John MacDuff

“Remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how He said,”

“For whoever shall do the will of God — the same is My brother, and My sister, and mother.” — Mark 3:35

As if no solitary earthly type were enough to image forth the love of Jesus, He assembles into one verse — a group of the tenderest earthly relationships. Human affection has to focus its loveliest hues — but all is too little to adequately expatiate the depth and intensity of His love. He is “Son,” “Brother,” “Friend” — all in one; “cleaving closer than any brother.”

And can we wonder at such language? He gave Himself for us; after that pledge of His affection — we must cease to marvel at any expression of the interest He feels in us. Anything that He can say or do for us now — is infinitely less than what He has done.

Believer! are you solitary and desolate? Has bereavement severed earthly ties? Has the grave made forced estrangements — sundered the closest links of earthly affection? In Jesus you have filial and fraternal love combined; He is the Friend of friends, whose presence and fellowship compensates for all losses, and supplies all blanks! If you are orphaned, friendless, comfortless here, remember that there is in the Elder Brother on the Throne — a love deep as the unfathomed ocean, and boundless as Eternity!

And who are those who can claim the blessedness spoken of under this wondrous imagery? On whom does He lavish this unutterable affection? No mere outward profession will purchase it. No church, no priest, no ordinances, no denominational distinctions are sufficient.

It is for those who are possessed of holy characters. “He who does the will of My Father who is in Heaven!” He who reflects the mind of Jesus; imbibes His Spirit; takes His Word as the regulator of his daily walk, and makes His glory the great end of his being; he who lives to God, and with God, and for God; the humble, lowly, Christ-like, Heaven-seeking Christian — he it is who can claim as his own this wondrous heritage of love!

If it is a worthy object of ambition to be loved by the good and the great on earth — then what must it be to have an eye of love ever beaming upon us from the eternal Throne, in comparison of which the attachment here of brother, sister, kinsman, friend — all combined — pales like the stars before the rising sun!

Though we are often ashamed to call Him “Brother,” “He is not ashamed to call us brethren.” He looks down on poor worms, and says, “These are My mother, and sisters, and brothers!” “I will write upon them,” He says in another place, “My new name.” Just as we write our name on a book to tell that it belongs to us — so Jesus would write His own name on us, the wondrous volumes of His grace — that they may be read and pondered by principalities and powers.

Have we known and believed this astonishing love of God to us? Ah, how poor has been the requital! Who cannot subscribe to these holy words: “Your love has been as a shower to us — but our return but a dew-drop, and that dew-drop is stained with sin!” “If a man loves Me, he will keep My Words; and My Father will love him, and We will come unto him, and make Our abode with him.”

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