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Free Books » Bonar, Horatius » Light & Truth: The Gospels

Chapter 55 - Luke 24:29 - The Disciples' Invitation to the Master Light & Truth: The Gospels by Bonar, Horatius

Index

LV.

 

The Disciples' Invitation To The Master.

 

"Abide with us."-Luke 24:29

 

 

     Here it is not the Master to the disciple, but the disciple to the Master, that is saying, Come. It is not the Lord that is standing at the door and saying, "Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and sup with him, and he with me"; it is the disciple that is saying, "Come in thou blessed of the Lord." As of old, He said to Jacob at Peniel, "Let me go for the day breaketh," so here it is said, "He made as though He would have gone further"; but as Jacob said, "I will not let thee go except thou bless me," so do the two disciples here, "they constrained Him, saying, Abide with us"; and as He blest Jacob ere He parted from him, so here He does go in and sit down with them, and when He quits them He leaves a blessing behind Him, for the house seems filled with the odor of the ointment, doubtless to retain its fragrance for many a day.

     The request seems to have been made for two reasons,-on their own account and on his. They had enjoyed his converse and fellowship by the way so much that they are unwilling to part; and, besides, the evening is coming on, and He must not expose Himself to the dews, and cold, and darkness of the night.

     The latter of these reasons we cannot use now in the sense in which they were used by the disciples. The risen Christ is now far beyond the days and nights of time; beyond the mists and clouds of earth; far beyond the chills and the gloom of this world. He needs no earthly roof to shelter Him, and no earthly table to sit at. He is now in his Father's house, and on his Father's throne, compassed about with light, and majesty, and glory, and honour.

     But in his members He is now passing through the same hardships, and sufferings, and privations as when He was here. "Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me" is still his expostulation; and still He so identifies Himself with his saints that we may use the words which originally meant Him personally in reference to ourselves as one with Him. Without, however, confining it to this sense, let us meditate as follows upon these words, "Abide with us."

     1. Abide with us, for past days have been so pleasant. Since first we apprehended Thee, or rather since Thou didst apprehend us,-since thou didst overtake us on the way, we have found such blessedness, that we cannot bear the thought of parting. Thy fellowship has been so sweet that we must have more of it. The little that we tasted in the past, makes us long for more. Abide with us.

     2. Abide with us, for the world would be a blank without thee. Life would not be life if thou wert gone. We should be like the disciples on the stormy sea,-"It was night, and Jesus had not come to them." Night and tempest, without moon and stars, would be nothing to this world without thee. A house left desolate without an inmate, without a sound, or a voice, or footstep, would be nothing to the dreariness of our earth and of our homes without thee. All would be blank and chilling. It is Thou who fillest hearts, and lightest up homes, and gladdenest even wildernesses with thy presence.

 

A wilderness is populous enough

So had I but thy heavenly company;

For where thou art, there is the world itself,

With every several pleasure in the world;

And where thou art not, desolation.

 

Oh abide with us.

     3. Abide with us, for we know not what our future is to be. We know the past, we know the present, but the future is hid. For that future and all its uncertainties, we need a guide and a protector; one who will light up our path, who will fight for us, who will deliver us and keep us to the last, in all changes, trials, sorrows, joys. Abide with us. Leave us not, neither forsake us, O God of our salvation, O rest of the weary, O light of the dark, O Saviour of the lost, O joy of the sorrowful, O helper of the helpless,-unchanging companion, friend and kinsman, with whom there is no variableness nor shadow of turning,-the same yesterday, today, and forever! Lead us out, leads us in, lead us along the way, lead us by the still waters, lead us into thy banquetting house, and let thy banner over us be love!

     4. Abide with us, for earth's night is at hand. Time's shadows are lengthening; its sun is going down behind the hills of earth. The end of all things is at hand; the day of the Lord hasteth greatly; the time of vengeance and judgment cometh; Satan is about to do his worst; Antichrist will rage; evil men and seducers will wax worse and worse; perilous times will come; wars and rumours of wars will disquiet us; earthquakes shall be in diverse places, the sea and its waves roaring, men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after the things that are coming on the earth. Oh abide with us! Abide with us in all thy love and grace; in all thy strength and help; in all thy joy and peace. Abide with us for evermore.