Bethany-Response: Part 1

Mark 11:11; Jeremiah 7:11
Part 1
After rising from the grave triumphantly, we find the Lord giving His company to humble followers in an "upper room," rather than in temple courts, further emphasizing His own words as to the gorgeous temple:
“Behold, your house is left unto you desolate." Matt. 23:3838Behold, your house is left unto you desolate. (Matthew 23:38).
He still "looks round about upon all things," seeing not only the profane and immoral, but also the world-wide nauseous religious profession that ignores His Person, love and claims. Away from all such semblance of devotion He would lead the "little flock," and give His company to hearts drawn by His love to render response He values.
In our days those all-seeing eyes still behold the secret intents of every heart: He sadly, yet lovingly, looks upon those of His own redeemed ones who choose the company and pursuits of His defamers, as He looked upon Peter, in order that they too may "weep bitterly" for having wounded His loving heart, even though delivered from the terrors of the damned, rescued from the horrors of an endless hell, and claimed by the love that sought and found their lost souls. His look of love assures recovery to Bethany; produces the heartfelt response toward Him which His loving heart desires. Thus the restored soul with kindred spirits may consort, that the repast prepared for Him at Bethany long ago, may still be spread to refresh the "High and lofty One" who yet deigns to abide with "humble, contrite spirits" found at the Bethany He loves.
Bethany afforded Him, of old, His last resting place on earth. Not from the temple or confines of Jerusalem, but from Bethany, He ascended. As from Bethany still, as from the hallowed presence of the Lord, loyal hearts may be found viewing the world's religious and irreligious disregard for His Person, work and word; and feeling, besides, the deeper grief to His heart occasioned by the cold indifference of any of His own, whose first love He laments as "left" (compare Rev. 2:44Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. (Revelation 2:4)). Such loyal hearts, such sharers of "His reproach," turn away from "the camp" (Heb. 13:1313Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach. (Hebrews 13:13)), in order to welcome Him in, as Martha did into "her house"; adopting the young believer's answer "every room," when asked the question, "Have you any room, for Jesus?”
The blessed Lord comes when and where He is wanted. May we "perceive" in the "Holy One" (as the Shunamite did in the "holy man of God," 2 Kings 4:9,109And she said unto her husband, Behold now, I perceive that this is an holy man of God, which passeth by us continually. 10Let us make a little chamber, I pray thee, on the wall; and let us set for him there a bed, and a table, and a stool, and a candlestick: and it shall be, when he cometh to us, that he shall turn in thither. (2 Kings 4:9‑10)) such attractiveness as may lead us to desire His company; to make for Him a "little chamber" on the "wall" of separation; to minister to His rest (the "bed"); obediently to learn at His feet (the "stool"); and to have the light of His Word (the "candlestick") dismiss all darkness from the chamber, from the heart, He occupies. Such chambers will not be tenantless.
John 14:2323Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. (John 14:23) tells us that abiding occupancy by the Father and by the Son is assured. Our Beloved's communings He directs to hearts (Luke 24:3232And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures? (Luke 24:32)), not to intellects. A heart for us how wondrously He has evidenced! Those who have a heart for Him yield refreshing to the glorious God, who by every right lays claim to undivided hearts.
A sanctuary we may provide as we answer our Father's plea, "My son, give Me thine heart" (Prov. 23:2626My son, give me thine heart, and let thine eyes observe my ways. (Proverbs 23:26)); the plea of Christ our Lord, "that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith" (Eph. 3:1717That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, (Ephesians 3:17)); and welcome the entrance of the Spirit, "because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts" (Gal. 4:66And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. (Galatians 4:6)); and enjoy His love, "because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts" (Rom. 5:55And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. (Romans 5:5)); and seek to honor the sacred Word of the living God,
“Thy Word have I hid in mine heart that I might not sin against Thee." Psa. 119:1111Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee. (Psalm 119:11).
(To be continued)