And the Jesus-return word-picture fills their vision with this same Jesus coming in open glory before all eyes to carry out the kingdom plan. As these men learned to live always in the presence of a Jesus whom their outer eyes saw not, these pictures would become living pictures seen in open daily life.
So this is a further bit of the tryst appointment. This is the fuller tryst, the greater, the yet more wondrous tryst. Not only would He rise up out of death, and appear to them in person seen by the outer eyes, but He would be with them continually manifesting Himself in rarest power of action, in tenderest personal care, in talking and walking with them.
They would see the power plainly at work; then they would say with a soft hush, “He is here.” They would find new bodily strength, new guidance in perplexity, new peace in the midst of confusion, and they would say to each other in awed tones, “He is here: it’s the Master’s touch.”
And so it would come to be a habit to anticipate His presence. They would figure Him in, and figure Him in big, as big as He is, in all sorts of circumstances and planning and meeting of difficulties.
It is most striking that John closes his Gospel so differently from the others. They close with the Master rising up and disappearing on a cloud into the upper blue. John closes with Jesus walking along the beach, talking with the little group of trusted ones. Jesus did ascend up into the blue whence He shall some day descend. But the Holy Spirit sends John back to his pen to give us this as the last picture, impressed on the sensitive plate of the eyes of our heart. This: Jesus present with us all the while walking along the shore of our common round of life, clothed with matchless power, and devoting Himself to us as we to Him.
Along about the middle of the eighteenth century there came to England a young French-Swiss, named De la Flechere, hungry hearted for the truth. He was so helped by John Wesley that he cast in his lot with the new Methodist movement and John Williams Fletcher became one of Wesley’s most faithful co-labourers. Late in life he married a woman of unusual mental and spiritual attainment.
I ran across a simple story over there of this Mrs. John Fletcher which interested and helped me much. This saintly gifted woman told of a dream which came to her with such vividness as to seem to her mature mind more than a common passing vagary of sleep. In her dream she was engaged in an intense struggle with an evil spirit. She was having a most difficult fight.
She noticed some one standing a little bit to one side watching the fight but taking no active part in it. The fighting became so intense and her strength so sorely strained that she was on the point of giving up. Then this one came over near and touched her gently and said, “Be strong.” Instantly a wondrous strength came to her and she held on.