Are there not many of us to-day who would do well to seek the same goal by the same path? We have listened, perhaps, to other men’s arguments concerning the Divinity of our Lord, conscious the while how little they were doing for us. Let us listen to Christ Himself. Let us put ourselves to school with Him, as these first disciples did, and suffer Him to make His own impression upon us. And if ours be sincere and receptive souls as were theirs, from us also He shall win the adoring cry, “My Lord and my God.” Let us note, then, some of the many ways in which Christ bears witness concerning Himself. In a very true sense all His sayings are “self-portraitures.” Be the subject of His teaching what it may, He cannot speak of it without, in some measure at least, revealing His thoughts concerning Himself; and it is this indirect testimony whose significance I wish now carefully to consider.
Observe, in the first place, how Christ speaks of God and of His own relation to Him. He called Himself, as we have already noted, “the Son of God.” Now, there is a sense in which all men are the sons of God, for it is to God that all men owe their life. And there is, further, as the New Testament has taught us, another and deeper sense in which men who are not may “become” the sons of God, through faith in Christ. But Christ’s consciousness of Sonship is distinct from both of these, and cannot be explained in terms of either. He is not “a son of God”—one among many—–He is “the son of God,” standing to God in a relationship which is His alone. Hence we find—and we shall do well to mark the marvellous accuracy and self-consistency of the Gospels in this matter—that while Jesus sometimes speaks of “the Father,” and sometimes of “My Father,” and sometimes, again, in addressing His disciples, of “your Father,” never does He link Himself with them so as to call God “our Father.” Nowhere does the distinction, always present to the mind of Christ, find more striking expression than in that touching scene in the garden in which the Risen Lord bids Mary go unto His brethren and say unto them, “I ascend unto My Father and your Father, and My God and your God.”