An Alphabetical Analysis
Volume 10 - Practical Truth - Page 126 of 277
The first lesson then that we learn is, that in the ministry of the
Word the Book must be read, and so read that its message shall be given
distinctly and its sense preserved.
The Opened Book must be 'divided'
At the beginning of His ministry our Lord entered the synagogue at
Nazareth and stood up for to read.  'And when He had opened the book' at
Isaiah 61 we find that He read one verse and the one sentence following, and
then closed the book, sat down and said, 'This day is this Scripture
fulfilled in your ears' (Luke 4:21).  A perusal of Isaiah 61:1,2 will show
that the Lord put into operation that great principle of interpretation
entitled 'right division' (2 Tim. 2:15), for He concluded His reading at the
words, 'To preach the acceptable year of the Lord'.  Had He read on to the
next line and said, 'and the day of vengeance of our God', He could not have
also said, 'This day is this Scripture fulfilled in your ears', for those two
sentences, though divided in our version by but a comma, belong to the two
different advents of the Lord, at least 1960 years lying between them.
Therefore the second lesson that we learn is, that not only must the
reading be 'distinct' to give the sense, but that it must also be 'rightly
divided', otherwise passages that belong to differing dispensations will be
confused and the hearers misled.
The Opened Book speaks of Christ
'And they said one to another, Did not our hearts burn within us, while
He talked with us by the way, and while He opened to us the
Scriptures?' (Luke 24:32).
If we inquire what it was that caused this glow within the breasts of
the saddened disciples, we discover that it was not eloquence, although we
are sure that when He read the Holy Book, He, as none other, read
'distinctly' and 'gave the sense'; neither was it right division, although He
could never confuse the dispensation that He Himself came to fulfil.  No, He
made His disciples' hearts burn within them because,
'Beginning at Moses and all the prophets, He expounded unto them in all
the Scriptures the things Concerning Himself' (Luke 24:27).
So we, too, in type and shadow, in prophecy and in doctrine, will seek
to see Him, and we shall preach Him, otherwise all our 'distinctness' and all
our 'division' will be dead and fruitless.  If, on the other hand, the
ministry of the Opened Book follows the lead given by these three examples,
we may confidently expect the sequel, 'Their eyes were opened' (Luke 24:31);
'Then opened He their understanding, that they might understand the
Scriptures' (Luke 24:45).
The Association of Sacrifice with Service
There is a word that belongs to the Christian faith, if Christian faith
regards truth as supreme, that has been handed over to the enemy.  That is
the word 'rational'.  A rationalist today is defined as 'one who rationalizes
in matters of religion or sacred history', and rationalism as 'the practice