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Charles Spurgeon's "Morning & Evening"
Devotional: October 6th
“Lord, is it I?”
He could not but be troubled as he quoted the words of David, “He that eateth bread with me hath lifted up his heel against me.” He who has been deserted by his friend and betrayed by a beloved companion will best be able to sympathise with the Lord. How different from us was he when he found himself betrayed. He did not turn in anger on the traitor, and upbraid him to his face; but he spoke indefinitely of one then present; as if he would give the offender an opportunity to repent, by gently hinting to him that his evil covenant was known to his innocent victim. Hard was the heart which could be hardened under that tender and delicate appeal.
We read that they each one said, “Lord, is it I?” No one suspected his fellow, none thought of Judas. It is well when we take warnings home to ourselves: ”If a traitor was found ‘midst the privileged few, If in Jesus’ own presence a Judas was nigh; Let my poor startled conscience this moment renew, The anxious enquiry of ‘Lord, is it I?’“
With true modesty John conceals his name, but with fond remembrance of his Master’s favour, he uses a title dearer to him than the name his father gave him. To be “that disciple whom Jesus loved” was greater honour than to be an emperor.
If any man may expect to know the secret of the Lord it is the disciple who lives in fellowship with his Lord. He may ask questions when others dare not.
And yet the hardened sinner was not moved to repentance. Son of perdition, indeed, he was. Yet Jesus gave him a sop from his own dish. Outward gifts from the Lord’s hand are not always proofs of love. There was but one traitor at the table, and he alone had a sop given him from Christ’s own hand; let us not envy those ungodly ones to whom the dainty morsels fall, they are only eating to their own condemnation.
His irritation was great at being discovered, and as he was already a devil in covetousness, so Satan came to him and filled him with malice.
Then said Jesus unto him, That thou doest, do quickly.
He did not bid him do it, but since he would do it, he charged him to waste no time. Oh, the admirable meekness of the Lamb of God! Not one angry word fell from his lips. Why are we so full of wrath when we are ill-used?
This shows that the Redeemer showed no resentment, he spoke so calmly that the disciples thought that he referred to some ordinary business.
Leave thee! no, my dearest Saviour,
Thee whose blood my pardon bought;
Slight thy mercy, scorn thy favour!
Perish such an impious thought:
Leave thee never!
Where for peace could I resort?
But, O Lord, thou know’st my weakness,
Know’st how prone I am to stray;
God of love, of truth, of meekness,
Guide and keep me in thy way;
Let me never from thee stray.
My God, my God, was ever love,
Was ever lowliness like thine?
Amazed I beg thee to explain
Thine own mysterious love’s design.
Wondering I ask how can it be
That God should wait on man below?
That God’s own Son should stoop to me,
And wash a sinner white as snow?
“Love one another.”
In spirit he had already triumphed. At the sight of Judas he had suffered pangs unutterable, but his soul had overcome the trial, and had gained an earnest of complete victory in the battle which lay before him. The traitor also was driven out of his church, and he saw in this a prophecy of the overthrow of Antichrist.
His eye is on the glory as he enter’s upon his passion; “for the joy that was set before him he endured the cross, despising the shame.”
Now that Judas is gone, he unbosoms his heart, and speaks to the eleven under the tender term of “little children.” He tells them that just now they are not to die with him and for a while they cannot follow him into heaven, but must tarry below; and he teaches them how to behave to one another in his absence, and leaves them the law of love as one of his last words.
Peter would one day die a martyrs death, but not. just then. This ought to have satisfied and silenced him, but his loving heart outran his judgment.
Luke 22:31 , Luke 22:32
This solemn warning and gracious declaration were meant to set the bold disciple on his guard, but he was self-confident, and again declared his strength of purpose.
Never was man more hearty and sincere, but the Lord knew he would waver. Let none of us talk of what we will do, but pray for grace to do it.
Now all was changed, no one would entertain them, every one would harm them, and they would be as men needing defence against deadly foes. He did not, however, mean that they should fight with carnal weapons, as we shall see immediately. It was only an intimation that they were now to be assailed by force.
If they were literally to fight, two swords were not enough, but they were enough to express the Saviour’s idea. They were now to go out as warriors to conquer the world, and the swords represented their militant condition. One sword was rashly used by Peter, and his Lord bade him put it away, to show that armed force is not to be employed; there was another sword not then wielded, which typified the Word of God, with which nations are subdued.
Boast not thy strength of faith and zeal
For trials yet unknown;
Or thou wilt soon by falling feel
Thou canst not stand alone.
To Jesus now confide thy heart,
He only can defend,
He will his mighty grace impart,
And keep thee to the end.
the Sixth Week after Easter
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