John Bennett, Pinxton, Nottingham [SEE PROFILE BELOW]
‘He saved others’, Luke 23. 35.
‘He saved others’, Luke 23. 35.
There are many times when we are brought back to a particular text or passage of scripture. It may be that the Spirit of God needs to impress the lessons of that portion of the word of God upon us again. It may be that our appreciation of the Saviour has waned and we need to be challenged afresh. Whatever the cause, I have been reminded of the text that heads this editorial.
It was a statement of derision and mockery and yet, as we ponder it, we see in that assessment by the rulers of the people a tremendous testimony to the character and life of the Lord. If there was one word that we might write over the life of the Lord what might it be? While I accept that condensing a life of such beauty, perfection, and glory into one word is impossible, yet a word that would suitably describe so much of the Lord’s ministry is the word ‘others’.
We might recall the words to Joseph at the Saviour’s birth, ‘He shall save his people from their sins’, Matt. 1. 21. This was the purpose for which He was born and for which He came – to save. The message of the gospel is this: ‘God sent . . . his Son into the world . . . that the world through him might be saved’, John 3. 17. As we think afresh of the scope of God’s salvation may we be galvanized to reach out to the lost, to others. The examples are so numerous, from the relative dregs of society to religious and political rulers, that we know that anyone can be saved if they will but trust the Lord.
Yet, as we live in a world that is obsessed with ‘me’ and the pursuit of personal goals, it would be good to pause and reflect upon the life of the Lord that was devoted to the will of another and the blessing of others. He came to this world not to pursue His own agenda but to fulfil the will of the Father. Let us never minimize the significance of that voluntary subjection. The one who ordered the worlds to be cast and at whose command the angelic host respond was willing to become obedient to the Father’s will that would cost Him so much. What part of our personal agenda do we find so difficult to give up in service for the Lord?
The apostle Paul wrote, ‘And I will very gladly spend and be spent for you; though the more abundantly I love you, the less I be loved’, 2 Cor. 12. 15. I wonder if there are times when we feel, like Paul, that our labours are not appreciated and our efforts seem fruitless. If we ponder the words above, we might remember that apart from a small band of followers, many of whom were characterized by failure, the Lord’s ministry might have seemed to manifest the same difficulties, yet He remained resolute and faithful. His eye was on the Father’s assessment, John 17. 4, and sometimes our vision needs lifting above.
In this issue there is considerable change. Four series are concluding – those of Jim Cochrane, Jeremy Gibson, John Salisbury and John Scarsbrook. We are thankful to our brethren for their helpful and challenging material. This issue also sees the commencement of two new series covering areas of truth that are most important for today – prophetic subjects, including a thought-provoking chart, and church truth. We continue to seek the Lord’s help and guidance in preparing a magazine that will provide spiritual food for the people of God.