And he sends forth two of his disciples, and said to them, Go you into the city…
"The Master saith!" Has the charm of the Master's name vanished in these latter days? Are we, men and women of the nineteenth century, children of a modern life and civilization which is ever extending itself with feverish restlessness and painful throes of new birth, are we grown familiar with strange voices, with forces unknown in that ancient world, and those ancient days spent under the blue Syrian sky; are we become superior to the claims, the force, the beauty, and the authority of a great personal life? Have we relegated Jesus of Nazareth merely to a place, however great, in the development of history? Is He merely the product of social forces and political and historical traditions? "The Master saith!" Being dead, doth He yet speak; yet so as through the faint vibrations of memory — of memory which grows weaker as the ages roll behind us into the eternity of the past; or is it a living voice still which I hear — a voice which no results of time can shake with the tremulousness of age? Do not our own hearts — we who have become disciples, we who, constrained by a force which we could not resist, have exclaimed, "Master, Thou art the Christ who hast conquered me, Thou art the Christ who hast died for me" — do not our own hearts passionately exclaim, "He liveth still to make intercession for us, and to rule us with the supremacy of perfect love"? Will ye also admit the Master within? Will ye hear Him? Will ye let Him talk with you? This night, as a disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ, I bring the word to you also: "The Master saith!" The voices of all His disciples are but weak echoes of the mightier and abiding voice which is His. "The Master saith!" But where? Hath His voice a local habitation and a name? Doth He reach me through the channel of my senses, or how doth He touch my living spirit? It is here that "the Master saith!" — even now. These poor temples of ours, they are for the most part but shapeless structures of stone and lime, yet they are clothed with the spiritual and unfading beauty of a Divine guest chamber; a voice which is not my voice overpowers my struggling will, subdues by gentle and beautiful processes my efforts to make my own will my law and arbiter of duty, and speaks through me. And most of all is it of infinite moment to know that there is one called "Master," and who does speak. This is what I need to know and feel. In Jesus of Nazareth life and duty are reconciled. In Him I recognize the Master whom I need. To Him, in whom gentleness was so perfectly blended with strength, I come, craving to touch but the hem of His garment, contented in that I have seen my Lord. "The Master saith!" If His voice is the voice of an authority, sublimely enforced through self-denial, patience, gentleness, suffering, and death, why should I crave more? Shall I not say, It is enough; He calleth me, and I must answer? He bids me arise, and I must arise. For me the highest virtue is obedience, for it is the Master who saith.
Parallel VersesKJV: And he sendeth forth two of his disciples, and saith unto them, Go ye into the city, and there shall meet you a man bearing a pitcher of water: follow him.