If I have the love of a person, I share in all that person is. It is the greatest of all things to know the Lord Jesus personally. Joseph is a type; he said to his brethren, “Fear ye not; I will nourish you, and your little ones.” The Lord Jesus has done for us the greatest work—“greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” But that is not all; the love of God is shed abroad in my heart by the Holy Spirit which is given unto me, and I thereby know the Lord Jesus and the Father personally.
To Adam a garden was given, and everything in it—a tree of life in the midst of the garden; and there he was set, subject to God’s word. But now we have a person, the Lord Jesus Christ. Mary Magdalene, in a garden said, “They have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid Him.” Very ignorant, I admit (as were all, concerning His resurrection, even though He spoke of it – Matt 12:40; Luke 24:46; John 20:9—NC), but her heart is set on a Person. Hence the Lord reveals Himself to her; He does not give her anything on the earth, but He said to her, “Go to my brethren and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father and your Father.”
There is nothing greater than to know the Lord Jesus personally, so that you can sit down under His shadow with great delight. There is a universality about a person, that no combination of circumstances can supply; we all know that no combination of circumstances can make up for the loss of a near relative—things cannot equal a person.
The more you know of the Lord Jesus the more you will find that “He satisfieth the longing soul”; and when you know Him as your Life outside of every human voice and influence, then He will be everything to you. Many Christians can say, Christ is chiefest. Yes; but can you say, He is everything?
“Peter said, Lo, we have left all and followed thee” (Luke 18:28). This is about three years since the occurrence in chapter five, when Peter left all and followed Jesus. Now note the Lord’s answer: “And He said unto them, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or parents, or brethren, or wife, or children, for the kingdom of God’s sake, who shall not receive manifold more in this present time, and in the world to come, life everlasting.” You may ask, What is this manifold more? I answer, The company of the Lord Jesus Christ!
Peter was three years with the Lord Jesus. Would you not like to get what Peter got? For three years he was in His company; all that time under His wing, under His influence. Surely that was better than any blessing, earthly or otherwise. “When they had brought their ships to land, they forsook all, and followed him.” Loss? Instead of loss, “manifold more in this present time.” Some imagine it is something of the same kind as that which you have surrendered. No, it is the Lord Jesus Christ Himself!
It is not only the work of salvation that you receive, but that you come to know His heart and interests; how He thinks of you, how He seeks to draw you to Himself, and to connect you with His own interests; so that the more your heart understands His love for you, the more you are convinced that if the whole world were given up for Him, He is manifold better than all.
A life of patience intervenes between the day of illumination and the day of glorification. I am not to count on a path of pleasure—a path of ease—a path of prosperity—on being more distinguished tomorrow than today; but I am to count of a path of patience. And is not there glory in that? Yes, there is personal company with the Lord Jesus Christ!
- J B Stoney