Contrasts in Life
Matthew 17:1-13
And after six days Jesus takes Peter, James, and John his brother, and brings them up into an high mountain apart,…

Here in London we find, side by side, anxious, earnest, dutiful work, and thoughtless, frivolous, selfish indolence; great intellect expanded by culture and exercise, and stolid ignorance which will not learn; splendid abundance, and squalid want; health radiant in its present joy, and sickness suffering in its gaunt despair; cruelty, and kindness; generosity, and meanness; courage, and cowardice; in the same street — in the same house — some of these antitheses in the same heart! Observe

I. In the STREETS. Apathy and zeal, honesty and fraud, the athlete and the cripple, the millionaire and the pauper, the abstainer and the drunkard, the sister of mercy and the painted harlot, meeting and touching each other — joy and sorrow, good and evil, life and death. I passed by a great mansion glowing with light from roof to basement, with long lines of carriages hard by; and tapers glowed, and music breathed, and beauty led the ball. Not many days after I passed it again, and the stones were thickly covered with litter to deaden the sound of wheels, and I knew that sickness was in that house. And yet once again, and the rooms were darkened which had been ablaze with light, and there was silence where I heard the joyous music, broken now only by the sigh of the sorrowful; and again there was a long line of carriages, but they were filled with mourners, and at the head of all was the hearse.

II. In our HOMES — what contrasts! Only an outer wall may separate the house where there is peace and contentment, where hearts are of each other sure, where there is the tenderness, the respect, the loyalty of true affection, where forethought and forbearance unite husband and wife, parent and child, brother and sister, master and servant, and bring domestic happiness — that only bliss of paradise which has survived the fall. Only an outer wall may divide this bright abode from the dwelling-place of jealous suspicion, fretful disquiet, sullen resistance, waste, lewdness, and tyranny.

III. In our HEARTS — ah! YOU know, you only, the bitterness and the joy. Yes, you know the cold, dark shadows and the sunny gleams succeeding in such swift and strange alternation, like the uncertain glories of an April day.

(S. R. Hole, M. A.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart,

WEB: After six days, Jesus took with him Peter, James, and John his brother, and brought them up into a high mountain by themselves.

Cloud on Mount Hermon
Top of Page
Top of Page