Part 3 of 5
by Carson Richards
There is another particular advance of love from the Great God – that to the individual. We have it in a great general sense, and yet that seems a little impersonal, until we realize that we as individuals are on His heart of love. Our Apostle Paul, told it aptly, when he said “I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live; yet not I, BUT Christ liveth in me, and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” Gal. 2:20. Doesn’t it come closer to home to hear these words? Of course we might qualify it by the reasoning that it was a great official leader that said that of himself. True, but his leadership was as he himself indicated, “for a pattern.” We are not presuming too much to take this statement in Galatians unto ourselves as particular persons.
Moreover in Psalms 139:13-16 the Spirit of Christ said “For Thou hast possessed my reins, thou hast covered me in my mothers womb. I will praise thee, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Marvelous are thy works, and that my soul knoweth right well. My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect, and in Thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.”
Herein is the prophecy of a great new creation of men. Nevertheless, notice the pronouns “I” and “my.” Lest we apply it only to Christ, we see His reference here to all His members. Each of us who believe in Him are one of those and a person in our own redemption right. Praise His Name! He not only foresaw us as a corporate new creation or the group principle, but has a love-recognition of each one of us as a unit of that great whole. Some of us are group oriented by nature, others are of a more private nature. Both have their place, and God has this way of love for both tendencies.
In the Gospel of John let us consider five individuals who have singular attention of the loving Lord here on earth. First John 1:47-49, “Jesus saw Nathanael coming to Him, and saith of him, Behold an Israelite indeed in whom is no guile! Nathanael saith unto him, whence knowest thou me? Jesus answered and said unto him, before that Philip called thee, when thou was under the fig tree, I saw thee. Nathanael answered and saith unto him, Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; Thou art the King of Israel.” Note that Jesus saw Nathanael’s virtue (God given of course) and He loved him for it. We are sometimes buffeted about as Christians and we get a hang-dog attitude of ourselves, but He is kind to point out good points of His nature He gives to us.
On into John chapter three verse one. “There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews.” Remember great John 3:16? It was spoken by our Lord to one man, Nicodemus. Even though he was a teacher of an insufficient message, he was not excluded form God’s love. Sometimes we get the idea that God doesn’t try for all kinds of people. He surely does, as this passage indicates.
In John 5:5, we see “and a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years.” Here comes Divine love toward a man that society could not help. Verse 14, “Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said unto him, behold thou art made whole; sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee.” He loved an infirm man, and healed him body and soul. Yet he was one among many, surely, and just as surely shows that none need despair of a place in the Father’s love.
There stands out another kind of person who received this Divine attention, in John 8:11. Here is a woman rejected of the religious hierarchy and a veritable social outcast yet a recipient of Jesus’ love. He garrisoned about her to prevent condemnation by the Pharisees, and – “She said, no man, Lord, and Jesus said unto her, neither do I condemn thee; go, and sin no more.” Such love! He saved her and made provision for her to live decently, In our quest for candidates for salvation, we needs be careful we exclude no one.
And too, John 9:1, the last of our five. “And as Jesus passed by he saw a man which was blind from his birth.” Then verse 35 after his healing, being attacked for having it on the wrong day, and excommunicated from the “ins” of his religion, Jesus heard that they had cast him out, and when He had found him, He said unto him, doest thou believe on the Son of God?” Jesus sought him out in his lonely condition, healed him, supplied faith, and we just know that he was a happy man. No one else had suffered his pain; no one else could share his joy. Lets rejoice with him, and with all who have had practical proof that Jesus loves us each one. Really, now, who of us the saved, haven’t had such personal proof? Sometimes the enemy of our souls tries to bully us by some present indisposition, but reach back into the memory bank of our spirit, and say with the children of many countries, “Jesus loves Me, this I know.” Amen!
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