Manifesting the Life of Jesus
‘That the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh.’—2 Cor. iv. II.
IS not this a ‘high’ and ‘holy ‘ and ‘heavenly’ calling P1 Yet ‘even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that we should follow His steps.” ‘Hereunto,’ to do just as He would have done, sometimes even just as He did do in like circumstances; to show not our patience, but ‘the patience of Jesus Christ,”—not mere human meekness and gentleness, but’ the meekness and gentleness of Christ,’* and so on with all the other beautiful and holy qualities which shone in ‘the life also of Jesus.’ While our ‘life is hid with Christ in God,’5 His life is to be ‘manifest in our mortal flesh,’—yes, ‘magnified in my body.’6
1 Phil. iii. 14 ; 2 Tim. i. 9; Heb. iii, i. – 1 Pet. ii. 21.
3 Rev. i. 9. 4 2 Cor. x. i. 5 Col. iii. 3.
* Phil. i. 20. ^ Eph. iii. 17.
‘How shall this be?’ First, Jesus Himself must dwell in our hearts by faith,7 or His life cannot be ‘manifest.’ He has said He will do so, but it is on conditions which He specifies: i. Hearing His voice; 2. Opening the door to Him; 3. Loving Him; 4. Keeping His words.1 Not one of these can we fulfil without His grace, but not one of them will He deny us grace to fulfil, and the real desire to fulfil them is the beginning of that grace. Therefore let us ‘open unto Him immediately,’ and let Him come in and ‘abide with us,’2 so that henceforth it may be, ‘Not I, but Christ liveth in me.’3
We want Him to make us vessels meet for this great use ;4 pure and transparent vessels through which His glorious life may shine; so transparent, that, like clear glass, they may be altogether lost sight of in the light which streams through them; so pure, that they may not dim the radiance of His indwelling.
The word ‘manifest’ is more than mere showing; it implies a bringing to light, shining forth, and comes from the idea of a torch or lantern. We can only shine as lights in the world by bearing the Light of the world within us.5 But it is a grand and solemn responsibility. Our Lord Jesus is hidden from the eyes of the world; they do not see Him, they only see us, and our lives are to show them what His life is. What a tremendous trust our Master has given us! Who is sufficient for this thing?’ It is very real. He, our precious Lord, will be held in more or less esteem this day; His power, His grace, His sweetness will be judged of according to what the outsiders see in our lives. This day it rests with us to bring fresh reproach and discredit on His dear name, by caricaturing His life, or so truly to manifest it ‘that the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you.’1
Thy life in me be shown!
Lord, I would henceforth seek
To think and speak
Thy thoughts, Thy words alone,
No more my own!
1 Rev. iii. 20; John xiv. 23. 2 Luke xii. 36 ; ib. xxiv. 29.
3 Gal. ii 20. 4 2 Tim. ii. 21.
s Phil. ii. 15 ; John viii. 12. 6 2 Cor. ii. 16.