Truth.
Now, you do not know a man because you happen to know the color of his eyes, the peculiar curl of his hair, or what kind offeatures he may possess. You know a man better when you have lived with him, when you know his spirit, when you have tracedhis virtues, when you have read his secrets. That is the man. The spirit is the man. The body is, after all, but the shrinein which the spirit dwells. The world saw Christ only as to His outward form-and when He was gone they saw Him no more inthat respect. But His disciples had seen His inward Nature. Some of them had seen what flesh and blood could not reveal tothem-they had been made to see, by having their eyes spiritually anointed with heavenly eye-salves and, consequently, whenChrist was gone from their natural sight, they continued to see-and I venture to say they saw more clearly than they had donebefore, for now, when He was taken up from them, they began to read what He had said to them with greater understanding! Theybegan to see some of His actions in a different light-and much that they did not understand at one time when He was with them,because they could not bear it, they began to understand now that He was gone because His Spirit revealed it-their understandingsbeing capable of receiving the deeper Truth. They saw the better for His absence, while the world saw not at all!
Beloved Friend, I shall ask you, before I pass on-Have you ever had such a sight of Jesus Christ? No, I do not mean, did youever dream you saw Him? I do not mean, did you ever think you saw a vision? I do not care whether you have or have not. Ifyou saw the devil, that would not send you to Hell-and if you saw Christ, it would not send you to Heaven. But have you everhad that spiritual sight of Him which has made you to understand His Character? Have you ever seen Him as the Christ of God,the God-Man, the Only-Begotten, the Well-Beloved, the Savior, the King of your spirit? Have you so seen Him as to be subduedby the sight and to be at once enlisted in His service? Oh, this is the sight which He gives to His own people, the sightwhich saves, the sight of which He speaks when He says, "The world sees Me no more, but you see Me"-the difference betweenthe sight of the eyes and the sight of the inner man!
We have a sight of Christ, further, which not only lasts when Christ is gone, but which lasts when our eyes are gone. Theworld can only see while the eye endures. If the eye should by any means be filmed, or if especially the eye and all the powersof the body should be smitten by death, then there would be to the world no sight of Christ. But in our case our sight ofJesus Christ is one which has been known to be even brightened by the eyes being quenched-a sight which grows more and moreclear as the flesh decays, a sight which will be clearest of all when we have done with eyes altogether, when we shall bein the disembodied and spiritual state-then shall we see the King in His beauty to perfection and though, after a while thereshall be added to that sight a corporeal sight, when the body shall rise again from the grave, yet meanwhile our sight issuch that if our eyes were taken away from us, we thank God it would not dim our sight of Christ one bit! There are some inthis place, tonight, whom I remember with affectionate regard, who have not seen the light of the sun for many years, andyet their eyes see the face of Christ almost always, for their love to Christ is so fervent and the communion they have withChrist is so constant that the loss of their eyes seems to be, in their case, almost a privilege! They see the better becausethat drop screen has crossed the optic glass and shut them out from the world. Yes, and if any of us should be overtaken bythe gradual closing of the eyes, heavy as such an affliction must be, we thank God we shall still be able to see Him! Andwhen the eye-strings break in death, then, even then, shall we see Him! And while we lie pining there, and friends think usshut out from everything that is happy, we shall but consider ourselves shut in, waiting for the full appearing of the Lordour Savior! The sight, then, which God gives to His people, is a sight which is not dependent upon Christ's bodily Presence,and is not dependent, in the next place, upon our bodily eyes!
On this matter of spiritual differences we remark next, that the sight which is here meant is one which is an available thingwhen everything else goes to the contrary. When everything prospers with a man of the world, even he sees, and says, "PerhapsGod is here." If he is an outwardly religious man, though not inwardly so, if he mingles in a congregation where there issome degree of religious excitement, if his own mind is gratified, he will say he thinks Christ is there. But the child ofGod can see Jesus Christ where nobody else can, namely, in the midst of the storm and the tempest, where everything threatenspresent destruction! The Believer hears Him say, "It is I," and sees Him walking upon the waves- sees Him not only in excitingreligious meetings, but in the quiet of solitude. Worldlings in solitude see nothing, have no
holy thoughts-but there the Christian perceives Jesus, and if that solitude is attended with much of trial, and temptation,and inward sorrow, and distress, yet faith is fully at work and the Believer looks through every mist and cloud, and stillsees Jesus, according to His promise-"Lo I am with you always, even unto the end of the world." It is a poor faith that canonly see Christ in the sunlight. It is a brave faith that sees Him at midnight. It is poor faith that believes that Jesusis there when all prospers, but it is right faith that knows He is there when nothing prospers except faith, which prospersmost when tried. It is glorious to be able to read God's Word sometimes backwards-not to believe that His hard messages meanunkindness, but to understand that there is love in every stroke of the rod, eternal love in every hard word that falls fromthe Savior's lips. Faith, then, not only sees Jesus when He is corporeally absent, and sees Him without corporeal eyes, butsees Him when to sense it seems quite impossible that Jesus should be there! Note these differences, and let us pass on. Nowwe have here- II. SPIRITUAL DISCERNMENT.
I shall ask you, Brothers and Sisters, now quietly to look into yourselves to see whether you have the spiritual discernmentwe shall now speak of. We see Him. We see Him, first, with a trust which hangs all its confidence upon Him. The world doesnot see Christ as the great Foundation Stone of its hope. It sees its own works. It hopes in ceremonies and in outward forms.But we see Him. Whenever our faith looks abroad, she sees nothing but Jesus. "No man, but Jesus only." On that dear Crossmy soul hangs all her confidence-not a rag anywhere else!-
"All my trust on You is stayed, All my help from You I bring." This is an essential mark of a Christian, that he sees Jesuswith the simple faith that relies alone upon Him. Dear Hearer, do you in this respect see Jesus? If so, rest assured thatwhere He is in His Glory, you shall shortly be! There is life in that look! There is more than life present-there is lifeeternal in a look at Him! I hope you are not among those who say, "I did look to Jesus once." No, we still see Him. The lifeof our faith dwells in a perpetual life-look at Christ! We do not say that we have seen Him and then we have withdrawn ourglance, but we continue still to look. Our faith does not depend on something done in the past in us, but on that finishedwork which abides still for us, and to which we look day by day. We see Him with the look of a simple faith.
We see Him, next, with the look of a reverent worship. Where is He tonight, Christian, do you think? He is yonder as to Hisbody-He is yonder at the right hand of the Father! I will not try to use my imagination to picture Him there in that supernalsplendor which far outshines the lamps of Heaven, otherwise we might so speak of Him that you might seem to hear Him pleading,now, for you, and see Him wearing your names engraved on the jewels of His breastplate, displayed before the Father's facefor you at this hour. But though we will not thus picture Him, yet we see Him there by faith, and our soul bows and worships!All hail! All hail! Immanuel, Son of Mary and Son of God! Man and God, we worship You with all our hearts! Had we crowns,we would cast them at Your feet, but as these are not ours as yet, we bring You our songs, and our prayers, and our hearts'love. And here, tonight, in the assembly of Your saints, we look at You and we worship You!
Now, I am conscious in my own heart, tonight, of a clearer sight of Christ than the sight which I take of you sitting in yourpews. As I see you in your pews, I do but glance upon the flesh in which you live. As for what you really may be, I cannotsee you. Your thoughts and your feelings are all unseen of me. But when I look at Christ, tonight, though I cannot see Hisflesh, nor behold His scars, nor all the Glory of His risen body, yet I can see Him, for I know what He is thinking of, Iknow what He is feeling, I know what He is looking for, I know what His heart is bent on. He is full of love to His people!He is thinking of their interests! He is pleading for us! He is working for us as an intercessor before the Throne of God!We see Him with the glance of reverent adoration, then, and see Him clearly, too!
Again, we see the Lord Jesus Christ tonight-I trust we do-with the eye of sanctified obedience. We believe that He is here.We believe that when we go to our homes He will be with us in spirit. That when we go to our business or to our work tomorrowmorning, He will still be with us. Now we could not sin in His Presence as other men sin. We dare not plunge into the commoncustoms of the world. We could not use the world's talk. We would not yield to its maxims, and why? Because Jesus is thereand a sense of His Presence is always a check to us against temptation, and oftentimes it is not only a negative force, buta sense of His Presence compels us to serve Him as best we may! I wish we saw Jesus more usually in this sense, and yet, myBrothers and Sisters, I hope some of us do, as a general rule, see Him daily thus, as though He were overshadowing us. I knowI often do when I am sitting and thinking of what I shall say to you, and I start, as though I could look up and see Him lookingdown on me. And as I am walking by the way it often happens that I
almost seem to check myself as though I heard His footsteps at my side. I know it cannot be, but I am conscious of His Presence,conscious that He talks with me and I with Him. Is it so with you? I know it is with many of you. Oh, cherish this more! Someof us lose His Presence by the week or the month together, and it is very sad, sorely sad, to be living in such a world asthis, far off from Christ. Oh, Sheep, you cannot afford to be so far off from the Shepherd when the wolf is so near! Child,you cannot afford to be so far away from your Elder Brother when the pestilence is walking in darkness and the arrows areflying by day, and none but Himself can shield you! Oh, try to get into the fullness of this thought- we see Him, not onlyup there, reverently to be worshipped, but here to be worshipped by our feeling the restraints and the constraints of HisPresence, feeling with regard to Him as Hagar did with regard to Jehovah in the wilderness when she said, "You God see me"-YouChrist see me. You Crucified One, You are with me. You exalted Lord, I tread in Your footsteps. How can I consent to sin whenYou are so near me? Still we see Him!
We see Him further, dear Friends, oftentimes with a trust which consoles us in hours of difficulty. Mark what I mean here.Oftentimes the servant of God, when he sees how ill things go in the world, and especially in the religious world, is aptto think that Jesus is not there. Indeed, it needs a great deal of faith to see Jesus when things are sluggish in the Church,when there are ministers who do not seem to care about souls being saved, when there are churches that fall asleep, and whenthe world seems to grow more wicked, more lascivious in its amusements and more blatant in its atheistic blasphemy! But faithlearns to know that Jesus is still here, that He cannot be away from the army. He is the Prince and He is concerned in thevictory. He cannot be away. The whole of what goes on in the world is still under His direction and His control. Life hasnot put away the keys, blessed be His name! Nor has He left them to the devil, but they are at His belt. There they hang-thesovereign keys of death and Hell, still entrusted to Him, alone! He has not left the chariot for some diabolic Jehu to drive,and bring confusion upon this world. The government shall be upon His shoulder! He shall be called The Wonderful, The EverlastingFather, The Prince of Peace. Still-
"He everywhere has sway, And all things serve His might." When He allows, for a while, the powers of evil to have a longertether than usual, it is that afterwards He may pull them in again and prove His power and lift them up to scorn by defeatingthen, even with all the advantages they seem to gain! Have confidence, child of God! The Church of God is safe! There is nodanger to that. The pillars of that house no Samson shall ever remove! The house goes on building, stone by stone, both bynight and by day, most surely and most certainly, and the Top Stone shall be brought forth with shouts of, "Grace, Grace untoHim." We see Him, then, with the eye of a confidence that consoles us greatly in the times of darkness and of despair!
And, Brothers and Sisters, I trust we see Christ oftentimes with a joy which enlivens us. Do you not think that a Believerought to be ashamed to be sad? "Oh," says one, "we have a great deal of trouble." Yes, I know we have, and what a mercy itis that we have! I have a great many things that God has given me that I much value, but of all the things I ever had, nextto His dear Son, that which I value most is the cross that is the heaviest. I have got more good out of my affliction thanout of all my prosperity! I would not be without a cross for all the world! Blessed be God, one loves to learn to bear hissorrows, for one does not seem to need faith to see that it is good. One gets by experience to see how good it is and to loveour Father's cup, out of which He gives us the gall every morning which is so bitter, but oh, it has done us so much good!Like the man subject to fever, walking through the malaria districts, he does not shudder to drink the quinine as the childdoes who thinks it is so bitter-the man feels the tonic effects of it, so that at last he comes to accept that cup with thankfulness-so,Brothers and Sisters, our afflictions ought not to make us sad! When they come to us we should remember that their ordinarytendency is sadness, but their extraordinary tendency, when they are rightly used, is to make us rather rejoice because ourFather pleases to send us these things! An old German writer tells us of some birds which were in the house of a neighborof his and which were being taught to sing. Some were bullfinches, I think, and they were teaching them to pipe, but therewere some other birds-larks, and nightingales, and so on, and these were in the dark. It was very cruel-the poor little thingswere in the dark, and could see no light. But, he said, these were they that could sing the sweetest. And oftentimes the childof God, when he gets a sense of the Lord's Presence, is one of the birds that can sing best in the dark. Why, when it is alllight, you know, there are plenty of things to distract our attention. But when it is all dark, and Christ comes in, and Heis the only thing to be seen, why, then He is better than all the things we do not see and His Light is brighter than allthe stars that have been put out! And now we can sing more clearly about His Presence than we could about all the world'sgifts, and about all the outward joys that have been taken away. Do but let a child of God know that Christ is with him, andhis joy will be unspeakable and full of glory!-
"Since Christ is rich, while I am poor,
What can I need beside?
Since my Beloved is mine, and I am His, I will even sit down by Babel's stream and sing the Lord's song, for the land is notstrange where He is. Even Kedar's tents are bright as the silken embroideries of Solomon when Jesus comes there, and Meshechis no longer a name of lamentation and of sorrow, but a name of joy and gladness when Jesus sojourns with us, a Pilgrim anda Stranger, as we also are! We see Jesus with the joy that enlivens us. And so once more, Beloved, we have learned to seeJesus withthe hope that inspires us, for, having seen Him once, here, we do not believe that He is teasing us. We cannot,we will not be led to imagine that if we have lived to see Him here as in a glass darkly, we shall be denied that for whichwe have been educated-even a face to face view of Him! No, Beloved, the day is coming-every winged hour is bringing it nearer-whenwe shall see the King in His beauty for ourselves, and not another for us! Did you ever try to put yourselves into that happycondition when you shall see Him? I have sometimes been on the top of a Swiss mountain to see the sun rise. I must confessI was never successful. I have strained my eyes in watching to see when the sun should rise, but the clouds have generallyconcealed it. But a sunrise is always a glorious thing, and what will the Everlasting Sunrise be, when, from the top of Pisgahwe shall see Him, when from the top of Nebo we shall see our Savior? Beloved, it is well that we shall not be in the body,then, for surely, that sight of Him would be too much for us! It is well that when this body shall see Him, it shall be arisen body, strengthened and accommodated to such an excess of bliss, for if He were to reveal Himself, now, to us, as Hedoes to the saints in Heaven, I suppose we would die with the excess of brightness! But do you ever try to picture to yourselvesthat you see Him? Christiana asked Mercy what made her laugh. "Did I laugh?" she asked. "Yes, last night you laughed in yoursleep." Then Mercy told her dream, of how she had seen the land, had been within the gates of pearl, and seen the King. AndChristiana said that well she might laugh. And have you never laughed at the thought that your eyes shall soon see the Christof God, the Man that died for you, that these weeping eyes shall weep no more, but shall look full on Him? Oh, 'tis well worththe pilgrimage! When Godfrey had led his troops up to Jerusalem, they had not yet captured the city, but the very sight ofit made their hearts leap for joy! But what will it be to see, not the new Jerusalem only, but the King of the new Jerusalem,to have Him forever as ours, and to lie in His embrace without fear of banishment, world without end? Come, you disconsolate,pluck up courage! Come over the thorny way, for the end is sweet and it will make amends for all the toil of the road! Oh,that we were but looking at Him now, and that the kisses of His mouth were ours forever and ever!-
"My heart is with Him on His throne, And ill can brook delay, Each moment listening for the voice, 'Rise up, and come away.'"
May we have such a sight as this, then, inflaming our hope, inspiring our desires and making us long for the bright day whenwe shall see Him face to face! I shall close these fragmentary thoughts with two or three- III. WORDS OF SPIRITUAL ENCOURAGEMENT.
My Brothers and Sisters, some of you, perhaps, have been following me while I talked about a sight of Christ, and you said,"Yes. Well, I hope I know something about these things-not what I want, or what I wish, or what I hope I shall know-but still,I know something of them." Well, then, please remember that if you see Jesus, the Holy Spirit made you see Him. You wouldnever have seen Jesus in that spiritual way by the power of human nature, or if you had been left to yourselves. Here is aclear mark, then, that the Holy Spirit has begun to work in your soul! Be grateful tonight, oh, be grateful that ever He shouldcome to those bleary eyes of yours and open them! That ever He should come to that dead soul of yours and make it live! Tensof thousands who are wiser, greater and, perhaps, better than you in some respects, are left as blind as bats, while you,through Sovereign Grace, are made to see! Will you not praise Him? Have you no music for Him? Are there no good works thatshall be like palm branches, with which you can strew His pathway in your joyful adoration of His Grace to you tonight?
Please remember, too, that if you have received this sight, this sight will lead you to other sights. We see Him. Lay thestress there a moment. There are some here who do not see the Doctrine of Election. My dear Brother, I wish you did, but ifyou can see Hm, be glad for that. There are some who cannot see the mysterious Doctrines of the Word of God. They are oftenpuzzled with the higher mysteries which belong to men in Christ. My dear Friends, you shall see all these, by-and-by, if yousee Him! See Jesus first, and in Jesus, and through Jesus, you shall be led into all the Truths of God! "What body of divinity,"said someone to me the other day, "do you recommend?" I answered, "I have never heard of but one." "But there are several."No, there is only one-the only body that divinity ever had was the body of our Lord
and Savior, Jesus Christ, and the study of that body of divinity will make you systematic theologians of the best kind! Beginat the center, with the sun, and you will understand astronomy! And if you put anything in the center of your system, exceptChrist, you will be sure to be in a thousand muddles and will never be able to understand the things of the Kingdom of God!A sight of Jesus secures a sight of other things. He that has seen Him has seen the Father, seen the Spirit, and shall seeall the rest!
Let us encourage ourselves with the thought that a sight of Jesus Christ makes amends for a great deal else that we do see.And what do I see? I see wars on all sides. I see sin in my members, but I see Him and, therefore, I know that He will subduesin. "You shall call His name, Jesus, for He shall save His people from their sins." I see a thousand imperfections and weaknessesin my daily walk and conversation, but when I see Him, it covers all, for His blood and righteousness shall cover all theiniquities of Israel, and if they are searched for, they shall not be found. My dear Brothers and Sisters, perhaps some ofyou see poverty tonight. Some of you Brothers see many difficulties in your calling-some Brother minister here, perhaps, seesmuch disappointment about his sphere of labor. But, my dear Friends, if you can see Him, you shall find that that one sightwill make amends for all the black and dreary visions that rise before you-and you shall be content and look on them withholy cheerfulness if you have fully learned to look on Him!
To look on Him, again, is, as we have said before, to prepare our eyes for the greatest sight that ever eyes can see. If wesee Him today, it is a small thing compared to that. It is a small thing to see angels, as we shall see them, hovering aboutour dying bed. It is a small thing to see the shining ones, as we shall see them, meeting us at the river's brink to helpus up the hill whereon the Celestial stands. If we see Him, it will be, comparatively, no very great advance to see the innumerablecompany of angels and the glorious Church of the First-Born, whose names are written in Heaven, for in seeing Him we havehad the earnest and the pledge of all these wondrous sights! We shall not fear to see the world on fire, though the elementsdissolve with fervent heat. We shall not fear to see the graves all opened and the myriads of the saints departed startingup from their graves. We shall not fear to see the dread assize and the Judgment Seat, and the King with the balances in Hishand, weighing out the fates of men! We shall not fear to look upon yonder Hell, with all its horrors past conception dire,nor on yon eternity, through which the terrors of Divine Justice shall blaze forth as consuming fires! There is nothingthatcan alarm the man who has seen the Lord! No, there shall be little that shall astonish him, for the sight of Jesus is theglorious sight of all things in embryo. It is the sight that shall make a Heaven within us, while teaching us, by His Spirit,what the Heaven shall be in which we shall dwell hereafter! Press forward for more of this sight of Christ. Get your eyesclear, and God grant that you may continue to see Him and only Him.
If any here have never seen Jesus, let me remind them of this one text, "Like as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness,even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." To believeon Him is to trust Him. If you trust Him, you shall have everlasting life, but if you trust not in Jesus Christ, you shallnot see life, but the wrath of God abides on you! May these words never be forgotten by you till you have, by His Grace, lookedto Christ. Amen.
EXPOSITION BY C. H. SPURGEON: PSALM 110:1-7; HEBREWS 7:1-14.
Verse 1. The LORD said unto my Lore. Or Jehovah said unto my Adonai.
1, 2. Sit You at My right hand, until I make Your enemies Your footstool. The LORD shall send the rod of Your strength outof Zion: rule You in the midst of Your enemies. This is the Messiah, this is Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews, theKing of Kings, and the Lord of Lords. Where are His subjects?
3. Your people shall be willing in the day of Your power, in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning: You havethe dew of Your youth. A willing people shall make up the forces of this great King-and upon them the freshness of the morningshall rest!
4. The LORD has sworn, and will not repent, You are a Priest forever after the order of Melchizedek. King and Priest. Noneother of the house of David save our Lord Jesus Christ could claim the union of these two offices. In Christ we have a Kingand a Priest, as also with Melchizedek of old, a great type of Jesus.
5-7. The Lordat Your right hand, shall strike through kings in the day ofHis wrath. He shall judge among the heathen, He shallfill the places with dead bodies; He shall wound the heads over many countries. He shall drink of the brook
in the way: therefore shall He lift up the head. This conqueror shall be refreshed in His journey; therefore shall He liftup the head.
Verse 1, 2. For this Melchisedec, king of Salem, priest of the Most High God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughterof the kings, and blessed him: To whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all; first being by interpretation King of Righteousness,and after that also King of Salem, which is, King of Peace. His very names being instructive, Righteousness first, and Peaceafterwards, as it is with our Divine Lord who has brought in everlasting righteousness, and speaks peace to guilty men!
3. Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like untothe Son of God; abides a priest continually. Melchisedec just passed across the page-he has no predecessor, he has no successor.We see him in Scripture and we know nothing of his descent. We know nothing of his death. We only know that he was a priestof the Most High God-and this very silence about him is highly significant and instructive-for in this he is "like unto theSon of God, who abides a priest continually." Now consider who this great man was, unto whom even "the patriarch Abraham gavethe tenth part of his spoil." If Abraham, the father of the faithful, the friend of God, paid tribute to him, how great musthe have been, how high his office!
5-7. And verily they that are of the sons of Levi, who receive the office of the priesthood, have a commandment to take tithesof the people according to the law, that is of their brethren, though they come out of the loins of Abraham. But he whosedescent is not counted from them receive tithes of Abraham, and blessed him that had the promises. And without all contradictionthe less is blessed of the better. Therefore, Abraham was less than Melchisedec-he could not bless Melchisedec, but Melchisedeccould bless him. How great, then, was he. How far greater still is that Lord of ours of whom Melchisedec was but a type!
8-10. And here men that die receive tithes; but there he receives them of whom it is witnessed that he lives. And as I mayso say, Levi also, who receives tithes, paid tithes in Abraham, for he wasyet in the loins ofhis father, when Melchisedecmet him. Thus the old priesthood, the Levitical and Aaronic priesthood, did homage unto the Melchisedec priesthood, whichis still greater!
11. If therefore perfection were by the Levitical priesthood, (for under it the people received the law), what further needwas there that another priest should rise after the order of Melchisedec, and not be called after the order of Aaron? We readin the Psalm just now, "You are a Priest forever after the order of Melchisedec," which proves that the priests of the orderof Levi were not sufficient-there was need of a still greater priesthood.
12. For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law. The law of the priesthood alters,since the person of the priest, the character of the priest, and the very office of the priest had altered too.
13. For He of whom these things are spoken pertains to another tribe, of which no man gave attendance at the altar. Accordingto the belief of the Jewish people, the Messiah was to come of the tribe of Judah, yet none of the house of David or of thetribe of Judah ever presumed to present themselves as priests of the order of God.
14. For it is evident that our Lord sprang out of Judah; of which tribe Moses spoke nothing concerning priesthood. So therewas an entire change of the priesthood and of the law of priests.