The Berean Expositor
Volume 21 - Page 200 of 202
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as the actual presence with the Lord on the holy mount. Yet that is Peter's contention.
There is almost a note of holy envy in the text quoted at the head of this paper:--
"Whom having not seen, YE LOVE; in Whom, though now ye see Him not, yet
believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory" (I Pet. 1: 8).
Peter had seen. What a blessed thing to love, to believe, to rejoice, even though one
had never seen! Did not the Lord Himself utter the benediction:--
"Thomas, because thou hast seen Me, thou hast believed; blessed are they that they
have not seen, and yet believed" (John 20: 29).
Some feel a longing for the personal Christ. Here at least is one note of cheer; His
blessing rests upon those who, though they have never seen Him, yet believe. How is the
believing produced? John proceeds at once to say:--
"But these signs are written that ye might believe" (John 20: 31).
Peter leads on from personal contact to the "word of prophecy"; John to that which is
The Lord, in Luke 16:, rebukes the spirit that lies behind the preference for the
"personal" and the impatience with the "written". The rich man asks that some one
should go and warn his five brethren:--
"And He said unto him; If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be
persuaded, though one rose from the dead" (Luke 16: 30, 31).
John, many years after the ascension of the Lord, writes:--
"That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with
our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled of the Word of life"
(I John 1: 1).
Here John is referring to his personal association with Christ which he had in such
marked preference. Yet how does he continue?
"That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have
fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus
Christ; and these things write we unto you, that YOUR JOY MAY BE FULL"
(I John 1: 3, 4).
John does not seem to entertain the possibility of their joy being limited or barren,
because their fellowship with the Lord was through the medium of the written Word and
not a close personal fellowship like that of the disciple who reclined on the Saviour's
bosom. When we remember, moreover, that Christ continually declared, "My doctrine is
not Mine, but His that sent Me" (John 7: 16), and that inability on the part of many of
His hearers to receive Him was due to the Father's Word not abiding in them
(John 5: 38), we may realize that even in the days of His flesh the Lord attracted or