After these things Jesus walked in Galilee: for he would not walk in Jewry, because the Jews sought to kill him.…
A single word will often lay bare a man's object, habit of mind, whole bent of nature. This is a revealing sentence involving a perpetual principle of the carnal mind. Christ had been doing and saying great things, but of the latter these people made no account. They fix upon that which struck the eye.
I. THIS IS A SPEECH OF WORLDLY MINDED MEN, and presents to us the worldly mind in its foolishness, making false deductions because unable to understand the things of God. Rising no higher than Christ's outward deeds, no wonder that they anticipated no nobler result than the world's praise. It is just the old story "What will the world say?" It is sad to judge and live with a false standard of value. Were a man to go about with a piece of straw and measure men and even principles by his worthless standard we should think him mad; and yet this is the world all over. It takes its own empty opinion as the standard of all things. What did this involve? It put before Christ a false end of action, and had He gone on the principles here suggested, He would have become alienated from the Father, and been "of the world," and so no Saviour. For there is here involved an entire perversion of His mission. His whole life was a testimony against the world, but His brethren say, "Go and take its admiration by storm with your wonderful deeds." Note the following lessons —
1. How entirely the things of God are mistaken by the world, and not only by the profligate, but by the simply unbelieving.
2. How foolish for the people of God to be led by the world's opinion.
3. How it requires sympathy with the mind of Jesus to detect and repel the mind of the world.
4. What mischief results from ignorant or bad advice, even when well meant and of friends.
5. What a warning against what is merely colourably good!
6. What little importance is to be attached to the terrible formula, "What will the world say?"
7. Beware of mistaking the end of your position, life, gifts, none of which is given to gain the world's praise.
8. Beware of reasoning on the world's principles.
9. Be wary when a course of action has as its simple end your own honour.
10. In all solicitations of the world go down into the mind of God and your relationship with Him, and judge each by the light you have of them.
II. THE WRONG THOUGHTS WHICH, IN CONNECTION WITH THIS MATTER, RISE IN THE MINDS OF THE PEOPLE OF GOD.
1. Discontent at being put and kept in the background — and hence discomfort and weakness in work. This arises from exaggerated views of our importance, and from not seeing that God will appoint what is best, and from that superficiality which prevents our seeing that show and noise are Dot power, and that many of the greatest processes which issue in manifold results are secret. We do not under. stand the beauties of the background of the Christian life where Jesus was for many a long year. This background is at least safe, and many of God's dearest walk there unnoticed of men but honoured by Him.
2. Discontent at there being so little to show. What is this but coming into the world's court and pleading for a verdict there. The believer must have no care about his work being seen by the world. If he live there will be no occasion for him to thrust himself forward. He must by his life condemn it, and that will create sufficient attention. God's child must not be discontented at seeing honours and riches flowing in upon those who serve the world. "The world loves its own." Let us calmly live before God. Here is comfort for those who are laid aside too weak or poor to do aught that can attract observation. They are seen by God in secret and will be rewarded openly.
(P. B. Power, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: After these things Jesus walked in Galilee: for he would not walk in Jewry, because the Jews sought to kill him.