Miller Life of Jesus is a very short work (22 pages) on the Life of Jesus as it relates to us and the Bible.
THE LIFE OF JESUS
by J. R. Miller
Extract from Work
THE GOSPEL OF THE INFANCY
We look for the glory of the life of Jesus, in His manhood’s years. Then He wrought great miracles, revealing His divine power. Then He spoke His wonderful words which have touched the world with their influence of blessing. Then He went about doing good, showing the love of God in all His common life, and on His Cross. We do not turn to the infancy of Jesus for supernatural revealings. The apocryphal Gospels have their stories of infant prodigies—but we do not accept these, and are careful to say that Jesus wrought no miracles and showed no revealings of deity—until He had been anointed with the Holy Spirit.
Yet in no portion of the life of Jesus Christ, is there really greater glory than in His birth. Nothing showed more love for sinners—than His condescending to be born. We should say that the heart of the gospel was the Cross—but the first act of redemption was the Incarnation, when the Son of God emptied Himself of His divine attributes and entered human life in all the feebleness and helplessness of infancy. In its revealing of love and grace, the cradle of Jesus is as marvelous as His Cross.
It is impossible to sum up the blessings of this holy infancy. Childhood everywhere is exalted by it. Something of the light of the manger shines now about every child’s cradle. Wonderful has been the ministry even of the pictures of the infant Jesus. Where the story of the birth of Christ is known—the world becomes a safer place for all children; hearts are gentler and truer, and the air is sweeter where the Christmas message is told. Since Christ, the Son of God, was born the Son of Mary, all infancy is sacred in a sense.
We should learn to revere childhood. The home to which a baby has come, is a sacred place. The parents who fail to understand the blessing that has come to them in their little one, are missing a revelation as glorious as the burning bush, before which Moses was bidden to take off his shoes.
We wonder at the strange reception Jesus had in this world. We would have thought that He would be welcomed enthusiastically. But He came almost unobserved. Some lowly shepherds, learning through an angelic vision of what had happened, came in to see the wonderful Child. But that was all. The great event made no stir in Jerusalem. “His own received Him not.”
But one day Jerusalem was startled by the coming of a delegation of wise men from the far East. They spoke of a King who had been born in the country of the Jews. Neither Herod nor the rulers had any thought of such an event in their midst. The world does not recognize its true royalty.
Tradition says they were kings who came. They certainly were thoughtful men—reverent, devout, sincere seekers after that which is good and true. They were men of character; they were also rich, for they came laden with treasures—gold, frankincense and myrrh. Yet they bowed down to this Child King, whom they found in lowly circumstances, giving Him highest honor, and laying their gifts at His feet. Even this incident, however, made no lasting impression.
The people were indifferent. None of them followed the Magi to worship their King. The only result was the tragedy of Bethlehem—the slaying of the little children, in Herod’s jealous plot to destroy the new-born King.
So it is always. Jesus divides men. Many turn from the glory of His life with indifference. They ignore Him. They laugh at the adoring of His friends and their faith in Him. They see no beauty in Him.
Yet always there are those who see in Jesus, the King of glory. They are drawn to Him in love, which becomes a very fire in their hearts. They stop at no cost or sacrifice in following and serving Him. They bring Him their best treasures—not money—but the gold, frankincense and myrrh of their hearts.
Christ never disappoints any who are drawn to Him in adoration and devotion. Visions of beauty and blessing in Him never fade out. Every hope in Him is realized. None who ever turn to Him in need and heart-hunger, will fail to be satisfied. Every promise that He gives, becomes a glorious reality to those who accept it.
THE MOTHER AND THE CHILD
The picture of the Virgin Mother and the Holy Child has wrought itself inextricably into the life of Christendom. It is a blessed evangel wherever it is seen— sweetening homes, softening hearts, inspiring heavenly aspirations. But in the light of the story of Jesus Christ every mother and child have a deep interest to all true-hearted people. To the reverent mind, motherhood is always sacred. It stands near to God. When a little child is laid in the arms of a mother, a holy trust is committed to her, an immortal life in its first beginnings, which she is to train and make ready for its mission.
It was a holy trust indeed that was committed to Mary, when she was chosen to be the mother of the Redeemer. It behooved her to be holy in her own person and diligent in her care of her child. But scarcely less serious—is the responsibility of every mother. She does not know for what lofty mission her child has been born. Her hand must never slacken, nor must she fail God in her duty as a mother, else she may wreck a divine plan for a life.
Great is a mother’s joy as she sees her child grow up in purity and strength—the answer to her prayers, the fruit of her faithfulness. Ofttimes, too, sorrow falls to the lot of motherhood. When Mary presented her Child to God in the Temple, she was granted a vision of His future greatness—but she was shown a vision also of a day when she should stand by His Cross—her own heart pierced by the nails that pierced His hands and feet.
The veil is not lifted to reveal to other mothers, what experiences their children may meet, yet there are few mothers whose love does not bring them grief as well as joy. There is always pain in the responsibility of motherhood, in love’s solicitudes. Many times, too, is there sorrow over the failure of bright dreams. Sometimes it is suffering in her children, which makes the mother stand pale and with anguished heart beside them. Or it may be their early death that is the cause of her grief. Motherhood never misses pain. But pain enriches. Only the mother who suffers—learns love’s holiest secrets.
More Works on the Life of Jesus
THE WATCHFULNESS OF GOD
Does God watch over the lives of little children on the earth? Does He keep guard over imperiled infancy? The story of the flight of the Holy Family to Egypt answers the question in the case of one infant life. It was a flight divinely ordered and directed. The Child Jesus was in danger. There was no human way of escape. He who had come to earth to be the Redeemer of men, was about to be slain in His cradle! Then Heaven interfered for His deliverance. An angel came to Joseph, bidding him hasten away because the life of the Child was in peril. Instantly the command was obeyed, and when Herod’s soldiers came, the Child they were sent to destroy, was safe beyond their reach.
The Child Jesus was unique in the world’s history—but the same providence that watched over His infancy, watches over the infancy of every child. To our eyes, evil seems to strike where it pleases. Weakness appears to have no defense against strength. Pestilence knows no distinction when it comes into a community—but enters the homes of the evil and the good with like impunity. But Heaven is ever watching. There are lives no pestilence can touch. There is a wall of protection about them which nothing can pass. The child who has a mission for God in the future, cannot be stricken in his cradle!
Only one thing need concern us—the doing of our duty, hour by hour, as it comes to us. We have nothing whatever to do with the keeping of our own lives. We never need to ask whether a certain way is safe for us. Absolutely the only question we need to ask is—what God would have us to do. His way is the safe way, though it be through a thousand perils. If we listen for the divine voice, and then follow it without question, we shall ever be under the wings of God.
The legends tell of the way the Holy Family were led, protected and provided for, in the flight to Egypt. We call these apocryphal stories. But no matter. Heaven was really open over these peasant travelers all the way. So heaven is open over everyone who seeks safety and care, in obedience to the divine command.
We are apt to think that, as a child, Jesus must have been different from other children. When we remember that He was the Son of God, it seems to us that there must have been divine revealings even in His infancy. The apocryphal Gospels make the story of Christ’s boyhood, a “blaze of miracle.” But in their efforts to show His divine character, they give us a most undivine portraiture. The Child Jesus, as they depict Him, is cruel, vindictive, smiting down other children that resist His desires. His bearing is harsh and ungentle. He is mischievous and domineering.
Miller Life of Jesus
More Works from J.R. Miller
- Miller Life of Jesus
- Miller Master´s Blesseds
- Miller Message of Paul’s Life
- Miller Ministry of Comfort
- Miller A Life of Character
- Miller J.R. – Practical Religion
- Miller, J.R. – Living Without Worry
- Miller Refuge in Sorrow
- Miller, J.R. – Paul’s Message for Today
- Miller that will do