The word which God sent to the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ: (he is Lord of all:)…
I. THE CLAIM HERE MADE.
1. This claim is made by the whole Bible; notably by Paul (Ephesians 1:21), by Peter (1 Peter 3:21), by John (Revelation 1:17, 18; Revelation 19:16).
2. Christ is Lord of all, and the telescope has not revealed a star, nor the microscope an atom, that is not subject to Him. The spirits of darkness cannot elude His Lordship, and the spirits of light glory in it. We too are subject to it, whether we will or no. But Christ wills to connect us with Himself by other ties than that of His irresistible control. He wants us to choose to be bound to Him by ties of faith and love, and then we shall delight to follow Him, and find the most perfect union with Him.
3. If you reject this claim, whom will you serve? Self? You cannot make a worse choice.
(1) Put the reins in the hands of your senses, and you know whither they will drive you.
(2) You will fare no better, though more respectably, if you bow your neck to covetousness — the ambition to be rich.
(3) The love of applause and honour is only less injurious; it may inspire in soldiers heroism, but it substitutes man's judgment for God's law and conscience.
(4) The love of power is just as bad a master. See what it made of Alexander and Napoleon!
II. WHAT YIELDING TO THIS CLAIM WILL DO IN AND FOR YOU.
1. It will bring you to your knees in humble acknowledgment of your guilt, and in grateful recognition of God's love in offering reconciliation. Christ does not come suing your heart and service as blameless. You are "His own," but you have not acted as His own. He finds you in a state of rebellion, and the first word He speaks to you is "Repent." It was by the way of the Cross that Jesus went to the throne, and you must go the same way.
2. It will place you under a law the most beneficent and pure; one which will make your heart and life unselfish. It will not make a man in any sense effeminate, but will inspire manliness with grace.
3. It will bring you aids and influences without which you will find yourselves unable to overcome the evil or attain the good. The road is a difficult and perilous one, and you have neither the wisdom nor the strength to avoid the dangers or to overcome the hardships. It should be good news that Christ gives both.
III. WHAT HAVE YOU TO OBJECT TO THIS CLAIM?
1. You want to be left alone and not be troubled. Is this manly? Happily for you, you don't act on this principle elsewhere. When you are in want of a situation, you search for one till you find it. You go to work at the set hour, and keep at it till it is finished. How, then, can you suppose that it will be well with you in the higher concerns of your soul, if you fold your arms and commit yourselves to the care of chance? The ship, if left to itself, will founder; the soul, how can it escape destruction if left to drift where it may?
2. The rule of Christ is too exacting and too wide. But what would you think of a law which would make purity, truth, and honesty contingent on circumstances? Christ demands the whole of your being, that He may bless body and soul to all eternity, and prohibits all compromise with sin because sin is everlasting ruin.
(J. Kennedy, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: The word which God sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ: (he is Lord of all:)
WEB: The word which he sent to the children of Israel, preaching good news of peace by Jesus Christ—he is Lord of all—