What is Man -- That Thou Visitest Him?
morning around 4:00 o’clock, the Lord awakened me with a
very intense presence. So I got up and changed my
ideas. Strange isn’t it? So instead of speaking
to you on what I had planned, I’m going to speak to you
along the line of the Lord’s visit. In the light of
that, I have a hunch that the Lord would very much like
to pay us a visit. That wouldn’t be a bad idea, would
it? So I want to chat with you along that line. Turning
to Hebrews 2:6. This is merely to give us a
beginning, that’s all.
Hebrews 2:6 But one in
a certain place testified, saying, What
is man, that thou art mindful of him? Or the son of
man, that thou visitest him?
To me it is very obvious from this,
as well as other passages, that there is such a thing as
the Lord visiting His people. “What
is man that thou art mindful of him?” Or that
You even think of him? Or the son of
man that You pay him a visit? Naturally, we can have different
ideas about the Lord’s visit, and I’ll mention a few of
them just by way of passing giving different applications.
Then we’ll begin to bear down on one particular line
In I Samuel 2:21,
we have the statement: “And the Lord visited
Hannah.” All of us know the story. She
received from the Lord the answer to her prayer after all
natural possibilities failed to exist, or no longer existed
- seemingly. She cried unto the Lord for her need
(that can be any need), and in response to that intercession,
that earnest prayer petitioning of Hannah, God responded.
That response is clothed in the term ‘visited.’ “And
the Lord visited Hannah.” In other words, the Lord
visits us, so to speak, in answer to earnest prayer. That
would apply to any kind of legitimate need that we can imagine.
The Lord visits His people in prayer.
Again in Zephaniah 2:7
For the Lord their God shall visit them, and turn away their
captivity. Or turn away their bondage or bring
them out of confinement. Are any of you this morning
in confinement; solitary confinement; the confinement of
circumstances or environment? Or if you prefer another
line: spiritual bondage - no freedom in the Lord? Well,
hallelujah! “The Lord their God shall visit them.”
I can’t help but think back a number of years, when on one
particular Sunday morning, the Lord bore down on liberating
us from our bondage. For a long time we called that
day: “Liberation Day.” Folk were so free in the Lord.
They were so set free from their timidity that in
this particular service, we had two lines of students waiting
to get to the mike. The lines on either side reached
back more than halfway, the fellows here and the girls here.
I had to sit there and say, “Now you’re next, you’re
next, now you’re next, etc. Like a traffic cop.”
Among them was a little half-pint, one of those timid things,
and did she let go. It was one of those days in which
the Lord came to liberate from bondage. Don’t put
it past Him that He wouldn’t do that again-and I’m not trying
to reconstruct anything. But I know one thing: if
you have any friend that loves to visit you, that friend
likes to visit you again. If I know anything about
Him, He likes to do it again, and then some more. Why
not, if He likes it at all? And I think He does (in
“Well, I don’t feel like He’s visiting us.”
Did you ever get an unexpected visitor? What I don’t
like is when they come unexpected at 10:00 o’clock at night.
I don’t mind Him. I would mind you! But
He’s different, isn’t He? All right, the Lord visits
by turning away captivity, liberating from bondage.
I’m still merely giving you different directions that what
I have later to say can take. In Luke 7 we read:
Luke 7:15-16 And he that
was dead sat up, and began to speak. And he delivered
him to his mother. And there came a fear on all; and
they glorified God, saying, That
a great prophet is risen up among us; and that God hath
visited his people.
What kind of a visitation do we
have here? I would simply say,
a visitation of God in the supernatural manifestation of
His power. One that was dead, sat up, and began to
speak. I don’t know what he said, but if I were dead
and sat up, I think the first thing I would say is, “Hi.”
Now how they would react, I don’t know.
But the Lord has visited His people, a visit in supernatural
power that raised the dead and manifested His power in meeting
the needs of people and glorifying God. God still
visits His people in supernatural ways. Wouldn’t be
a bad idea, would it?
John 14:21 He that hath
my commandments, and keepeth them,
he it is that loveth me; and he
that loveth me shall be loved
of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself
Now here you have the Lord’s visit,
I would call it, in a personal way. Now those of you
that like to go to the library, and it will pay you to do it, and make a search of
this word ‘manifest,’ wherever you can get a ray of light,
you will be surprised what you will find. I know there
are some things in the Pulpit Commentary; there are some
things in other books. Different translators translate
this word differently, and I like those translations. I
use all of them. I haven’t memorized the translation
of this word, but I know it reads like this: “I will reveal
myself to him; I will make myself known to him; I will show
myself to him.”
You can go to the Pulpit Commentary and another Greek work
of some kind and they’ll tell you that this word ‘manifest’
in the Greek is so strong that it means nothing less than
to make apparent to our natural senses. You check
on it, look into it. It’s so strong that it means
nothing less than that the Lord will make Himself known
to those who qualify, the qualification being love and obedience.
Now this is not the kind of a love when folks sit on a bench
around here and hold hands underneath their coat. It’s
not that kind of a thing. It’s the love that results
in obedience, and to that kind of a person, the Lord has
promised to visit them in a manner perceivable by their
natural senses. You check on the word, and don’t forget
that I did not write the Gospel of John. This is not
the Gospel of Saint Beuttler. This is the Gospel of
And holy men of God spake
as they were moved upon by the Holy Ghost. And
the Holy Ghost put in here a word ‘manifest,’ said to be
by those who know hundred times better than I, that it is
so strong as to mean nothing less than to make apparent
to the senses. And I’m not going to weaken this and
water it down. Why should we water it down? Watered
down food or watered down drink doesn’t taste good. Take
a glass of orange juice and try to spread it by making half
orange juice and half water. See what it tastes like.
You’d just as soon drink water. This isn’t to
be watered down. This is to be (slurping and enjoyment
sounds). Yumm! Glory!
Holy men of God spake as
they were moved by the Holy Ghost. And the Holy Ghost
put in this word ‘manifest,’ and He made it just as strong
as He could to let us know that there is such a thing as
a personal visit from a personal Christ.
Now then, we’ll proceed from here. I want to deal
with attitudes. You know attitudes are of tremendous
importance. Have you ever thought of attitudes? Now
we can hold certain attitudes toward everything, but here
it’s toward the Lord’s visit.
Now suppose John and Myra
lived 500 miles away, and Wife would say when I came home,
“Say Daddy, you know we got a letter from John and Myra.
They’re going to be here next week.”
“Oh really? Glory!” I wouldn’t
say, “Oh yea, them again?” Oh no!
How do we feel toward a visit from the Lord? How would
you feel if the Lord paid us a visit this week?
“Beuttler are you trying to manufacture one?” You
ought to give me a little more credit than that. Those
things aren’t manufactured, but they can be hungered for
and had. When we have an attitude of desire, of yearning
for His visit, I’ll tell you, He says to Himself, “Why you
know, I was going to go there, but over there, they’re so
expecting Me, I’m going to go there.” Would you go
where you’re not wanted? I wouldn’t. I suppose
I’d go where I’m wanted most.
We had one of our graduates up at the house yesterday. He
said, “Brother Beuttler, I want you for a weekend.”
I said, “Well, I don’t think there’s one left. We’ll
have to see if we can’t shift something.” So we did.
He said, “You know Brother Beuttler, I remember what you
said in class about preachers asking you to come give them
a service sometime, but they don’t want you.” They
say, “Come to my church sometime when you have time.”
He said, “I knew you wouldn’t come. I told you once
to come and visit me, but I knew you wouldn’t come, so I’m
here to tell you I want you.”
So I said, “Okay, I’ll come.”
Folks say, “Come to my church sometime,” and when you say,
“All right, how would this date suit you?” They say,
“Why I’ll have to take it up with my board.” That’s the
last you ever hear. But when they say, “Now look here,
can you give me a date, be specific. Isn’t there anything?”
That’s when you can say, “Well, let’s see, I guess we can
make it.” They’re people who say they want you, but
hope you’re too busy.
I never will forget one of our preachers in Council Meeting.
He came up in such a casual manner and said, “Well
Brother Beuttler, I suppose you’re all booked up for the
“No, I’m not. When would you like me to visit you?”
“Why, we’ll see.”
That’s been 2 or 3 years ago. I’ve never seen. Now
the Lord doesn’t respond to that kind of an attitude. When
there is an attitude, the kind that He responds to, don’t
tell me that He isn’t readjusting His calendar to make room
for us. I hope that by now you know me a little bit.
You never know me all the way, I understand that.
I haven’t found out myself yet.
But the Lord will go through His calendar and say, “Well
now, I have a date here, and I have a date there. My,
but they’re yelling down there. My, but they want
Me. I’ve got to do something. I haven’t got
any date open, but I’ll tell you something, I don’t think
these people are quite as hungry; I’m going to shove them
down there, and I’ll move these in here.” He’ll make
room on His calendar for you. You convince Him that
you want Him.
I hope the Jeremiah class will forgive me if I say this
because I don’t feel mean. They know what’s coming.
The other day toward the end of the class, there was
something building up, a touch, and I was right in the middle
of something. I knew where I was going, and I also
knew when I get done with this, the Lord will give us a
The bell rang sizz zz
zz zz. They were beginning
to pack up. So He said, “All right, run ahead. You
could have had something, but you’re more interested in
something else. Go right along.”
Then they sat there, all still as if to say, “Oh we’ll wait.”
But it’s too late. Please, I’m not critical
when I say that, not at all. But to me it showed,
and of course to Him, there were other interests that had
priority. When other things have priority, He isn’t
interested, except that He would receive priority. You
give Him priority, and He will give priority to you. Did
you hear that? You give Him priority, and He will
give priority to you. I know you’ve heard it, but
have you heard it in here (pointing to heart). You
give Him priority, and He will give priority to you. You
put that down on your notebook.
Here are some attitudes that I like to draw your attention
to. One of them is in Mark 5:17, “And they began to
pray him to depart out of their coasts.” Ah Oh!
What had happened was the Lord had cast out some spirits,
and these spirits were dumb enough to run into a herd of
swine. They should have known better. You know
those swine ran down a hill and ran into the lake and there
they drank too much water. The lake was too much for
them and they drowned. When the people say that, “Oh
Lord, please get out. Depart, go somewhere else. We
don’t want that.” I’ll put it this way: In this particular
instance, the Lord was unwanted. Do you want Him?
“Yea, we want Him, if He comes the way we want Him to.”
Wait a minute. That’s for Him to decide, not for us.
How did He come here? He came here in supernatural
power, and they did not desire the results of His working.
Presumably, they were more sorry for having lost those pigs than they were glad that
one man had been delivered. Shall I put it this way:
They were more sorry about an economic loss than they were glad about
a spiritual gain. In other words
again: They were more interested; they attached more value
in this herd of swine than in one human being.
Presumably, they were scared besides, scared out of their
wits. So they said, “Jesus, you better get out of
here. We don’t want that kind of confusion around
here.” God never puts on confusion, He just un-confuses the confusion. He was unwanted. When
he isn’t wanted, He goes where He is wanted. So He
went. Do you want Him?
I haven’t come to the main thought yet. I’m clearing
away some of the underbrush, or at least pointing it out.
Matthew 24:40-42 Then shall
two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other
left. Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the
one shall be taken, and the other left. Watch therefore:
for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.
He came unexpectedly. What was their attitude? I
don’t know, possibly one of indifference. “Oh well,
He doesn’t come,” people say. But two women shall
be doing the same thing.
That brings back to my mind the scene in India where I watched two ladies in
a home made of cow manure and something else. It stands
just the same. They were sitting on the floor grinding
at the wheels, the stone like this (demonstrated how they
did it), making their flour early in the morning. I
thought to myself, One shall be
taken and the other left.
They were both occupied, but one of them was not only occupied,
she was preoccupied. I think that’s the difference
because the Lord said, Occupy until I come. There
is a difference between occupying and being preoccupied.
When we’re preoccupied, the work dominates us like
children at play.
Norma was playing with the boys over there and Mother calls,
“Norma.” No answer.
“Norma” louder. No answer.
“Norma” even louder.
Norma finally says, “Oh did you call?”
“Well sure I did. Haven’t you heard?”
“Just now,” she answered. They were so absorbed that
they were all but dead. You know what I mean. We
can be so preoccupied and be taken by surprise. Here
He came unexpectedly. You know the Lord doesn’t seem
to gear Himself to our machine. He seems to do just
as He pleases.
Our 1951 revival started before semester change. Semester
change brought a cessation to activities. We had to
have our tests. Programs somehow had to be going on.
And we let the students go home for a long weekend
and wondered, “What will they do when they get back?” It
rolled right on after they got back. We would have
never chosen a revival right over a semester change. He
“Why did He?”
Oh that’s His business. I don’t ask, “Why,” I just
Does the Lord ever take you by surprise? So
unexpected? Hey, we can have one of the deadest,
driest days in school, where it’s hard to breathe. We
have those days, too many of them as far as I’m concerned.
And yet, the Lord suddenly appeared on the scene and
moved in. Don’t put it past Him to come unexpected.
I have seen visitations of the Lord start, not when a spiritual
giant, so to speak as we would call it, is speaking; not
some special evangelist, not some special from who knows
where. No! The very day when you have a little
half-pint behind this microphone that ordinarily hardly
knows how to peep, and the peeps are short and faint at
that and far between - and you never expect, except a little
testimony and then closing the Bible and sitting down. We’ve
had some surprises here, and He came right down. Why
doesn’t He wait until somebody of stature (as we might call
it) is there? Because He wants to show to everybody
that it’s not by might, nor by power, not by this one, not
by that one, but that it’s Himself.
That’s why in the Old Testament they used the ox goad. It
was just a stick. Don’t despise God’s sticks, and
the left-handed (you know the story) and the nobodies, so
everybody has to say, “There’s only one explanation-God.”
Two shall be doing an assignment, the one shall be visited,
and the other one not. That happened to me in Bible
school. I had a roommate with no interest in the things
of God. He’s out long ago. He didn’t get vary
far. He had no interest. He was a good boy.
I liked him as a roommate. I think one year,
I even asked that he be my roommate. But his interests
just weren’t where my interests were.
evening I was sitting next to him at the table, and something
stole over my soul. You know what I mean? Oh
a presence! I said, “John, there’s something up.”
He said, “Ugh.”
I said, “John, I don’t know what it is, but something’s
He said, “I don’t feel nothing.”
I said, “Hallelujah John! Something’s up.”
Then we heard something in the washroom. I said, “John,
listen. What’s happening to the fellows?”
He said, “What are they doing?”
I went out and saw two fellows around each other’s neck
weeping, laughing at the same time (you know that strange
mixture), under the power of God. Then when I saw
there were others in the group, I let her go. Say,
that was an evening. Did it break out! And then
the flames came out of the girl’s dormitory.
I don’t mean fire, I mean fire, the fire of the Spirit. For three
days, we had such a visitation of the divine presence that
we walked tiptoed. You were afraid to walk. We
talked in whispers in the dining room. Whew! I’ve
often thought and have said once or twice, “You can measure
the spiritual level of a Bible school by the noise in the
dining room.” How’s that for a compliment? Oh
yes! Let there be a move of that presence and see
how things change in the dining room. We literally
walked tiptoed. It was totally unexpected - in the
evening. He’s quite a visitor, but I like Him.
“Watch therefore, for ye know not what hour your Lord doth
come.” Did you get that? “Watch therefore, for
ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.” How do
you know He doesn’t come today? And I’m not speaking
about the Second Coming of Christ. That’s not my topic.
I’m speaking of the Lord’s visit.
“Well Brother Beuttler, what gives you the idea that He
would?” I’ll tell you what gives me the idea: Because
I didn’t select this message. I had something else
on the agenda. I assume that if He says (in effect),
“Now you talk about this,” He is not speaking this way to
tantalize us like somebody mean would go to a little child
and dangle a cherry or lollipop in front of his mouth and
say, “You can’t have it, you can’t have it.”
“But may I just have one sucker please?”
“No, you can’t have it. Doesn’t it look good? Can
you imagine how sweet it is? Isn’t it nice? How
would you like to have that in your mouth, sticky and all?
But you can’t have it.”
Wouldn’t that be cruel? That’s the way I was with
our dog, Peter, when I was a boy. I tied a frankfurter
on a string on my arm. The dog was under the table,
and I’d let the frankfurter down on the string in front
of his mouth. When he went after it, I’d quickly pull
it up over and over again until the poor fellow actually
drooled. Then I’d take the frankfurter and eat it
myself. Oh that’s enough for a report to the cruelty
society to animals.
Well, God isn’t that way. He doesn’t dangle a frankfurter
in front of us just to make us drool and then say, “Ha,
Ha, can’t have it.” No, God doesn’t do that.
Isn’t it logical to judge that if He says, “Now you speak
on My visit” (not that He said
it that way, just laid it on my heart), I’d conclude that
He’s making an announcement? I’d conclude from that
knocking that He’s knocking (banged on desk). What
other conclusion would you want to draw unless I’m all off?
Well if I’m off, then I’m off, but I happen to be
on. Isn’t it logical? He doesn’t make our mouth
water for nothing, “That was good saliva, wasn’t it?” He
doesn’t tantalize like that.
I’d rather take this attitude: “Now you talk about this.
I want to see how they feel about it, as though you
were writing to a person that you weren’t altogether sure
of.” Well, I could write, and have done it: “You might
be interested to know that I’m passing through Australia at such and such a time.”
I wrote that just recently, and went on because the
party told me to write them sometime. All right, now
I’m going to wait and see what I get by way of reply. They
know I expect to pass by. I expect to go to Australia and
would be interested. I’d say no more, just that.
Now if he says, “I’d like Beuttler to stop off for some
meetings,” say he writes:
Dear Brother Beuttler, “We were glad to receive your letter
and I trust that you will find time in your schedule to
pay us a visit.”
Ah! Then I’ll make time. But if they write:
Dear Brother Beuttler, “Glad to receive your letter. It’s
nice to hear that you’re passing this way again. The
Lord give you a real nice trip.”
I’d pass right by. Right?
I wouldn’t say, “Now listen here, I’ll give you a week.”
Oh no! It’s now up to them.
But if they say, “By the way, when you come this way, we
hope you can give us some time,” I’ll stop. Oh yes.
Now with this thing here, I’ll tell you what I think it
is: Dear EBItes, “I’m on my way through Pennsylvania. I thought you might be
interested. I’m near EBI, and I’m on my way somewhere,
but I thought you’d like to know that I’m in the neighborhood.”
That’s what I think it is.
He says, “Now then, I’ll just see what they write. I’ll
see how they react. I’ll see what they say. I’ll
see what they say when they get to their homes. I
just want to see.”
Just interested to say that I’m passing by? Oh no!
How about sending Him a telegram saying? “Glad
you’re coming. Have a good journey.”
He’ll say, “I will,” and journey right on. Of course
this is some of that Beuttler mysticism you know. But
it works. John 6:60 Watch
therefore, for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.
There’s a whole passage there and I don’t
want to take the time to read it all.
John 6:66 Many therefore
of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it? From that time
many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with
Now here the Lord came to visit
them through truth. He was just speaking about that
highly mystical and mystifying, yet truly spiritual truth.
There is mystical truth. He talked about this
highly mystical truth of eating His flesh and drinking His
blood. Whew! Talk about mysticism! Whew!
If that’s the word for it.
It isn’t, but that’s the word they use.
Here the Lord came with truth, truth beyond full comprehension,
and they went their way. Can you imagine how He felt?
He came to visit them with truth. They would
have none of it. So they went back and walked no more
with him. They failed to understand, and they failed
to understand because they were out of sympathy with both
Him and with what He had to say. Did you get that?
They failed to understand the spiritual verities (truths)
of enormous benefits so they never cried. Think that
over sometime. It makes all the difference in the
John 20:14 And when she
had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing,
and knew not that it was Jesus.
Ah! Unrecognized - Do you know it’s possible for the
Lord to visit us, visit His people collectively or individually,
and we fail to recognize Him?
Some years ago, we had a weekday chapel. I happened
to be chairman. Just as the boy finished his message,
I perceived the Lord standing there. I could walk
down now and stand within an area of about one foot, and
tell you where He was standing. I didn’t see Him,
but I perceived Him. It was so real that I could have
walked up and touched Him with my finger and said, “Lord,
that’s You,” as though a person
stood there. Well, a Person did stand there. Obviously,
the Lord isn’t going to come in that presence at the end
of the service just to walk out. There was only one
reason that the Lord was coming - to do something.
I watched this leader and he said, “Stand and be dismissed.”
I said in my heart, “Oh Lord! Is he dismissing? Are
we going to walk out on You?” Obviously
he didn’t notice what I noticed. So he went through
his prayer and finally said, “In Jesus Name, Amen.”
In the meantime I stood there, put my hand up acknowledging
His presence, whatever signal it might mean. I said
in my heart, “Lord, I want You to know that if everybody walks out on You, I will not.”
That’s right. I sat where John sits. When
the boy said, “Amen,” I had my eyes closed, but I could
hear the rustling and the turning around in the seats. I
wouldn’t budge. I was supposed to walk out first.
That used to be our order. The faculty member
got off the platform first and walked out, then the students
followed behind. When we didn’t move, they didn’t
I knew a chapel full of eyes were
looking at me, but I stood there, hands up, eyes closed
in recognition of Him, of a Person there. I just stood.
I must have been looking like a fool. Fool or
no fool, He was there and I wasn’t going to walk out on
Him. Fortunately those students recognized something
must be up. The Lord bless them real good. I don’t know how long it was, but
to me it seemed like an eternity because everybody was looking
Suddenly the power of God hit this chapel in one clap, so
to speak, and we were here until dinnertime and had a great
move of God’s presence that morning. The power just
fell. All right, we almost failed to recognize Him
and walked out. That wouldn’t have been the first
time of course. It’s possible for the Lord to visit
us and be in our midst to do something, and often because
of other interests and prior interests, be totally oblivious
to what’s going on. As a consequence we let Him stand
alone, walking out, so to speak, grieved in heart with a
bowed head in disappointment. Mary “knew not that
it was Jesus.” He can come and remain unrecognized.
Now then I want to chat a bit about His personal visits.
I don’t think I better give you everything; just see
how we’ll get along. My! It’s hard speaking
this morning. It’s uphill all the time. You
have to push every word uphill. My! It’s hard,
like climbing a mountain and pushing a wagon in front of
you trying to get it up there. We need a visit and
how! And a good one, and a long one, and very soon,
we need a visit. I shouldn’t have to push this thing
uphill. Umph, umph, umph. It shouldn’t
have to go that way. It should roll.
can a fish swim on dry land? He can be the best fish,
but all he can do is wiggle and jump, kick himself around
hoping to get somewhere somehow. Oh God! Visit
us with streams of living water, waters to swim in.
That’s right. Praise God! (An effort of praise
from audience) I’ll keep on pushing.
Genesis 18:1 And the Lord
appeared unto him in the plains of Mamre;
and he sat in the tent door in the heat of the day.
Oh, I like that! Notice the Lord paid Abraham a visit.
Please do get this. Abraham wasn’t there sitting with
clenched teeth and fists saying, “Oh Lord! Visit me.
Oh God! Lord, I want a visit. Umph, umph.” Why you would wind
up in an institution or a hospital. Don’t do that,
ever. Abraham didn’t do that. (He pounds on
pulpit and talks in straining voice.) He didn’t say, “Oh
God! Come down from heaven. We need a visit.”
I think Abraham sat there. He didn’t wear glasses
so I’ll take them off. He didn’t wear a tie either,
but I’ll leave that. You know what I think?
Abraham just sat there at leisure. I assume his heart
was occupied with God. I think in light of some of
the scriptures that probably he was thinking of a city that
had foundations because that was the great aspiration of
his life - to move toward that city, the city of God. I suppose his
thoughts were on that, “Praise God! I’ve come out
of Ur of the Chaldeans.
It was quite a metropolis, but my God has a city for me.”
I think he was just there meditating, thinking about God
in perfect relaxation. He was all at rest, crossed
his legs, just sitting there waiting for the heat to pass
so he could go on traveling some more. He was at leisure.
All of a sudden these three men came. He recognized
them as the Lord. As far as I’m concerned, I’m inclined
to think that was the Trinity. In any case, the Lord
paid him a visit while he sat in the door of his tent at
leisure without strain, without effort, without squeezing,
without working, without doing. He just had a heart
of anticipation contemplating Him.
The Lord visited Abraham when he sat. Hey! We’re
in the right position. We are sitting. Now you
get me right here. He had a visit while he was at
And the Lord went his way, as soon as he had left communing
with Abraham; and Abraham returned unto his place.
Did you notice that? Apparently
Abraham was alone. Nothing else is said. He
sat; he sat at rest, at leisure in the heat of the day in
the door of his tent. He wasn’t even in chapel.
Oh! The Lord just came.
Maybe some of you are in the situation found in Matthew
Matthew 14:24-25 But the
ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves;
for the wind was contrary. And in the fourth watch
of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea.
Where were these disciples? They were in trouble.
Does anybody qualify? Is anybody in trouble this morning?
So were they. Is anybody in the dark? So were
they. Is anybody in rough seas? So were they.
Is anybody in fear? So were they. So what?
He came to them walking on the sea. Do you notice
that the very waters that jeopardized them and caused them
to be filled with such fear - those waters were the very
element on which He walked? You didn’t get that.
The very thing which so distressed them
became the very medium of His approach. He
used the very waters that shook the disciples so in the
boat, yet those very waters were the thing on which He walked
to come to them. The very same waters that caused
them such distress and fear and jeopardized their lives,
those waters constituted the very element on which He walked
to them. He visited them in the night, in the storm,
in turbulence, in fear. The Lord visits His people.
John 20:19 Then the same
day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the
doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear
of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith
unto them, Peace be unto you.
I think this is where we are. Now here He visits the
assembled disciples. We qualify in one respect.
We are assembled disciples. He came and stood in the
midst, and said to them, “Peace.” In verse 20 He identified
Himself, “Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the
Lord.” He comes to identify Himself.
Two more examples and that’ll be all. Both of them
are found in Luke 24. I’ll not read the whole passage,
but the idea is found in 13-15. You’ll find there
the disciples walking together talking about the things
that had happened, all the misfortunes that had overtaken
them as they viewed it. Jesus himself drew near, and
went with them.
What I’d like to point out here is that the Lord visited
them during a journey. They weren’t in church.
They weren’t in chapel. They weren’t in EBI.
They were on a journey just walking along talking, “You
know isn’t it terrible what happened?”
“Yes, I thought that was a crime. Something went wrong.
I don’t know what we can do.”
“I don’t know. All of our hopes are dashed.
Our plans are wrecked. I don’t know what we’re going
to do next.”
And a man walked alongside and said, “Hi fellows.”
“Hi,” they said.
“What’s the trouble?”
“What’s the trouble! Haven’t you heard?”
He answered, “Heard what?”
“Why it’s about this Jesus.”
“Is that so! What about Him?”
“Well, haven’t You heard?
They put Him to the cross. We thought He was the Christ.
Then He died and was buried. He’s gone and we’re behind,
left alone. Big fools we are now because we proclaimed
He was the Christ and now we found out that something went
wrong. We can’t understand it yet.”
“Umph! Strange isn’t it?”
“Yes, it sure is strange. And You
haven’t heard? Where have You
“Oh, I’ve been out for a walk.” And they walked along,
the disciples and the Lord. They still didn’t know
Him. They came to the place where they lived, and
slowed up and began to stop. I suppose, because it
was town, and they lived over on the corner. Jesus
made as though He was going on further. “He made as
though He was going further.” Can you picture the
thing? He kept walking on while they began to linger
behind, because they had arrived. You watch this.
That could happen this morning.
“Say stranger, where are You going?”
“Why, I’m going.” He didn’t know where He was going,
but He was just going. He had no place to go, but
He didn’t ask for a room, “Well, I’ll be going down a ways.
I’ll be staying up yonder.”
“Oh no stranger! You come and stay with us.
Don’t go. You’ll have time enough tomorrow.
It’s too late. It’s getting dark and getting cool.
You stay with us.” So He abode with them.
Why did the Lord make out as though He had gone further
- and He would have? He was not going to pay them
a visit until He knew they wanted Him. He would have
gone right on, but they constrained Him, “Oh no! You
mustn’t. Oh no! Not this late. You stay
He wants to be constrained. We can let Him just go
by. “Are you going to go up yonder?”
“Well, where are you staying, at the Hotel Commodore?”
“No, but I have a place.”
“Too bad. Goodnight!”
He’ll go right on.
Will we constrain Him, “Lord, abide with us. Don’t
pass by, don’t pass by, abide with us.”
“Well, why would He go on if He wants to abide,” you might
“Because He wants to be wanted,” is the answer.
We’ll say, picture a man and his wife (or anybody) that
like to stop off with some people they have a liking for.
They stop at the house. They say to themselves, “Well
we’ll ring the bell and tell them we’re going down to the
park and do a little boating. If they invite us in
we’ll stay. We hope they do, but we’ll try it.”
So they ring the bell and the people say, “How do you do,”
a little cool, but “How do you do,” with that ultra friendliness.
“Where are you going?”
“Oh, we’re out for a drive.”
“Won’t you come in?”
“No, no thanks. We’re going down to the park for a
little bit and do a little boating.”
“That’s too bad! It’s a nice evening all right for
that. It must be real nice. It’s nice to see
They don’t want you. They’re too glad to let you go
by and maybe are relieved that you do.
But if you stop and they say, “You’re going boating?
Oh no you’re not. You come
on in. We just have a pot of coffee ready (Or tea,
if you’re an Englishman), and we’ve got some cake.
No, you’re not going. Now you come right here you.
Give me your coat and hat. And Suzy,
give me your coat. You’ve got lots of time
to boat some other time. Glad to see you.”
They go out to the kitchen while you’re there and you say,
“Hallelujah! We’re wanted.”
Who of us hasn’t played that trick already? Now the
Lord didn’t put on a trick. He wanted to be wanted.
They constrained Him. So He went in and began to speak
to them. Then we’re told that He took bread, blessed
it, broke it, and their eyes were opened, and they knew
him. He visited them on a journey. He visited
them in the home, but before He identified Himself and opened
their eyes so they could perceive Him, He wanted to be wanted.
“What is man, that thou art mindful of him? And
the son of man that thou visiteth
him?” The Lord today visits His people under
all kind of circumstances and uses the very circumstances
they’re in as a means of conveying Himself to them.
But folkses, He wants to be constrained. He wants to be
wanted, for if we don’t want Him, there are others who do.
Shall we pray? Praise God!
Our Father, we believe that You
are knocking. As it is written, “Behold I stand at
the door and knock. If any man hear my voice, and
open the door, I will come into him and sup with him, and
he with me.” Father, we pray that within our hearts
shall be generated such a yearning, such a cry, such a constraining
that Thou shalt feel constrained to visit afresh Thy people
in this place for Thy glory. Amen.