The Glory of the Vision
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How gently, and yet how solemnly, does Jesus chide her unbelief! He reminds her of all that had passed between them before. And could she now mistrust him, whatever he might do? Why doubt that power and wisdom and love, even all that makes up Divine glory, would shine forth in his actions?
This was enough for Martha, and now she trusts her Lord.
Beatific vision - Wikipedia
Now she is in a right state of mind and heart for profiting by all that followed. Had it been otherwise, even the raising of her brother from the tomb would not of itself have revealed to her the glory of God.
For her it might have been but a temporal mercy, an earthly, perhaps a questionable boon, carrying no spiritual blessing along with it. Miracles, when they were wrought, were extraordinary means of grace, but they might be misunderstood and abused like any other means; nay, we must not forget that there were men who witnessed this miracle as well as Martha, whose hearts were only hardened by what they saw.
They went their ways to the Pharisees and helped them to plot against the Prince of life!
Our text is this, "If thou wouldest believe," etc. The significance of these words extends far beyond the occasion on which they were uttered. As a master-key opens many locks, so it is with such sayings of Jesus dropped incidentally in the course of conversation. If we could only use them aright they would open many of the secrets of our hearts, and explain to us much of the character and of the ways of God.
This is universally true, whether we think of his glory as displayed in nature and in providence, or by his Word and his Son from heaven. The psalmist of Israel exclaims Psalm But what multitudes have, alas! And the same thing must be said of the very highest display of God's glory in the face of Jesus Christ. There, surely, it shines forth in wondrous and yet attractive radiance. His cross the meeting-place of righteousness and mercy. His resurrection the triumph of victorious grace. But why is Christ to so many a stumbling-stone and a rock of offence?
Why is he still despised and rejected of men, so that they turn from him with indifference or, perhaps, with a far worse feeling? Why do they think naught of his Divine glory, and make so much of the glory of man, which is as the flower of grass?
The Apostle Paul replies that "the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God On the other hand, every Christian knows, by a very practical experience, that the glory of God is a spiritual thing, which can only be seen by the eye of the spirit. By whatever way he has been led in providence and grace, he has learned this much, that God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, has shined in his heart and opened his eyes.
Philosophy and Vision
And what has been the result? May we not say that, so far as he has walked in this light, life has become a more solemn and blessed thing than it was before, and the Bible a different book to what it was, and the day of rest otherwise hallowed and welcomed, and the means of grace, instead of seemly and well-meaning forms, have become wells of salvation? Not seldom among his fellow-pilgrims in life's journey he recognizes men and women who have the mark of God on their foreheads; and there are times, too, when on the face of nature itself - on the many-colored earth beneath and on the heavens over his head - there seems to him to rest "a light that never was on land or sea," revealing to him a glimpse, as it were, of the glory of the Eternal.
For this vision of faith of which we have been speaking does not perpetuate itself. I do not mean that it passes away like a dream in the night, leaving no traces behind it.
The Christian who has seen ought of the Divine glory must desire to see it still, or he would be no Christian at all; but how many things tend to veil it from his view! Sometimes, from the inevitable cares and engagements of life, often from causes which cannot be traced, he finds himself in perplexity and gloom. But, weak and changeful as he is, God's promises do not depend on his varying moods of mind; and in view of such a promise as this, faith bursts into prayer, and evermore the prayer of faith shall live.
The heart whispers, "Vanity of vanities.
Thus it was with the Psalmist Asaph, when in an hour of infirmity he exclaimed Psalm Both his promise fail forevermore? Hath God forgotten to be gracious?
The Vision of the Degrees of Glory
How different are the Master's words, "If thou wouldest believe," etc.! This is indeed the sum and substance of many an ancient oracle. Revelation reveals the vision of our Lord that John experienced while living in exile on the island of Patmos. His hair was white, his eyes like fire. A double edge sword came out from his mouth, and his face shined like the sun. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades. I call it a vision of glory since it's a definitive statement of who Christ is, who we are, and why we exist.
The striking imagery in the vision speaks to who Jesus is, what that means for his people, and why it moves us to pour our worship into him, find our delight in him, align our lives with his mission, turn to him for healing, and long for his return. His long robe and golden sash speak of His great high priesthood Exod.
His victorious atonement guarantees that those who trust in him alone will share in the eternal blessings of that victory. It's a compelling vision that sets the stage for the rest of them.
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It presents the Lord Jesus Christ as the all-powerful, all-sovereign, all-glorious conquering king that he is. His feet of burnished bronze speak of his brilliant and beautiful eternal kingdom that's constantly on the march and will not stop until every single molecule in this universe is under his direct and blessed rule.
When John first heard the voice and turned to see its source, he first saw seven golden candlesticks and then our Lord Jesus Christ standing right in the middle of them, signifying that our Lord stood with and not apart from his church. And it is with his church that He still stands through all our struggle, distress, persecution, flaws, and sin. He stands as the literal Lord of glory 1 Cor.
John was blessed to gaze upon the full, unfiltered glory of the living God emanating from the face of our Lord Jesus Christ. This is the glory of God of which Moses was given but a glimpse Ex.