The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. : —
I. AN EVER DEEPENING SENSE OF SIN. See Isaiah (Isaiah 6:5); Job (Job 42:5, 6); Peter (Luke 5:8).
II. AN EVER ENLARGING MEASURE OF JOY. See David (Psalm 4:6, 7; Psalm 16:11; Psalm 21:6), the disciples (ver. 20), the eunuch (Acts 8:39), the jailer (Acts 16:34).
III. AN EVER ADVANCING DEGREE OF HOLINESS (2 Corinthians 3:18; 1 John 3:2, 3).
IV. AN EVER STRENGTHENING RESOLUTION TO ENDURE. Like Moses (Hebrews 11:27); Paul (2 Timothy 3:11); Christ (Hebrews 7:2, 3).
V. AN EVER GROWING DETERMINATION TO SPEAK FOR CHRIST (Acts 4:20).
VI. AN EVER KINDLING DESIRE TO BE WITH CHRIST (Philippians 1:23).
But he said unto them, except I shall see.
Do not exercise your doubts. Exercise your faith. Doubt is weakness, faith is power; doubt is disease, faith is health. Let the sick part rest. Exercise the well part, and it will encroach more and more until it drives out the sickness. Take care of your faith, however small, as the famine-stricken guard the scanty seed grain, as the snowbound, lost woodsman nurses his last match. Little faith may grow to great faith and become a power. "What a great matter a little fire kindleth." Do not think about your doubts. Intellectualize your faith, exercise it, use your ingenuity upon it, see what can be done with it, live up to it, what there is of it. Yonder at Niagara you see the graceful steel bridge span the chasm where the untamed whirlpool thunders below. How leapt that span from cliff to cliff? They say a tiny kite flew over the chasm and fell upon the other side. The chasm was spanned. You say by a thread. Yes, by a thread. But the thread was used to pull over a cord, and the cord to pull over a rope, and the rope a chain, and the chain a cable, and on the cable was built the bridge, upon whose strong and steadfast span the massive trains crash across. Thus may it be with the most attenuated thread of faith. What possibilities, what destinies, hang upon it! Ah! it may be lightly snapped asunder. But that thread may grow to a cord, and the cord to a rope, and the rope to a cable, and the cable to a bridge, spanning the chasm between heaven and earth. And our prayers shall ascend, and God's blessings shall descend, like the angels ascending and descending on the ladder which Jacob saw.
"Is it always foggy here?" inquired a lady passenger of a Cunard steamer's captain, when they were groping their way across the Banks of Newfoundland. "How should I know?" replied the captain, gruffly; "I do not live here." But there are some of Christ's professed followers who do manage to live in the chilling regions of spiritual fog for a great part of their unhappy lives.
I once heard of a poor coloured woman who earned a precarious living by dally labour, but who was a joyous, triumphant Christian. "Ah, Nancy," said a gloomy Christian lady to her one day, who almost disapproved of her constant cheerfulness, and yet envied it — "Ah, Nancy, it is all well enough to be happy now; but I should think the thoughts of your future would sober you. Only suppose, for instance, you should have a spell of sickness, and be unable to work; or suppose your present employers should move away, and no one else should give you anything to do; or suppose" "Stop!" cried Nancy, "I never supposes. De Lord is my Shepherd, and I know I shall not want. And, honey," she added to her gloomy friend, "it's all dem supposes as is makin' you so mis'able. You'd better give dem all up, and just trust de Lord."
A theological student once called on Dr. Archibald Alexander in great distress of mind, doubting whether he had been converted. The doctor said, "My young brother, you know what repentance is, what faith in Christ is. You think you once repented, and once believed. Now, don't fight your doubts; go all over it again; repent now, believe in Christ now: that's the way to have a consciousness of acceptance with God. I have to do both very often. Go to your room, and give yourself to Christ this very moment, and let doubts go. If you have not been His disciple, be one now. Don't fight the devil on his own ground. Choose the ground of Christ's righteousness and atonement, and then fight him."
A theological student once went to Dr. Hedge with his difficulties about the divinity of our Lord and Saviour. The doctor listened patiently, and then said, "My dear young friend, your difficulties are of the head. If I should answer them, new ones would suggest themselves. The best way to remove them, and guard yourself from future and similar troubles, is to have Christ within you. Learn His life; learn to trust in Him more, to love Him more; become identified with Him; and your doubts as to His divinity will disappear." The young student followed his advice; his doubts fled; and, on a subsequent death-bed, he bore his testimony to the divinity of our blessed Lord.
I put you on your guard against the scepticism of our time. And do you think that I am about to enlarge upon the scepticism of Rosseau, of Diderot, of Voltaire, of Bolingbroke, of Hobbes, and of Hume? — that was swept away with their ashes, and is buried. The great scepticism of our time is market-scepticism, political scepticism, and religious scepticism. Men who feel that it would be wicked to sacrifice great pecuniary interest for the sake of principle; men who think it would be a tempting of Providence to refuse profitable business speculations, to leave profitable situations, or to refuse dividends of evil; men whose consciences will not permit them, as the members of a corporation, to expose its wickedness; men who stand in the market, and feel that they have a right to do anything that wins, these men are infidels. You need not tell me that they believe in the Bible: they believe in an empty Bible — a Bible of the letter, and not a Bible of the Spirit which says to a man, "Sacrifice your right hand before you do your integrity."
A reliable informant, Voltaire s own physician, writes to a friend as follows: "When I compare the death of a righteous man, which is like the close of a beautiful day, with that of a Voltaire, I see the difference between bright, serene weather and a black thunderstorm. It was my lot that this man should die under my hands. Often did I tell him the truth, but, unhappily for him, I was the only person who did so. 'Yes, my friend,' he would often say to me, 'you are the only one who has given me good advice. Had I but followed it, I should not have been in the horrible condition in which I now am. I have swallowed nothing but smoke; I have intoxicated myself with the incense that turned my head. You can do nothing more for me. Send me a mad doctor! Have compassion on me, I am mad! I cannot think of it without shuddering.' As soon as he saw that all the means which he had employed to increase his strength had just the opposite effect death was constantly before his eyes. From this moment madness took possession of his soul. Think of the ravings of Orestes. He expired under the torment of the furies."
New Handbook of Illustration.
David Hume, after witnessing, in the family of the venerable La Roche, those consolations which the gospel only can impart, confessed, with a sigh, that "there were moments when, amidst all the pleasures of philosophical discovery and the pride of literary fame, he wished that he had never doubted."
Once a sceptic in Dr. Bonar's church said, "Sir, I do not believe there is a God." It was 10 p.m., and no time for argument. I cast the burden on the Lord in prayer, and looked so happy that he said, "Are you laughing at me?" "No; but I was thinking if all the grasshoppers on earth were to say there is no sun, it would not alter the matter. The Bible says, 'The fool hath said in his heart, there is no God.'" "Well, that is so," he said. I then showed him that God calls every man that does not believe in Him a liar. The man went home seeming much impressed; and when I met him some months afterwards he said, "I found out that I was a fool and a liar, and have come to Christ." Thus the sword of the Spirit had pierced his heart.
See these electric wires that are shooting their mysterious threads throughout our land, communicating between city and city, between man and man, however distant; dead, yet instinct with life; silent, yet vocal with hidden sound; carrying, as with a lightning-burst, the tidings of good or evil from shore to shore. Separate their terminating points by one hair's breadth from the index, or interpose some nonconducting substance, and in a moment intercourse is broken. But refasten the several points, or link them to the index with some conducting material, and instantaneously the intercourse is renewed. Joy and sorrow flow again along the line. Men's thought's, men's feelings, men's deeds, rumours of war or assurance of peace, news of victory or defeat, the sounds of falling thrones, the shouts of frantic nations, all hurrying on after each other to convey to ten thousand throbbing hearts the evil or good which they contain. The non-conductor is unbelief. It interposes between the soul and all Divine intercourse. It may seem a thing too slight to effect so great a result, yet it does so inevitably. It shuts off the communication with the source of all glad tidings. It isolates the man, and forbids the approach of blessing. That conductor is faith. In itself it is nothing, but in its connection everything. It restores in a moment the broken communication; and this is not from any virtue in itself, but simply as the conducting link between the soul and the fountain of all blessings above.
LinksJohn 20:25 NIVJohn 20:25 NLTJohn 20:25 ESVJohn 20:25 NASBJohn 20:25 KJV
John 20:25 Bible AppsJohn 20:25 ParallelJohn 20:25 Biblia ParalelaJohn 20:25 Chinese BibleJohn 20:25 French BibleJohn 20:25 German Bible
John 20:25 Commentaries