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For three months we have been looking at Jesus, hearing his words, seeing his wonderful deeds, watching his character, entranced by his presence, from Sunday to Sunday. To-day we gather together all we have seen and learned during these weeks, into one fascinating picture, that should make us love him as never before.
The object of this Review is to make Jesus as real to us as if we were with the disciples almost nineteen centuries ago, and could realize that the Word made flesh is now dwelling among us full of grace and truth, receiving daily of his fulness, and grace for grace (1 : 14, 16).
For Jesus is the Way, the Way to heaven, the Way to all that is highest and best on earth, the Way of life, the Way to the Father, the goal of all human aspiration, the Way out of darkness and sin to holiness and God.
And the Truth, the Truth about God, and forgiveness of sins, and right living, and eternal life.
And the Life, the source of life, true life here on earth and eternal life, the life the Holy Spirit gives to us, spiritual life.
St. John tells us that his Gospel is written that ye may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye may have life through his name (20 : 31).
The whole Review Centres about Jesus Christ.
I. The Place where he lived and did his work. Point out on the map the places in Palestine made most precious by what Jesus did in them.
II. The real nature of Jesus as the Word of God. Describe who and what he was and did, that made him a perfect Saviour.
III. The Forerunner, John the Baptist. In what ways did he make known Jesus as the Christ, the Messiah ?
IV. Jesus baptized by John. Why was Jesus baptized ? The voice of God's approval, and the coming upon him of the Holy Spirit.
V. How Jesus gained his first Disciples. Their names, and characteristics. Why were these especially fitted for this purpose ?
VI. The miracle wrought at the Wedding in Cana of Galilee. What characteristics of Jesus and his work are made known by this event ?
VII. Jesus cleanses the Temple. What was his object ; and how was he able to accomplish it ? Of what was it a type ?
VIII. Jesus, and his interview with Nicodemus. Character of Nicodemus. What is it to be born again ? Born of water and the Spirit ?
IX. Moses and the brazen serpent. What did Jesus teach by this story?
XI. Jesus and the woman of Samaria. The water of everlasting life, what it means. True worship.
XII. Restoring the Nobleman's son. Healing and faith. Peculiarities of this miracle.
XIII. Why does John usually call Jesus' miracles, Signs ? Signs of what ? How do they prove that Jesus was divine? Could we prove that Jesus was more than man, unless he does things that man could not do? Does Jesus appeal to his miracles as proofs that he is the Son of God ?
XIV. Miracles are never the breaking of the laws of nature. When a man changes a few trees into a house, he breaks no law of nature, but simply by the creative force of his will uses natural material and nature's laws to accomplish his purpose. He does what an animal cannot do, because the animal has not man's creative power of will.
When Christ wrought a miracle he simply with the divine personal will infinitely greater than man's will, uses the laws of nature and of spirit to accomplish his purpose. God certainly can do what man can do, and as much beyond as God is greater than man.
XV. Jesus cures the impotent man at the Pool of Bethesda. How did the man show his faith? Why did Jesus say to him, “ Sin no more lest a worse thing come upon thee" ?
XVI. Feeding the five thousand. What special truths did Jesus teach by the incidents of this story, — His teaching of his disciples, his healing of disease, and preaching the Gospel to the people, the boy that helped, the fragments gathered ?
XVII. Jesus, the Bread of Life, and its teachings. Eating the flesh of the Son of
XVIII. The Son shall make you free.
Summary. Jesus tells us that He that hath seen me, hath seen the Father. God is invisible. We have never seen God, any more than we have seen the soul of a friend. We know the soul by what the soul does through the body. We know God through what he has created that we can see, but much more through what his son Jesus did in the flesh, his life, his deeds, his teachings, his character.
“The Conquering Christ.” “ Richard Morris was hesitating between the ministry and the life of a business man. There were things about both careers that
tempted his ambition ; the highest and deepest in him really longed to serve in such personal ways as the min try offered ; but he was tortured with doubt concerning the power of Christianity as a religion.
“ Richard's own father was a minister, and one evening he went to him and frankly confessed his growing distrust of his personal faith, and especially of the real power of Jesus in a world that is full of tremendous evil.
“ The father was a wise man ; his lifelong dream had been to see his son in a pulpit. That dream seemed on the point of dissolving, but he calmly said :
“Will you honestly accept proof that Christianity is the greatest power in the world to-day if I can give it to you? “'I certainly will, father ; that is what I want.'
Well, then, do we have any terrible sins or vices here on earth now that were not here when Jesus was born ??
“ The young man hesitated. " " I don't know of any.' “When Jesus was born there were drunkenness, slavery, impurity, greed, cruelty, child labor, trampling on womanhood, war, and every phase of human selfishness. Does not history show that ?' “Yes, beyond a doubt.'
' Is it not also true that, although these wrongs still exist, there is a deep and earnest protest against every one of them ?'
Yes, that is so.' “From whom do those protests come ?'
“ The son was silent. He had studied history carefully, and saw what his father's argument was.
“' Does it not come almost entirely from Christians, from people who have known the name of Jesus ? Can you think of a single group of suffering humanity anywhere to-day that some other group is not trying to help, to lift up, to heal ?" “' No, father, I cannot.'
At the heart of the world's best life you will always find the spirit of Jesus Christ. Once there was no protest, or very little, against the wrongs that are done in the world. Now there is a mighty protest. Christianity has wrought this miracle. It is creating new standards of life among men.
You cannot account for all the wonderful changes in the heart of man except through Jesus and the religion He taught.'
“ And after a long silence the son answered quietly, ' I see that, father. You have convinced me.'” – Youth's Companion.