Golden Text:—"Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues,
and preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom, and healing all manner
of sickness."—Matt. 4:23 .
THE Sunday lessons for this quarter have given us numerous profitable pictures and studies in the life of Christ. Beginning with his birth we have traced his life from boyhood to manhood, and there noted his consecration even unto death and his consequent begettal of the holy Spirit as the beginning of the New Creature of God—the Head of the Church. We have followed him through the various steps of his ministry, noted many of his wonderful miracles on the sea and on the land, and in every particular have seen him faithful to his mission, "Wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business?" his expression as a boy, seemed to be with him through all the affairs of life.
We are to remember that while Palestine at the present time has a population of about 600,000, it had about ten times as many in our Lord's day. Galilee, where most of his miracles were performed, as recorded in this quarter's lessons, is supposed to have had over 100 towns of 15,000 population, or a total population of over 3,000,000. The people of Galilee were evidently thrifty, prosperous work people. The aristocracy centered more about Jerusalem, and the explanation is given that Jesus could no more walk in Jewry because the Jews sought to kill him. Hence, as we have seen, much of his time was spent in Galilee, and evidently with the people best prepared to receive his teachings. We remember that he was called the "Galilean," and his disciples were "men of Galilee."
The essence of this quarter's lessons to the Lord's consecrated people should be specially that of discipleship—following the footsteps of this great Teacher and Savior. He has called us also to be fishers of men, and we have responded to his call and left all to follow him, to be his disciples, to share his experiences and whatever ignominy may come as the result of faithfulness to him and the truths which he proclaimed. To us also he has displayed his powers, permitting us to see and know things which are kept secret from those without. To us he has given the good tidings of the Kingdom to encourage us, to inspire our hearts with love and loyalty. Blessed were those disciples of old, and blessed are the disciples of today! The blessing then was largely dependent upon the nearness of the disciples to the Lord, and the nearness was marked largely by the degree of zeal and devotion; and thus we must expect it to be today. It was Peter, James and John, who were the most zealous of the apostles, that had the special favors when such were to be given. And so it is today; those who most cheerfully, most zealously forget self and earthly ambitions, aims and projects, and who most fully give themselves to the Lord and to his service, these may walk nearest to the Lord at all times; these may go with him to the Mount; these may be special witnesses of his powers, and these in special times may be close to the Lord. Some, like John, may not only sit at meat with him, but sit next to him—in his bosom. In proportion as our lives are copies of the Lord's, all the time and influence at our disposal, outside of necessary obligations for things needful to ourselves and families, will be spent as he spent his time—in doing good unto all men, especially unto the household of faith.