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Home » Free Books » Bonar, Horatius » Light & Truth: The Gospels ! Chapter 85 - John 20:17 - Christ's Work in Heaven, and Ours on Earth Light & Truth: The Gospels by Bonar, Horatius
Quick Access Chapter 1 - Matthew 1:1 - Very Man... Chapter 2 - Matthew 1:16 - Jesus the See... Chapter 3 - Matthew 2:3 - Jesus the Trou... Chapter 4 - Matthew 3:10 - The Desert Vo... Chapter 5 - Matthew 4:23 - Jesus in Seas... Chapter 6 - Matthew 5:45 - His Sun... Chapter 7 - Matthew 8:1-3 - Human Lepros... Chapter 8 - Matthew 8:34 - Man's Dislike... Chapter 9 - Matthew 11:28 - The Rest and... Chapter 10 - Matthew 11:29 - The Three E... Chapter 11 - Matthew 12:41 - Nineveh and... Chapter 12 - Matthew 13:25 - The Two Sow... Chapter 13 - Matthew 19:6 - Herod's Ball... Chapter 14 - Matthew 19:15-16 - Man's Wa... Chapter 15 - Matthew 14:24-31 - The Help... Chapter 16 - Matthew 17:17 - The Graciou... Chapter 17 - Matthew 18:1-4 - The Peerag... Chapter 18 - Matthew 18:2; Luke 19:10 - ... Chapter 19 - Matthew 21:44 - The Stone o... Chapter 20 - Matthew 22:42 - The Things ... Chapter 21 - Matthew 24:12 - The Chill o... Chapter 22 - Matthew 24:42, 44 - True Vi... Chapter 23 - Matthew 25:3 - Religion wit... Chapter 24 - Matthew 25:31, 33 - The Gre... Chapter 25 - Matthew 24:70 - The Denying... Chapter 26 - Matthew 27:4 - The True Con... Chapter 27 - Mark 3:35 - Relationship to... Chapter 28 - Mark 4:39 - The Great Calm... Chapter 29 - Mark 5:36 - Only Believe... Chapter 30 - Mark 6:6 - Jesus Wondering ... Chapter 31 - Mark 6:33, 34 - Christ's Te... Chapter 32 - Mark 6:53-56 - Jesus and Hi... Chapter 34 - Mark 11:13 - The Fruitless ... Chapter 33 - Mark 10:52 - Christ's Recog... Chapter 35 - Mark 11:22 - Faith in God... Chapter 36 - Mark 13:33 - Watch and Pray... Chapter 37 - Mark 13:34-37 - The Master ... Chapter 38 - Mark 14:62 - The Coming of ... Chapter 39 - Luke 4:16-31 - The Gracious... Chapter 40 - Luke 6:19 - Health in Jesus... Chapter 41 - Luke 7:36-50 - Much Forgive... Chapter 42 - Luke 11:13 - How Much More!... Chapter 43 - Luke 15:2 - Jesus Watching ... Chapter 44 - Luke 15:10 - God's Joy Over... Chapter 45 - Luke 15:20 - The Father's L... Chapter 46 - Luke 15:22 - God's Free Lov... Chapter 47 - Luke 17:26, 27 - Noah Days... Chapter 48 - Luke 19:11-27 - The Lowest ... Chapter 49 - Luke 14:40 - Christ Must ha... Chapter 50 - Luke 21:28 - Signs of the T... Chapter 51 - Luke 21:36 - Deliverance in... Chapter 52 - Luke 22:18 - The New Wine o... Chapter 53 - Luke 22:19, 20 - The Heaven... Chapter 54 - Luke 23:32-43 - The Three C... Chapter 55 - Luke 24:29 - The Disciples'... Chapter 56 - John 1:12, 13 - Reception o... Chapter 57 - John 3:2 - The World's Need... Chapter 58 - John 3:14, 15 - Life in Loo... Chapter 59 - John 3:29 - The Filling Up ... Chapter 60 - John 3:34, 35 - The Fullnes... Chapter 61 - John 4:10 - The Living Wate... Chapter 62 - John 5:39, 40 - Bible Testi... Chapter 63 - John 6:17 - Night with Jesu... Chapter 64 - John 6:50 - The Bread of Im... Chapter 65 - John 6:51 - Christ's Flesh ... Chapter 66 - John 7:37 - Come and Drink... Chapter 67 - John 7:53; John 8:1, 12 - J... Chapter 68 - John 8:31, 32 - Truth and L... Chapter 69 - John 8:54 - The Father Hono... Chapter 70 - John 11:40 - The Honour Giv... Chapter 71 - John 12:12 - Inquiring afte... Chapter 72 - John 12:32 - The Great Attr... Chapter 73 - John 12:35-36 - Light and i... Chapter 74 - John 12:46 - Light for the ... Chapter 75 - John 12:48 - The Judging Wo... Chapter 76 - John 14:8-10 - The Revelati... Chapter 77 - John 13:16, 17 - The Abidin... Chapter 78 - John 14:26 - The Mighty Com... Chapter 79 - John 14:27 - The Divine Leg... Chapter 80 - John 16:25-28 - Christ in H... Chapter 81 - John 16:33 - Tribulation, P... Chapter 82 - John 17:26 - The Declaratio... Chapter 84 - John 18:28 - Ritualism and ... Chapter 84 - John 19:2 - The Greater Sin... Chapter 85 - John 20:17 - Christ's Work ... Chapter 86 - John 21:5 - The Tender Love... Light & Truth - The Gospels - Footnotes...
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Christ's Work In Heaven, And Ours On Earth.
"Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God."-John 20:17.
This passage is very generally taken to mean, "Do not so cling to me, you will have other opportunities of meeting me, for I shall not be going to my Father for some time yet." But (1) it is doubtful whether "touch" can mean this; (2) this meaning does not accord with the reason, which is "I have not yet gone," not "I am not yet going"; (3) the treatment of Thomas, who was allowed to touch, is at variance with this.
Looking into the words, we shall discover a truer sense. The command is, "touch me not"; the reason is, "I am not yet ascended," &c. Very little had passed between the Lord and Mary. He had said, "Mary"; she had replied, "Rabboni," accompanying the word with some significant look and gesture, which the Lord quite understood. To this look and gesture, or rather to the thought which they indicated, our Lord replies. For it was his custom to direct his answers to the thoughts more than to the words of his disciples; Luke 9:47, "Jesus perceiving the thought of their heart."
Christ's words, then, are directed to Mary's thought. She had sprung forward to embrace Him, under the impression that all He had spoken of before his death was now done; that He had been to the Father, and that He was now come again to receive his own to Himself. "Now all is fulfilled," she thought; "He has returned from the Father; He is going to take us to his kingdom; we shall be for ever with Him." No, not yet, is Christ's answer; you speak and act as if all were done. Not so. I have more work to do, and you have more work to do; we must separate again; I to do my work, you to do yours.
There is a remarkable difference between Mary's case and that of Thomas. She believed too much; he too little. She was all faith,-faith too hasty in its conclusions; he was all unbelief-unbelief refusing to believe even that this was his Master. Her too eager faith is corrected by the Touch me not, but Go, &c.; his unbelief is removed by the "Reach hither thy hand," &c. Each is treated with marvelous wisdom, and gentleness, and love. How unlike man's way of dealing! He would have said to faith, Touch me; to unbelief, Touch me not. But the skill of the divine physician is as conspicuous in his treatment of the two cases as is his love.
The mistake which is here corrected by the Lord, is a very natural one, and of a very blessed kind. It is simply that of too great eagerness; ante-dating the joy of the kingdom, of the marriage-feast; saying too soon, "the winter is past, the rain is over and gone," &c. It is a mistake not so common with us as with the early Christians, who, like Mary, seemed to be every moment counting on entering into the joy of the Lord.
The substance, then, of the Lord's exhortation is, "be calm and patient; he that believeth doth not make haste; I have work to do, which must be done before we sit down together in my Father's house; and you the same. Let us consider these two things then,-Christ's work, our work.
I. Christ's work. He has gone to the Father; He is now at his right hand; and when that work is done we shall be admitted to touch Him; admitted to his joy; to drink the new wine with Him in his kingdom. What, then, is the work He has gone to do? He has gone-
(1.) To get the Spirit for us. Not till He was glorified was the Spirit given in its fullness. Now He has received for us the promise of the Father,-gifts for men. He is now the possessor and dispenser of the Holy Ghost.
(2.) To intercede for us. His work of intercession is now going on in heaven; He ever liveth to intercede for us; He is our advocate with the Father; our forerunner, appearing in the presence of God for us.
(3.) To prepare a place for us. In his Father's house are many mansions; more than enough for the great multitude that no man can number. In these He has gone to prepare a place for us. What that preparation is we know not; how long it may take we know not. But it is going on just now and when it is done He will come again and receive us to Himself, that where He is there we may be also.
(4.) To give repentance and forgiveness. For this specially He is exalted. This work He has been carrying on since Pentecost, when the first installment was exhibited. He is doing it daily still.
Thus, then, He cautions us,-be calm, be patient, haste not, fret not; I have gone to do my work. It must be done, and then no more delay.
II. Our work. Touch me not, said the Lord, but go,-go and tell. Mary hasted, and did what her Lord commanded. She had something else to do than touching or enjoying. She had work. So have we. We have-
(1.) Work for ourselves. It is work expressed in such exhortations as these: follow me, take up your cross, deny self, work while it is day, let your light shine, grow in grace, pray without ceasing.
(2.) Work for the church. We are members of one body, helping each other, bearing each other's burdens, comforting each other, strengthening each other's hands, binding up each other's wounds, supplying each other's wants.
(3.) Work for the world. We are called out of the world, not to take no interest in it, but to pity and pray for it. Let our eye be on dying men; seeking to save them, pulling them out of the fire, reproving, warning, inviting, beseeching. We have much of this work to do, and little time to do it in.
Christ's work in heaven and ours on earth will soon be done. Then it will no longer be, Touch me not; but, Come ye blessed. We shall sit down under his shadow; He shall say, Come with me from Lebanon; open to me my sister, my love; and it shall be said, Who is this that cometh up from the wilderness leaning on her beloved; and we shall say, Let Him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth. Then shall we touch Him without rebuke, sitting down with Him at the marriage supper, and shall ever be forever with the Lord.
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