THE REGULATED HUMAN LIVING OF CHRIST
The four Gospels unveil the marvelous humanity of the Lord Jesus. What a marvelous daily life and human living He had when He was on this earth! He was a person who was noble, solid, sober, and proper in every way. The Gospel of John unveils the Lord Jesus as the very God who passed through human living on this earth. The book of John shows us in particular how the Lord Jesus as life meets the need of every man’s case.
John 11 shows us that the need of the dead is life’s resurrecting. In this chapter we can see the Lord Jesus’ marvelous divine humanity. The Scriptures tell us that Jesus loved Mary and Martha and their brother Lazarus (v. 5). One day Lazarus became very ill, and Martha and Mary sent the news to the Lord Jesus. When the Lord Jesus heard that Lazarus was sick, He stayed in the place where He was for another two days (v. 6). He had the full freedom to go to visit Lazarus or not to go. The “brake” of His “car” was so workable.
The disciples were people who were easily moved, but the Lord Jesus was so stable. When the news came about Lazarus’s sickness, the Lord’s heart was not moved. The disciples must have been puzzled and perplexed. You can imagine how disappointed they were. After two days, the Lord suddenly expressed a desire to see Lazarus. When the Lord did not want to go, they were puzzled, and when the Lord was ready to go, they thought that it was not necessary to go. They said to the Lord, “Rabbi, the Jews were just now seeking to stone You, and are You going there again?” (v. 8). What the Lord would not do, the disciples would do, and what the Lord would do, the disciples would not agree with. We may say that the reason for this is because they did not know the will of God. But we must also see that the disciples were not so normal. They were people who were easily excited and offended.
If we are easily offended, this means that we are not so normal. If we could be rebuked and scorned severely without being offended, this shows that we have the real freedom. Sometimes, however, just a single word can offend us. We are easily offended because we are weak and full of death. If we easily misunderstand others and are easily offended and unhappy with others, this proves that we are weak and dead. We do not have the life power to manage ourselves. When the disciples did go with the Lord to visit Lazarus, they went reluctantly. Even Thomas said to the other disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with Him” (v. 16).
When the Lord Jesus was on His way to the village at Bethany, the first one who came to meet Him was Martha. Martha said to the Lord Jesus, “If You had been here, my brother would not have died” (v. 21). Then the Lord Jesus told Martha that her brother would rise again and that He was the resurrection and the life (vv. 23, 25). But Martha did not hear what the Lord Jesus said. Her response was that she knew that her brother would rise again in the resurrection in the last day (v. 24). After her conversation with the Lord Jesus, Martha went away and told her sister Mary that the Lord was there and that He was calling her (v. 28). This was Martha’s opinion and not the Lord’s command. The Lord Jesus was not offended by the opinions of Martha, Mary (v. 32), and the Jews (vv. 36-37). At one point, the Lord wept in sympathy with their sorrow over Lazarus’s death. In John 11 we can see that the Lord was always in full control of Himself. With Him there was the full freedom. He was absolutely free and there was not one bit of looseness with Him because He was full of life.
ENJOYING CHRIST AS THE DIVINE INNER LIFE FOR A PROPER HUMAN LIVING
If I laugh or weep without limitation and without control, that means I am full of death. We have to realize that if we partake of Christ and enjoy Him as our life, our whole being, our whole human living, will be absolutely changed. Our partaking of the transforming life of Christ will not only enable us to overcome some sins and besetting habits but will also and more importantly swallow up all the death of our natural man to make us absolutely another person. Then when we laugh, we will laugh in a different way. When we weep, we will weep in a way full of control. We may be happy and excited, but we will be happy and excited under a certain control. When every part of our being is under the control and inner regulation of Christ as the divine inner life, this is the real freedom.
Lawlessness and looseness are not freedom. Freedom is to be under the full control of the divine life yet without bondage. Our being able to do household duties at the proper times with joy is a proof that we have the life power within us. The life power within us enables us to wash the dishes, to be on time, and to get to bed at the proper time. Doing these things will not be a bondage but a joy if we are enjoying the real freedom in the divine life. We need to enjoy the life power, the power of the Lord’s resurrection, to have a proper human living in our daily life. Nothing should be a bondage, a pressure, or a suffering to us, but in everything we should have the joy of the Lord because we are being saved in His life. If we do not have the life, whatever we do will be a pressure or a suffering. We need the real experience of Christ as our inner saving life.
(The Crucial Revelation of Life in the Scriptures, Chapter 15, by Witness Lee)