Monday, September 12, 2011

He did not strive or cry

Jesus never became a party leader; he was no place-hunter or demagogue. There arose many in his day who claimed to be great ones, and drew much people after them by the pretence that they were the promised deliverers; and by-and-by their clamours created strife, for the troops of the Romans were after them, and tumult and bloodshed were the lamentable sequel. Never did our Lord bid his servants fight, for his kingdom was of another order. When, for once in his life, he rode in state as a king through the streets of Jerusalem, the shouting has only that of children, who said “Hosanna” in the temple, and of a willing, peaceful company of disciples, whose only weapons were palm branches and boughs of the trees. No war horse did he ride, he chose the lowly ass. As compared with those who clamoured for place and power, he was like a dumb man all his days, though able to have awed or charmed the multitude to do his bidding. He loved the lone mountain’s side better than the throng of the crowd. He could not help being popular; such a speaker as he was must needs attract his thousands, for “Never man spake like this man.”

And such a miracle-worker as he was, how could it be but that the people would follow to witness his wonders and eat of his loaves and fishes? And such a generous spirit, so noble, and so free-hearted, it was little marvel that the people would have made him a king; but he tore himself away: they sought him and found him not. He came to endure, not to enjoy; to be despised, and not to be crowned. How often did he escape the congratulating crowds! He took ship and passed over to the other side; rough waters were more to his mind than hot-brained mobs of transient admirers, who could be bought by bread and fish. His design was not to be the idol of the populace, but to break their idols and lead back their hearts to God. Hence he did not strive nor cry, nor run in the world’s race, nor battle in her wars.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "The Gentleness Of Jesus," delivered December 14, 1873. Image by Torsten on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

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