It is a Man coming down the road with face looking into yours. He is truly a man, every line of the picture makes that clear to you. But such a man as never was seen before, with the rarest blending of the kingly and the kindly in His bearing. The purest purity, the utmost graciousness, the highest ideals, the gentlest manner, nobility beyond what we have known, and kindliness past describing,—all these blend in the pose of His body and most of all in the look of His face. And He is in motion. He is walking, walking towards us, with hands outstretched.
This is John’s picture of Jesus. He came to His own. He came because His own drew Him. Out from the bosom of His Father, into the womb of a virgin maid, and into the heart of a race He came. Out of the glory-blaze above into the gloom of the shadow, and the glare of false lights below, He came.
Out of the love of a Father’s heart, the Only-begotten came, into contact with the hate that was the only-begotten of sin, that He might woo us men up, and up, and up, into the only-begotten life with the Father.
Jesus was God on a wooing errand to the earth.
The Lover Wooing
A Group of Pictures Illustrating
How the Wooing Was Done, and How
the Lover Was Received
with unhurrying chase,
And unperturbed pace,
Deliberate speed, majestic instancy
Came the following Feet,
And a Voice above their beat—
Naught shelters thee, who will not shelter Me.’”
—“The Hound of Heaven.”
“O thou hope of Israel,
the Saviour thereof in the time of trouble,
why shouldst thou be as a sojourner in the land, and as a wayfaring
man that spreadeth his tent for a night?”—Jeremiah xiv. 8.
He came unto his own home, and they who were his own kinsfolk received him not into the house, but left him standing outside in the cold and dark of the winter’s night. But as many as did receive him he received into his home, and gave each a seat in the inner circle at the hearthfire of God.—John i. II, 12. Free translation.
The Lover Wooing
(John i. 19-xii. 50)
The Mother of all Love-Words.
Brooding is love at its tenderest and best It is love giving its best, and so bringing out the best possible in the one brooded over.
Look into the nest where the word itself was brooded. It is a warm something, warm in itself, not a borrowed warmth. The warmth is its chief trait. It is a soft tender unfailing cuddling warmth. It cuddles and coos, it glows and floods a gentle comforting stimulating warmth. And the best there is lying asleep within the thing so brooded over awakes.
It answers to that creative mothering warmth. It pushes out, against all obstacles, and comes shyly and winsomely, but steadily and strongly, out to the brooding warmth, growing as it comes and growing most as it comes into closest touch with the warm brooder.