At the Feet of Jesus # 2
3. Let us see the footstool of Jesus as the place of Communion and Fellowship. The Christian needs ever to abide near to Christ, to obtain strength and daily power to meet the various ills of life, and to go forward in the path of holiness. And we have an instance of one who thus was near to Christ, "When they came to Jesus, they found the man from whom the demons had gone out, sitting at Jesus' feet." (Luke 8:35).
Christ had been merciful to the man. He had delivered him from a legion of evil spirits. He had changed and transformed him from the wild, savage maniac, the terror of all around - to the happy, trustful, loving disciple. Once he wore no clothes. Now, clothed and in his right mind, he is "sitting at the feet of Jesus." While the Gadarenes besought Christ that He would leave them - this man beseeches Jesus that he may be with Him.
But now he has work to do. From the feet of Jesus, he is to go forth as a witness for Him. He is to tell others what great things Jesus had done for him. Now is he unwilling - he goes forth on his errand and publishes everywhere throughout the whole city the tidings of Christ's pity and compassion toward him.
Here is the mark of one truly converted to God. When under the power of the wicked one, he would have Christ leave him to his misery and sin. But when Christ has set him free, then to be near his Deliverer is the one desire of his heart. He would not go where he cannot have Christ with him. He wishes to be found wherever Christ will meet with him. To be with Christ in the poorest and meanest abode, is better in his sight than to be without Christ in the palace of luxury and wealth. Without Christ he can never be satisfied. With Christ he can be happy anywhere.
"I need your presence every passing hour,
What but Your grace can foil the tempter's power?
Who like Yourself, my Guide and stay can be?
Through cloud and sunshine, O abide with me."
If you know the power and grace of Christ, ever maintain this fellowship. Walk with Him all through life's busiest scenes. Keep still close to Him in the chamber of weakness and suffering. When sorrow weighs heavily upon your heart, or the fear of death oppresses - still let His loving Presence be your solace and your stay.
Yet let not selfishness hinder your work for Him. Like this healed demoniac, you may have to sacrifice your own wish to go and bear witness for Him.
Duty may call you to forsake the privileges of a Christian land, to go as a messenger of the Cross to a heathen country. A voice may bid you give up a service in God's house Sunday by Sunday, that you may go and search out those who care nothing for Christ. But you shall be no loser. Christ will make up for it by fresh gifts of His grace. Never, never will He be nearer to His servant then when that servant goes forth at His bidding to tell others of His grace.
There is yet one other view of Christ's footstool presented to us by Luke:
4. Let us regard it as a place for THANKSGIVING and PRAISE. Nothing more befits a Christian, than hearty gratitude for mercy and salvation. And we see this in the instance I would name (Luke 17:16). The ten lepers lifted up their voice afar off, "Jesus, Master, have mercy upon us!" He heard their cry, and as they obeyed His command, they were healed.
But where is their gratitude? They received a benefit beyond all price; they are healed of the terrible plague which robbed them of all life's enjoyment, and would before long have brought them to the grave. But they received the gift - and forget the Giver. They go their way to eat and drink and enjoy their newly-found health - but they have no word of praise for Him who has done so much for them. Thus is it with the nine.
But the tenth is of a different spirit. Though a despised Samaritan, yet he alone shows forth gratitude to the Good Physician. He receives the benefit - and immediately returns to give thanks to His Benefactor. "One of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God, and fell down on his face at His feet giving Him thanks, and he was a Samaritan" (verses 15, 16). And his thankfulness opens the door for the blessing. "Arise, go your way, your faith has made you whole" (verse 19). He had now found from Christ a double healing. He was cleansed from his leprosy - and he was freed from the deeper pollution of sin. He could go to his home that day strong in body, and rejoicing in the everlasting peace and salvation which had been granted to him.
Come near to Jesus, and praise Him like this cleansed leper. Nothing is more blessed than a praising, joyful spirit. It brings glory to God, and shows forth His goodness and mercy. It baffles satan and drives him away. It encourages young beginners, and shows them the happiness that Christ gives His people. It awakens thought in the children of the world, and often leads them to desire a better portion. It brings fresh blessings to him who exercises it. God loves to pour down His richest and sweetest comforts, into the lap of those who delight to magnify His name.
I commend to you the footstool of Jesus!
Go to it for teaching.
Go to it as a humble penitent.
Go to it for communion and fellowship with the Saviour.
And forget not to thank Him for all His benefits towards you.
Make the feet of Jesus your constant resort and resting place. No place is more safe; no place is there where you will find more help, and grace, and strength for service or for suffering. If you have never come before, come now to His footstool.
For if that footstool is not to you the place of refuge, and hope, and salvation - it will be to you one day the place of utter defeat and irretrievable ruin. There is one passage in Holy Scripture that stands out in strong contrast to the thoughts of this chapter. "The Lord says to my Lord: Sit at My right hand until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet." (Psalm 110:1).
In this prophecy, I see a world of sinners at the feet of Messiah. Once they despised and rejected Him, and hardened themselves in pride and unbelief. But all this is over now. Where now all their boasted might and power? Where now the glory and the wealth and the human wisdom in which they trusted? All is gone. All has come to nothing. At His feet lie the proudest, the mightiest, those who have been renowned in this world, but enemies of the kingdom of God. Yes, the wicked shall be the footstool of Christ in the day of His coming. "You spurn and set at nought all those who stray from Your statutes, for their own lying deceives them and their tricks are in vain." "He must reign until He has put all enemies under His feet."
Ah, choose you, my fellow sinners, which shall it be? The footstool of Jesus now - or hereafter? Which will you have? Choose it now - and you will find it a place of unspeakable blessedness. Reject it now - and you will find it a place of utter destruction.
Think how Joshua put his feet on the necks of the kings before he slew them. And a day is coming when mercy is past and judgment alone remains - and our Joshua will put forth His power to cast down those who oppose His authority. Oh, choose the safe part! Trust Christ now with your entire salvation. Let His love be your constant refuge and His mighty arm your defense. Leave everything in His hands, and commit to Him your present and eternal welfare. Then your enemies will be Christ's enemies, and you shall be forever exalted, while everything that is against you shall be forever cast down.
"O choose for me my portion,
My bitter and my sweet;
The cup Your hand does mix me,
I will drink it at Your feet.
While I'm waiting for the moment,
The brightest and the best,
When You shall stoop to lift me
From Your footstool to Your breast."