Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The power of His gentle goodness

As he shunned popularity, so he made no use of the carnal force which lay ready to his hand. No doubt the priests and scribes were sometimes afraid to oppose him, for fear of the people; but they had no need to fear that he would shelter behind the populace. He asked neither the rich nor the strong nor the many to protect him, but felt quite secure till his hour was come. He spake openly before them, unguarded by his friends, and with neither weapon nor armor of defense. He never appealed to human passions, or egged on the people against the tyrants of the hour. No sentence of his can be construed into a desire to meet force by force. One of his followers, who loved him much, said, “Let us call fire from heaven upon these Samaritans;” but he said, “Ye know not what spirit ye are of.”

In the garden of Gethsemane he might have summoned legions of angels to the rescue, but he agonized alone. Not a single seraph came from the throne to drive away the son of perdition, or the bloodthirsty priests. No destroying angel smote the men who spat in his face, no devouring flame burned up those who scourged him. The force of his life was the omnipotence of gentle goodness. He did not lay the weight of his little finger upon the minds of men to compel them to involuntary subjection; his conquests were such as led men in willing captivity.

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

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