Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be like minded one toward another according to Christ Jesus:…
How did the Christ look upon the lives of men? We may be sure that He saw all the strange minglings of comedies and tragedies which so confuse and exhaust us. If we feel at times the myriad multiplicity and infinite confusions of life, and wonder what it all means and is worth, we may be perfectly sure that the most sensitive and receptive soul that ever was found in fashion as a man felt life as we never have. He measured in His own experience our temptations, and His life took in Cana of Galilee, a sick room in Capernaum, the market-place before the temple, the streets of the city, the country towns by the sea, the Master in Israel, the multitude of the people, the whole world of His day and of all days — our world-age and God's eternity. Remembering thus that Jesus lived as never poet, philosopher, or novelist has lived, in the real world of human motives and hearts, with our real human life a daily transparency before His eye, open now these Gospels and see if you can find there in Jesus' view of our life, in His thought of us, any such sense of the emptiness, vanity, strangeness of life, as we have often felt resting like a shadow over our thoughts. Did not He look upon things as contradictory to goodness and God as anything we have ever seen under the sun? And with purer eyes? Did not He feel with larger sympathy and warmer heart the broken, tangled, bleeding lives of men? Did not He bear the sin of the world? Where, then, is our human word of doubt among His words? Where is the echo of man's despair among the sayings of our Lord? He could weep with those who mourned; but He spake and thought of life and the resurrection before the grave of Lazarus. You cannot say that He did not understand our sense of life's mystery and brokenness. He saw it all in Mary's tears. He read it in the thoughts of disciples' hearts. Why, then, did He never reproduce our common human weariness and doubt in His thought of life? It is not an endless wonder to Him. He sees our life surrounded by the living God. He sees, beneath our world, undergirding it, God's mighty purpose. He sees above the righteous Father. He sees the calm of eternity. And knowing life better than you or I do, knowing such things as you may have heard yesterday or may experience tomorrow — enough sometimes to make men wonder whether there be a God, or truth, or anything of worth — Jesus Christ, in full, open view of all life, said, "Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. Ye believe in God; believe also in Me." We begin to come now in sight of the conclusion to which I wish to lead. The evangelists could not possibly have omitted this common human characteristic if the character of Jesus had been the creation of their own imaginations. You will find shadow after shadow of our human questioning crossing the path of Buddha, and lingering upon the heights of human genius, but not the shadow of a passing doubt or fear over all Jesus' conversation with men. How could the Son of man look thus in the joy and triumph of a God upon such a strange thing as our life is? It was because He saw the coming order and the all-sufficient grace for life. It was because He knew that He was Lord of the creation from before the foundation of the world, and the world sooner or later is to be according to Christi According to Christi This is the keyword for the interpretation of the creation. Everything comes right, as it takes form and being according to Christ. Everything in life or death shall be well, as it ends in accordance with Christ. This is the keynote for the final harmony — According to Christ! We shall understand life at last, we shall find all its shadows turned to light by and by, if we take up our lives and seek to live them day by day according to Christ. Every man who can read the New Testament can begin, if he chooses, to order his life according to Christ. He may not understand the doctrines. But when he goes down to his office or store, and looks his brother-man in the face, he may know what things are honest and of good report according to Jesus Christ. When he goes to his home he may know what manner of life there is according to Christ. Yes, and when trouble comes, or sickness, or we near "the end, then we may know how we need not fear, nor be troubled, according to Christ. In our churches, too, we may be of many minds on many subjects, but we ought to know also how to be of the same mind, if we are willing to think and to judge all things by this one infallible rule — According to Christ.
(Newman Smyth, D.D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus: