Even as He Was

Mark 4-5
The words which form the heading of this paper occur in no other Gospel, and are very expressive. “The same day, when the even was come, He saith unto them, Let us pass over unto the other side.” But what a day it had been of unwearied devotedness to His Father's will and of love to man! The many healed of plagues, the unclean spirits cast out, the appointment of twelve to be with Him, and that He might send them forth to preach and to have power to heal sicknesses and to cast out demons, the regathering of the multitude so that they could not so much as eat bread together, with the parables He taught, were all a witness of His continued service toward God and men. Do we wonder, then, that in the little ship, in which His disciples were with Him, He should he asleep on a pillow?-a hard lump of wood, so great a contrast to a sofa appendage! Truly He was Jehovah of Psalm 121:44Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep. (Psalm 121:4), of whom it is written, “He that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep,” but He had deigned to become man, and to be the perfectly dependent and obedient One, and as such He could be wearied, as at Sychar's well—holy, harmless, separate from sinners as He was, for weariness of body does not flow from sin, even as we read of Adam when innocent, “he slept” (Genesis 2:2121And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; (Genesis 2:21)). But what love on His part to put off sleep till such an opportunity!
Well, now we have the circumstances all before us—Himself, “even as He was,” the great storm of wind, the waves successful in filling the ship, so that the disciples awake Him. Why should they? Could they possibly perish with Him in any condition on board? Why indeed were they fearful and had no faith? Blessed for us, He is “the same yesterday, to-day, and forever,” and He has but to arise and rebuke the wind and speak to the sea, “Peace, be still. And the wind ceased and there was a great calm.” How magnificently He did it; not a zephyr stir nor any movement of ocean left! “And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this that even the wind and the sea obey him?”
Why, my reader, are you also astonished? He was the Man of chapter 1 (ver. 41), the same Jesus, who, “moved with compassion, put forth his hand and touched [the leper], and said unto him, I will, be thou clean.” Yes, He could dismiss defilement by His touch, but never contract it. He was the Man also of the second chapter, who could in the freest way (for faith is never a purchaser but a receiver of blessing) say to the palsied one before Him, “Son, thy sins be forgiven thee.” We may for once agree in this point with the scribes sitting there-though entirely apart from their spirit-and say, “Who can forgive sins but God only?” for Jesus is “the Christ, who is over all, God blessed forever, Amen” (Romans 9:55Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen. (Romans 9:5)).
How quietly chapter v. opens with, “And they came over unto the other side of the sea.” Of course they did! How could it be otherwise when He had said, “Let us pass over unto the other side?” Dear fellow believer, as regards ourselves, “Christ also hath once suffered for sins the Just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God,” and to God, as to our souls, we are brought now, and as to our bodies certainly we shall be by and by. Never should we allow anything to weaken this confidence, for it is wholly a question of what He undertook to do; and “whatsoever God doeth, it shall be forever: nothing can he put to it, nor anything taken from it” (Eccl. 3:1414I know that, whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever: nothing can be put to it, nor any thing taken from it: and God doeth it, that men should fear before him. (Ecclesiastes 3:14)).
Well, if it was thus all right with them when they took Him, “even as He was,” what for us now that we know Him as He is? If then all power was His, what as to Him now when He is risen and glorified? Was there not a light from heaven above the noonday brightness of an eastern sun that brought the persecuting Saul to the earth, and a voice in the Hebrew tongue that in the short sentence “Why persecutest thou Me,” gives us to know His undying love and interest in His own? Yes, beloved, “It is Christ that died, yea, rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? (Romans 8:34, 3534Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. 35Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? (Romans 8:34‑35)). Find the answer, then, in this, “We know that when He shall appear we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.” Meanwhile the “God of all grace who called you unto his eternal glory in Christ, after that ye have suffered a little while, shall himself perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you. To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen” (1 Peter 5:1111To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen. (1 Peter 5:11)).
W. N. T.