The Teaching of Jesus eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 161 pages of information about The Teaching of Jesus.
directions, torn by internal conflict, “distracted,” as we say, where precisely the same figure of speech occurs.  A similar counsel is to be found in another and still more striking word which only Luke has recorded, and which is rendered, “Neither be ye of doubtful mind.”  There is a picture in the word ((Greek:  meteorizesthe)) the picture of a vessel vexed by contrary winds, now uplifted on the crest of some huge wave, now labouring in the trough of the sea.  “Be ye not thus,” Christ says to His disciples, “the sport of your cares, driven by the wind and tossed; but let the peace of God rule in your hearts, and be ye not of doubtful mind.”

It cannot surprise us that Jesus should speak thus; rather should we have been surprised if it had been otherwise.  How could He speak to men at all and yet be silent about their cares?  For how full of care the lives of most men are!  One is anxious about his health, and another about his business; one is concerned because for weeks he has been without work, and another because his investments are turning out badly; some are troubled about their children, and some there are who are making a care even of their religion, and instead of letting it carry them are trying to carry it; until, with burdens of one kind or another, we are like a string of Swiss pack-horses, such as one may sometimes see, toiling and straining up some steep Alpine pass under a blazing July sun.  Poor Martha, with her sad, tired face, and nervous, fretful ways, “anxious and troubled about many things,” is everywhere to-day.  Nor is it the poor only whose lives are full of care.  It was not a poor man amid his poverty, but a rich man amid his riches, who, in Christ’s parable, put to himself the question, “What shall I do?” The birds of care build their nests amid the turrets of a palace as readily as in the thatched roof of a cottage.  The cruel thorns—­“the cares of this life,” as Jesus calls them—­which choke the good seed, sometimes spring up more easily within the carefully fenced enclosure of my lord’s park than in the little garden plot of the keeper of his lodge.  On the whole, perhaps, and in proportion to their number, there is less harassing, wearing anxiety in the homes of the poor than in those of the wealthy.  And what harsh taskmasters our cares can be!  How they will lord it over us!  Give them the saddle and the reins, and they will ride us to death.  Seat them on the throne, and they will chastise us not only with whips but with scorpions.  It is no wonder that Christ should set Himself to free men from this grinding tyranny.  He is no true deliverer for us who cannot break the cruel bondage of our cares.

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The Teaching of Jesus from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.