•  3 min. read  •  grade level: 5
The nearness to which the Lord invites the soul, the intimacy with which He seeks to invest the heart of the sinner, who trusts in Him, it is most blessed to know. Christ does not deal with us in the style of a patron, or even of a benefactor. The world is full of that principle. " They that exercise authority are called benefactors." Man will show kindness and confer benefits in the character of a patron, occupying the distant place of both conscious and confessed superiority. But this is not Jesus. " Not as the world giveth," says He, " give I unto you." He brings His dependent one very near. He lets it be known, that it is the dealing of a kinsman with us and not that of a patron. But this is all the difference in the world. I am bold to say, heaven depends on this difference. The heaven we expect to enjoy, and which in spirit we taste now, depends on the Lord Jesus not acting with us on the principle of a patron. Heaven would be then only a well-ordered world of present approved human principles. And, oh I what a thing that would be! Is it the condescendings of a great one that we see in Jesus? " I am among you as one that serveth," says He. Is it the distant and courtly benevolences of a superior that we receive from Him? " Where I am, there ye shall be also," is not the language of such; nor, " the glory which thou gavest me I have given them." He is, it is true, and He would have us know it and own it, " Master and Lord;" hut He sits at one table with us. As of old, He could command Moses and Joshua to take off their shoes in His presence, and be worshipped as Lord by Abraham, but He would eat of the patriarch's fare, and speak to Moses face to face as a man speaketh to his friend. And see it thus with Him in the days of His flesh. How was it then? Every case would answer this. It was never the style of a mere benefactor. It was never the distance or elevation of a patron; never. " He bore our sorrows and carried our sicknesses." Just look at Him at Jacob’s well. A woman was there who had the most exalted thoughts of Him. " I know that Messias (meth which is called Christ; when he is come he will tell us all things." This was her, high and just sense of Messias, not knowing that He to whom she was speaking could say immediately, " I that speak unto thee, am He." But where was He all the time? Sitting on one stone with her, talking with her as they met together at the well, and when, as to give her the fullest ease in His presence, He had asked her for a drink of water. Was this patronage after the fashion of man? Was this the condescension of a great one? Was this heaven or the world? Condescension of the world will confer what favor you please, but will have the distance of the benefactor and the befriended kept and honored. But heaven or love will impart itself with its gifts. Jesus acts as kinsman to them He befriends. He leaves no distance, no sense of place, in the heart He heals, for He visits it. It is as a kinsman He acts, and not as a patron. He sits and talks with us. He allows us to invite Him to our house, as He went and dwelt with the Samaritans two days. He asks for a favor at our hands that we may take a favor from Him without reserve. He'll fain drink of our pitcher while opening His wells, and eat of our kid at our tent door, while revealing eternal counsels to us.