Christ's work was to lay down in simple lines, yet so as to be clearly understood, truths that, if obeyed, would bring peace and happiness to the soul. He could look beneath the surface, and see the cherished sins that were ruining the life and character, and shutting souls away from God. He pointed out these sins, that all might see them in the true light, and put them away. In some who presented the most hardened exterior, He discerned hopeful subjects. He knew that they would respond to the light, and that they would become His true followers.
As the arrows of truth pierced the hearts of Christ's hearers, breaking through the barriers of selfishness and bringing humiliation, contrition, and finally gratitude, the Saviour's heart was made glad. When His eyes swept over the throng of listeners about Him, and
He recognised among them the same faces that He had seen on former occasions, joy was expressed in His countenance, that here were hopeful subjects of His kingdom.
The messengers of Christ, those whom He sends in His stead, will have the same feelings, the same earnest interest. And those who are tempted to think that their labour is not appreciated, and are inclined to be discouraged, should remember that Jesus had just as hard hearts to deal with, and had a more trying experience than they have had or ever can have. He taught the people with patient love. His deep, searching wisdom knew the wants of every soul among His listeners; and when He saw them refuse the message of peace and love that He came to give them, His heart felt anguish to the very depths.
The world's Redeemer did not come with outward display, or a show of worldly wisdom. Men could not see, beneath the guise of humanity, the glory of the Son of God. He was "despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief." He was to them as "a root out of a dry ground," with "no form nor comeliness,"[1 ISA. 53:3, 2.] that they should desire Him. But He declared, "The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me; because the Lord hath anointed Me to preach good tidings unto the meek; He hath sent Me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound."[2 ISA. 61:1.]
Christ reached the people where they were. He presented the plain truth to their minds in the most
forcible, simple language. The humble poor, the most unlearned, could comprehend, through faith in Him, the most exalted truths. No one needed to consult the learned doctors as to His meaning. He did not perplex the ignorant with mysterious inferences, or use unaccustomed and learned words, of which they had no knowledge. The greatest Teacher the world has ever known, was the most definite, simple, and practical in His instruction.
"That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world."[3 JOHN 1:9, 12, 18.] The world has had its great teachers, men of giant intellect and wonderful research, men whose utterances have stimulated thought and opened to view vast fields of knowledge; and these men have been honoured as guides and benefactors of their race. But there is One who stands higher than they. "As many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God." "No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, He hath declared Him."[3 JOHN 1:9, 12, 18.]
We can trace the line of the world's great teachers as far back as human records extend; but the Light was before them. As the moon and the stars of the solar system shine by the reflected light of the sun, so, as far as their teaching is true, do the world's great thinkers reflect the rays of the Sun of Righteousness. Every gem of thought, every flash of the intellect, is from the Light of the World.