And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in Me. (Luke 7:23)
THE “NOW” AND THE “HEREAFTER”
John would, doubtless, understand this. It was designed to go right home to his very inmost soul. That dear servant had said, in reference to Jesus, “He must increase, but I must decrease,” and he was called to enter practically into this, not merely in his ministry, but in his person. He had to be content to end his career by the sword of the executioner, after having spent his closing days in the gloom of a dungeon. How mysterious! How difficult to flesh and blood! What urgent need there was for John to have whispered into his ear these words, afterwards uttered to Peter, “What I do, thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter” (Jn. 13:7).
What pregnant words! “Now” and “Hereafter!” How much we all need to remember them! Often it happens with us that “Now” is involved in deep and impenetrable obscurity. Heavy clouds hang upon our path. The dealings of our Father’s hand are perfectly inexplicable to us. Our minds are bewildered. There are circumstances in our path for which we cannot account. We are wholly engrossed with “Now,” and our minds are filled with dark and unbelieving reasonings until those precious words fall, in a still small voice upon the ear, “What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter.”
Then the reasonings are answered, the dark and depressing “Now” is lighted up with the beams of a brilliant and glorious “Hereafter,” and the subdued heart breathes forth, “As Thou wilt, Lord.” Would that we knew more of this! We may not be called, like the Baptist, to the prison and death; but each has his “Now” which must be interpreted in the light of “Hereafter.” We must look at the “seen and temporal” in the clear and blessed light of the “unseen and eternal.”
C. H. Mackintosh