BEARING THE CROSS
Question: Matthew 27:32, Mark 15:21, and Luke 23:26 all say that Simon the Cyrenian took up the Lord’s cross. Why does it say in John 19:17 that the Lord Jesus bore His own cross to a place? Did He ask this Simon to bear it for Him along the way?
Answer: If you put the four passages together, there will be no problem. If we combine the four Gospels together and read them together, we will see the historical order of events. "Therefore they took Jesus. And bearing the cross for Himself, He went out" (John). "And as they were going out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name" (Matthew), "a certain passerby coming from the country" (Mark). "They laid hold of Simon...and they placed the cross upon him to carry it behind Jesus" (Luke), "to the place called the Place of a Skull, which is called in Hebrew, Golgotha" (John). According to Luke, Simon the Cyrenian was bearing the cross together with the Lord Jesus; the Lord was walking in front of him, and he was walking behind the Lord. Hence, the order of events should be this: the Lord went out with the cross and met Simon, while the crowd forced him to bear the cross with the Lord all the way to Golgotha.
Question: In Acts 2:14 Peter and the eleven stood up to proclaim the Lord’s word. Why is it that there was only the testimony of Peter and not the testimony of other apostles? Was Peter the representative of the eleven? (Luk)
Answer: This should not be a problem here. According to the text, all eleven apostles stood up, but only Peter opened up his mouth. We cannot say that Peter was the representative of the other eleven. But in the Gospels, we often see Peter being the mouthpiece of the twelve apostles. This is, of course, due to his age and his rashness. When he stood up to speak on the day of Pentecost, however, it was not because of the urging of his flesh, but because of the stirring of the Holy Spirit. The keys of the kingdom of the heavens was entrusted to Peter (Matt. 16:19). Hence, he was the first one to open the door of the gospel for the Jews (at Pentecost) and for the Gentiles (in the house of Cornelius).
THE LORD BAPTIZING
Question: According to John 3:22, did the Lord Jesus baptize anyone while He was on earth? If so, in whose name were they baptized? (Luk)
Answer: No. John 4:2 says, "Although Jesus Himself did not baptize, but rather His disciples." According to the Bible, probably at that time it was not in anyone’s name. This is not crucial. It is better that our thoughts be centered on the things that have to do with Christ.
FORBIDDING OTHERS TO PUBLICIZE
Question: Every time the Lord Jesus healed someone, He warned them not to tell others about the act. Why did He do this? Is it because He was afraid that too many would follow Him? (Luk)
Answer: It is because He did not want others to follow Him out of curiosity. He wanted those who followed Him to be the ones who had grace working in them in a deep way already. If they came merely because they had seen the miracles, such following may have even frustrated His proper works. The Lord Jesus was here to do a solid work, not works that were measured only by their quantity. What a lesson for us!
(Collected Works of Watchman Nee, The (Set 1) Vol. 07: The Christian (5), Chapter 20, by Watchman Nee)