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28 For I say unto you, Among those that are born of women there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist: but he that is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.
"The Reward," in relation to its several elements, is exhibited apocalyptically under a diversity of symbols...To be strengthened with incorruptible life in the time of the dead, is "to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of the Deity" (ii. 7). To be an immortal king, is to receive "the crown of life" (ver. 10). To be approved, and acquitted of all guile and fault before the throne, and to be physically like Jesus Christ, is to eat of the hidden manna, to receive a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, and known only to the receiver (ver. 17). To operate with the Lamb in the setting up of the promised kingdom, is to receive power over the nations, to rule them with a rod of iron, and to shiver their image to pieces as a potter's vessel (ver. 26,27).
To be endued with a clean and incorruptible nature, and to be divinely honored, is to be clothed in white raiment, and to be confessed before the Father and his angels (iii. 5). To become Deity manifested in glorified nature, and a constituent of the New Jerusalem, is to be made a permanent pillar in the Nave or Most Holy of Deity, with the Name of Deity, and the name of the city of Deity, the new name written upon him (ver. 12).
And to reign with Christ, is to sit with him in his throne (ver. 21). Such is "the reward to be given to the prophets, to the saints, to them that venerate the Name of Deity, small and great;" so that, "even the least in the kingdom of the heavens," though a star of the smallest magnitude and glory, will be greater than the greatest of all the prophets in the mortal state.
Eureka 11.3.The Third Woe 2.
34 The Son of man is come eating and drinking; and ye say, Behold a gluttonous man, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners!
35 But wisdom is justified of all her children.
We are apt, in our fancy, as we read the story of Jesus, to envision a quiet, majestic figure slowly traveling about Judea and Galilee with respectful throngs following him, a person at least of general respect, if not of wholehearted general approval. But this is not the true picture. Multitudes thronged him, truly. But they were not the 'respectable' people.
The respectable people, unless they were of exceptional courage, came secretly at night, like Nicodemus, if they came at all. The respectable people whispered, as they viewed his simple followers-
"Behold a glutton and a winebibber: a friend of publicans and sinners!" (Luke 7:34).
The "respectable" were afraid to be associated with him, for-
"The Jews had agreed already that if any man did confess that he was Christ, he should be put out of the synagogue."
And because the man who was born blind confessed him, they did cast him out. The respectable people could say, with triumphant contempt (John 7:48-49)-
"Have any of the rulers or the Pharisees believed on him? but this people who knoweth not the Law are accursed."
And it is further recorded (John 12:42),
"Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue: for they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God."
It is clear that to confess him meant ostracism from respectable society. As Isaiah tells us (55:3), he was not only rejected, but despised-
"A reproach of men, and despised of the people" (Psa. 22:60). "Him whom man despiseth, him whom the nation abhorreth."
He, no less than Paul (1 Cor. 4:12-13), was-
"Reviled, defamed, made as the filth of the world, and the offscouring of all things."
And those that followed him were told to expect the same-
"If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household?"
"Blessed are ye when men shall revile you for my sake."
"WOE unto you when all men shall speak well of you!"Bro Growcott - If I may but touch him
40 And Jesus answering said unto him, Simon, I have somewhat to say unto thee. And he saith, Master, say on.
41 There was a certain creditor which had two debtors: the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty.
The bearing of this is best seen in connection with the circumstance calling it forth. Jesus had accepted a Pharisee's invitation to dine. In the house, while reclining Oriental fashion at a table, a woman of blemished character approached Jesus from behind, and began to kiss his feet and wipe them with the hair of her head, and anoint them with precious ointment. The Pharisee, who knew the character of the woman, watched the proceeding with some considerable contemplations. He was undecided in his mind as to the true character of Christ.
He had evidently asked him to dine for the purpose of getting a closer view of him than he could get out of doors or in the synagogue, and this incident of the woman taking such liberties with him unrebuked, exercised him unfavourably. The argument going on in his mind was, "This man, if he were a prophet, would have known who and what manner of woman this is that toucheth him." The parable was Christ's way of meeting this argument, for he not only knew who and what manner of woman the woman was, but he knew what was passing in the Pharisee's mind, though the Pharisee was not aware of it.
Christ's application of the parable was that the very character of the woman was the explanation of her affectionate attention -- so different from the Pharisee's cold courtesy. Her greater love was the result of the forgiveness of her many sins. "To whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little." On reflection, it will be found that this principle goes beyond the individual case that called forth its enunciation.
It supplies the key to the plan on which God is guiding the earth to its everlasting place in the universe. That plan is the permission and the cure of evil, with reference to the supremacy of His declared will in the minds and actions of men. It is a distressing process while it lasts: as Paul testifies, and we all know from experience:
"The whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now." But enlightened intelligence is enabled to endure it in view of the other testified fact, that the affliction is "working out for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory." But for the evil, the good never could have been appreciated as it requires to be -- in humility and gladness.
The prevalence of sin provides the occasion also for forgiveness of sin; and forgiven sin opens the way for love and joy. The multitude of God's glorified children could never have sung the thrilling strains of the gladsome song heard in vision by John in Patmos, if there had not first been a population requiring to be washed from their sins by the blood of the Lamb. It required the reign of sin, misery and death to prepare the way for that glorious song, and all the unutterable glories it represents in detail:
"Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and wisdom, and riches and honour, and glory and blessing.... Thou hast redeemed us unto God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue and people and nation; and hast made us unto our God kings and priests, and we shall reign on the earth."