Christ Suffereth Long

By John Thiel, Audio: mp3

John 13:34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. 35 By this shall all [men] know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

Jesus did not meddle in the mind of another person in his human inter-relation with others. He had such respect for the minds and the perceptions of his inferiors that He never railroaded their mind sets. He had a mind that lowered itself into the presence of his inferiors.

Philippians 2:5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:

In their presence he did not force his mind even though it could have been a temptation to do so as they were inferior to his elevated mind. When you look upon Jesus with that kind of vivid representation of himself to our mind, what do you behold? What is it of someone who is superior does not force his superiority into another person’s mind? What is that?

1 Corinthians 13:4 Charity suffereth long, [and] is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, 5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;

A superior mind in its interaction with inferiors is prone to vaunt itself. It is prone to seek its own mind over the other persons mind. But Jesus with his superior mind had what? Love.

1 Corinthians 13:7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

Christ endures everything among his inferiors. This is the love that Jesus said, I give you a new commandment that you love one another. In this study we will understand why it’s called a new commandment. A new commandment I give unto you that you love one another as I have loved you and that you also love one another. By comprehending this kind of love that he had and loving as he loved, human beings who embrace this will be known of all men as his disciples.  This is a new kind of love, a new commandment. Jesus didn’t railroad corrections upon the disciples. When Peter made his mistakes instead of personally rebuking him he steered it in such a way that the people he was dealing with would see through their own intelligent mind. To practise this kind of thing requires divine love as it requires patiently bearing the dullness of inferior minds.

Have you ever expressed that a person is so thick? Have you expressed they ought to know already? They are blind and they should see? Is our mind superior to them? If it is then Jesus said a new commandment I give you that you love as I have loved. When someone, a child or adult is not meeting your criteria love them as Jesus loved patiently bearing the thickness or the dullness of their mind. We naturally rail upon such a dullness.  Have you ever felt like shaking someone as they are not seeing what is so obvious to you? In your internal frustration do you have embarrassment of someone who is so thick that they can’t comprehend what you are communicating? Do you consistently correct them? When you hear something, do you come straight in to correct because internally you feel embarrassed they said that?

Let Us Behold Christ

Do you like being corrected? This kind of interactivity creates an atmospheric pressure in the church. Relationship stresses, do you experience them in the church? Jesus says you are to be at peace and have a lovely Sabbath and behold atmospheric pressure that leaves you finding no pleasure in the presence of Gods people and you seek to avoid it. People have said they have not enjoyed coming to church sometimes. We like people to attend church and to be drawn into the presence of Jesus and then they disperse. When I think of what the Lord wants to do in giving out the latter rain, can he bring them in to a church where they don’t feel comfortable? I can see the reason why the latter rain has been so long coming. What do we need in our midst to attract souls, the real genuine ones?

John 13:35 By this shall all [men] know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

Let us behold how Jesus loved long sufferingly bearing all things. It is a suffering to bear up with the failures of the people around me? Even if I don’t rail them, what is going on inside of me? Let us behold Jesus. Look at whether he did suffer internally as he was mingling with his inferiors. Did he feel an internal suffering? Did his sharp intelligent mind depict things around him and did he feel uncomfortable? How did he feel among his inferiors?

Lazarus

Here is the occasion when Lazarus had died. After having done so many miracles and everyone knew all his powers, what do we read?

John 11:32 Then when Mary was come where Jesus was, and saw him, she fell down at his feet, saying unto him, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.

11:33 When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping which came with her, he groaned in the spirit, and was troubled,

11:34 And said, Where have ye laid him? They said unto him, Lord, come and see.

11:35 Jesus wept.

11:36 Then said the Jews, Behold how he loved him!

11:37 And some of them said, Could not this man, which opened the eyes of the blind, have caused that even this man should not have died?

11:38 Jesus therefore again groaning in himself cometh to the grave. It was a cave, and a stone lay upon it.

11:39 Jesus said, Take ye away the stone. Martha, the sister of him that was dead, saith unto him, Lord, by this time he stinketh: for he hath been [dead] four days.

11:40 Jesus saith unto her, Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God?

11:41 Then they took away the stone [from the place] where the dead was laid. And Jesus lifted up [his] eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me.

11:42 And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said [it], that they may believe that thou hast sent me.

What was Jesus groaning inside of himself about? He was groaning that they are of such small belief. They said, if you had come earlier he would not have died. Jesus groaned more. Jesus wept because of the lack of faith of all who weep over their dead. His spirit was overwhelmed at how thick these people were.

Matthew 17:14 And when they were come to the multitude, there came to him a [certain] man, kneeling down to him, and saying,

17:15 Lord, have mercy on my son: for he is a lunatic, and sore vexed: for ofttimes he falleth into the fire, and oft into the water.

17:16 And I brought him to thy disciples, and they could not cure him.

17:17 Then Jesus answered and said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him hither to me.

17:18 And Jesus rebuked the devil; and he departed out of him: and the child was cured from that very hour.

17:19 Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out?

17:20 And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.

17:21 Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.

Notice he said this mountain? What mountain was he talking about? The mountain of impossibility that he met.  Jesus groaned out aloud. Oh ye of little faith, how long must I suffer? I have worked with you and tried to lift you up and to show you the power of God and you still remain in the lowlands of unbelief. No railing, just how long must I be with you. As we behold him we observe that the internal suffering that each of us meets was in him as well.

Psalm 69:20 Reproach hath broken my heart; and I am full of heaviness: and I looked [for some] to take pity, but [there was] none; and for comforters, but I found none.

What was going on inside of him? I need human comfort, I need someone to support me and what could he find? Nothing and his spirit suffered within him.

Isaiah 63:5 And I looked, and [there was] none to help; and I wondered that [there was] none to uphold: therefore mine own arm brought salvation unto me; and my fury, it upheld me.

Lamentations 1:12 [Is it] nothing to you, all ye that pass by? behold, and see if there be any sorrow like unto my sorrow, which is done unto me, wherewith the LORD hath afflicted [me] in the day of his fierce anger.

Was Jesus suffering in his human interactions? He was. As we explore what he was doing with this internal suffering with others around, we have a precious lesson to behold. Let us behold his suffering as he waited for his disciples to gain what he yearned for them to understand. Recall his disappointment in Gethsemane with his chosen three that he thought were the nearest to him John Peter and James. The closest inner circle that he was depending on.

Matthew 26:40 And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour?

26:41 Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed [is] willing, but the flesh [is] weak.

What does he do? Does he rail? No. He puts the sweetest construction on the disciples that were letting him down. Christ in his hour of agony of Gethsemane longed for the sympathy of his disciples. You are sleeping and I looked for comfort and my dearest inner circle let me down. Has this been your experience at any time?

The disciples awakened at the voice of Jesus, but they hardly knew Him, His face was so changed by anguish. Addressing Peter, Jesus said, “Simon, sleepest thou? couldest not thou watch one hour? Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. The spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak.” The weakness of His disciples awakened the sympathy of Jesus. He feared that they would not be able to endure the test which would come upon them in His betrayal and death. He did not reprove them, but said, “Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation.” Even in His great agony, He was seeking to excuse their weakness. “The spirit truly is ready,” He said, “but the flesh is weak.” {DA 689.2}

Do we often wonder when our fellow Christians will learn?

How tenderly Jesus dealt with Peter; tho he denied him three times, yet he looked upon Peter with sorrowful regret, with pardoning love! {ST, July 16, 1896 par. 9}

How many times do we blunder and think we are finished and what does Jesus communicate every time I blunder? Does he say, why do I put up with you? No he says how long must I suffer you. Here is some important material to understand the new commandment.

The disciples were anxious that Judas should become one of their number. He was of commanding appearance, a man of keen discernment and executive ability, and they commended him to Jesus as one who would greatly assist Him in His work. They were surprised that Jesus received him so coolly. {DA 294.1}

The disciples had been much disappointed that Jesus had not tried to secure the co-operation of the leaders in Israel. They felt that it was a mistake not to strengthen His cause by securing the support of these influential men. If He had repulsed Judas, they would, in their own minds, have questioned the wisdom of their Master. The after history of Judas would show them the danger of allowing any worldly consideration to have weight in deciding the fitness of men for the work of God. The co-operation of such men as the disciples were anxious to secure would have betrayed the work into the hands of its worst enemies. {DA 294.2}

To meet their understanding he had to put up with and suffer Judas. If he hadn’t put up with Judas, he may have lost the others.  What sort of imagination do you and I have that in regards to missionary work? Here we see it in such men.

The history of Judas is written for our learning. He was a betrayer of sacred trusts. He had an opportunity to become converted, heart and soul, to Christ. The Saviour bore long with his perversity and defects of character. {RH, May 24, 1898 par. 8}

What did Jesus do? Love beareth all things.

He gave no personal rebuke; he dealt with him by revealing principles of righteousness. But this was not enough. Before he left his disciples, he desired them to know the true character of Judas, and he reproved him for his covetousness in rebuking Mary for her use of the ointment. {RH, May 24, 1898 par. 8}

Jesus had to bear Judas’s perversities. Judas was highly regarded by the disciples and had great influence over them. He himself had a high opinion of his own qualifications and looked upon his brethren as greatly inferior to him in judgment and ability. They did not see their opportunities he thought and took advantage of circumstances. The church would never prosper with such shortsighted men as leaders.

Judas regarded himself as the capable one, who could not be overreached. In his own estimation he was an honor to the cause, and as such he always represented himself. {DA 717.1}

Jesus didn’t rail that. He didn’t say come on Judas who do you think you are? Come on Judas, are we going to get into a leadership conflict here?

Christ’s discourse in the synagogue concerning the bread of life was the turning point in the history of Judas. He heard the words, “Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink His blood, ye have no life in you.” {DA 719.1}

After this Judas expressed doubts that confused the disciples. He was expressing doubts about the one whom the Father had sent to help.

From that time he expressed doubts that confused the disciples. He introduced controversies and misleading sentiments, repeating the arguments urged by the scribes and Pharisees against the claims of Christ. {DA 719.2}

Here was a Jesuit in the midst of the disciples as that is what Jesuits do. Judas was one. What was he doing?

All the little and large troubles and crosses, the difficulties and the apparent hindrances to the advancement of the gospel, Judas interpreted as evidences against its truthfulness. He would introduce texts of Scripture that had no connection with the truths Christ was presenting. These texts, separated from their connection, perplexed the disciples, and increased the discouragement that was constantly pressing upon them. Yet all this was done by Judas in such a way as to make it appear that he was conscientious. And while the disciples were searching for evidence to confirm the words of the Great Teacher, Judas would lead them almost imperceptibly on another track. Thus in a very religious, and apparently wise, way he was presenting matters in a different light from that in which Jesus had given them, and attaching to His words a meaning that He had not conveyed. His suggestions were constantly exciting an ambitious desire for temporal preferment, and thus turning the disciples from the important things they should have considered. The dissension as to which of them should be greatest was generally excited by Judas. {DA 719.2}

The very problems that the disciples were expressing that Jesus would reign over Judah and Israel came and were exacerbated by Judas.

In all that Christ said to His disciples, there was something with which, in heart, Judas disagreed. Under his influence the leaven of disaffection was fast doing its work. The disciples did not see the real agency in all this; but Jesus saw that Satan was communicating his attributes to Judas, and thus opening up a channel through which to influence the other disciples. This, a year before the betrayal, Christ declared. “Have not I chosen you twelve,” He said, “and one of you is a devil?” John 6:70. {DA 720.1}

Did you ever do some of the defective things that Judas did? Do we ever see people undermining each other? Someone is put into a position and we don’t like what they are doing so we start to suggest amongst others do you think that is right, should that be done? What are we doing to the one put in office? Judas was in office, how did Jesus handle this? As Judas undermined, did Jesus undermine him? Look how he bore at the slowness of the disciples and Judas.  Were Judas and the disciple’s bruised reeds and smoking flax? Was there a bit of smoke in Judas? Yes there was.

Isaiah 42:3 A bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking flax shall he not quench: he shall bring forth judgment unto truth.

42:4 He shall not fail nor be discouraged, till he have set judgment in the earth: and the isles shall wait for his law.

This is how Jesus works. He doesn’t openly reprove, he sets judgment for people to explore. The smoking flax that has a little respect for Jesus, there was hardly a spark in Judas but there was still smoke, Jesus didn’t put it out he kept trying to fan it. He had to bare this kind of behaviour undermining his own vision in the mind of the disciples. He bore with it without any remonstrance. Here is another thick example of the disciples.

John 14:8 Philip saith unto him, Lord, show us the Father, and it sufficeth us.

14:9 Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou [then], Show us the Father?

14:10 Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.

14:11 Believe me that I [am] in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works’ sake.

What is Jesus putting up with? As you look at this, will you ever be worried about what you have to put up with?

Philip’s lack of faith was shown. It was to test him that Jesus questioned, “Whence shall we buy bread, that these may eat?” Philip’s answer was on the side of unbelief: “Two hundred pennyworth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may take a little.” John 6:5, 7. Jesus was grieved. Although Philip had seen His works and felt His power, yet he had not faith. When the Greeks inquired of Philip concerning Jesus, he did not seize upon the opportunity of introducing them to the Saviour, but he went to tell Andrew. {DA 292.2}

In happy contrast to Philip’s unbelief was the childlike trust of Nathanael. He was a man of intensely earnest nature, one whose faith took hold upon unseen realities. Yet Philip was a student in the school of Christ, and the divine Teacher bore patiently with his unbelief and dullness. When the Holy Spirit was poured out upon the disciples, Philip became a teacher after the divine order. He knew whereof he spoke, and he taught with an assurance that carried conviction to the hearers. {DA 293.1}

Are you a person who gets tired of people not learning quick enough? Or do you get impatient with yourself your silly mistakes?  Philip learnt the lesson but it took three whole years. Jesus bore long with his unbelief and dullness.

Great love

Observe how Judas was working undercurrent. When we see and hear things that annoy us, do we wish to step in and deal with them? Do you see people lobbying against you as did Judas to Jesus? What do you want to do about it? Follow Christ’s example. What did Jesus do with the one who was lobbying against him?  He didn’t rebuke, he didn’t say anything in terms of what Judas was doing. He showed him the principles of righteousness.

Before the Passover Judas had met a second time with the priests and scribes, and had closed the contract to deliver Jesus into their hands. {DA 645.1}

What did Jesus do?

Yet he afterward mingled with the disciples as though innocent of any wrong, and interested in the work of preparing for the feast. The disciples knew nothing of the purpose of Judas. Jesus alone could read his secret. Yet He did not expose him. Jesus hungered for his soul. He felt for him such a burden as for Jerusalem when He wept over the doomed city. His heart was crying, How can I give thee up? The constraining power of that love was felt by Judas. When the Saviour’s hands were bathing those soiled feet, and wiping them with the towel, the heart of Judas thrilled through and through with the impulse then and there to confess his sin. But he would not humble himself. He hardened his heart against repentance; and the old impulses, for the moment put aside, again controlled him. Judas was now offended at Christ’s act in washing the feet of His disciples. {DA 645.1}

Should Jesus have washed his feet to make him angry? Do you ever think to do something good to someone but decide not to so you won’t offend them? Jesus says to love as I loved Judas. What a demonstration of this love.  We have the example. We have this amazing beholding of Jesus.

In consideration of the example of the Majesty of Heaven, who bore the griefs of man and made their necessities His own, shall we poor, sinful creatures, shun the sufferings and trials our Saviour bore with such meekness and dignity? If my Master suffered thus, shall I murmur? Shall I seek ease and honor? God forbid. Let me suffer trials and reproach with the Master. I am in excellent company. –Letter 2, 1874, pp. 1-13. (To J. N. Loughborough, August 24, 1874.) Released March 17, 1978. {8MR 242.4}

Here is the atonement. To bear with all the depravity around me without correcting or rebuking, you are in perfect company when you do that.

He has said, “Rejoice, and be exceeding glad when ye suffer reproach for His name’s sake, for great is your reward in heaven.”–Letter 2, 1874, pp. 1-13. (To J. N. Loughborough, August 24, 1874.)

Can we ever murmur again? Can you ever feel this is too much I can’t cope anymore? Jesus came to give us coping power to bear all things. Behold him until his love that new commandment so permeates us that our fellowship will be in his sufferings. Is that not what apostle Paul says? You are in good company when you follow Christ’s example.

Philippians 3:8 Yea doubtless, and I count all things [but] loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them [but] dung, that I may win Christ,

3:9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:

3:10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;

Is that the company you want to take hold of? We have mediated of the character of love of God. That character has been displayed before us in the living activity we are familiar of.

It is often said that Jesus wept, but that He was never known to smile. Our Saviour was indeed a Man of Sorrows, and acquainted with grief, for He opened His heart to all the woes of men. But though His life was self-denying and shadowed with pain and care, His spirit was not crushed. His countenance did not wear an expression of grief and repining, but ever one of peaceful serenity. His heart was a wellspring of life, and wherever He went He carried rest and peace, joy and gladness. {SC 120.3}

Our Saviour was deeply serious and intensely in earnest, but never gloomy or morose. The life of those who imitate Him will be full of earnest purpose; they will have a deep sense of personal responsibility. Levity will be repressed; there will be no boisterous merriment, no rude jesting; but the religion of Jesus gives peace like a river. It does not quench the light of joy; it does not restrain cheerfulness nor cloud the sunny, smiling face. Christ came not to be ministered unto but to minister; and when His love reigns in the heart, we shall follow His example. {SC 120.4}

let your mind take every display of what he was bearing and explore it and let it shine into your hearts and by beholding we will be changed into the same image.

Amen.

Posted on March 21, 2010, in Beholding Christ, Divine Service Sermons, Sermons by John Thiel and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Dear Brother in Christ Jesus,
    Thank you so much for your wonderful message for this end time, God richly bless you in all your plans, I have coppied and sharing with my collegues, please keep it up and let us learn from you about soon coming of Christ Jesus.
    Yours in the Blessed Hope
    Pastor Samuel Baidoo

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