INQUIRE YE, WHO IS WORTHY.
The Lord and the Apostles seemed to regard the gospel message and the privilege of hearing it as marks of great favor. Our Lord, when sending the disciples out to proclaim to Israel the kingdom of heaven at hand, told them to seek for the worthy ones, when going into any city. (Matt. 10:11.) He told them that they had pearls of truth which the swinish would not appreciate, and upon whom it would be useless to waste valuable time, and that even when sowing seed on good ground, much would be wasted--choked with the cares of life and the deceitfulness of riches. Our Lord followed this course in his own teaching, also. With what a disregard of their favor or following he upbraided the Pharisees, How can you believe who receive honor one of another [who are puffed up with pride], and seek not that honor only which cometh from above. In contrast, note how patient he was, and how careful to make clear his Messiahship to the meek ones who, like Nathaniel, were Israelites and truth-seekers indeed and without guile. See how much time he spent in preaching to a congregation of one, and that a Samaritan woman who in sincerity desired to know the truth, and was willing to confess it.
Nor should we regard this as merely our Lord's preference: it was more, it was his mission (as it is ours as his followers,) to preach the glad tidings to the MEEK, as it is written; "The spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek."--Isa. 61:1.
But some one, misinformed as to the object for which the gospel is preached in this age, and perhaps as to what the gospel is, may suggest, Why to the meek? Why should not our Lord, and we, preach especially to those who are not meek? Why not preach to the proud, and to the wise and great, who professing to be much and highly esteemed among men, are abominable in the sight of God--blind leaders of the blind? Why not preach to such? Because it would be useless. The gospel, the real gospel, has no attraction for such, and time is always wasted, when thus spent. "Have any of the Scribes or Pharisees believed on him?" was asked at the close of our Lord's ministry; and had he confined his labors to that class, he perhaps would have made no disciples.
The truth, the gospel, affects and influences any heart into which it enters, but it can only find root in a good, deep and prepared soil. If doubts and hopes have alternately plowed and harrowed the heart, so that the desire for the truth is deep and strong, and if the mind is free from the crust of prejudice and open to receive the seed of truth, there is good ground for the gospel message; for such a one has reached the point of meekness, and is ready to receive the Word of God, whoever may [R957 : page 8] scatter the seed. The Gospel appeals to such to-day, as well as at the first advent. It satisfies the longings of such, as nothing else could. But now, as then also, the bigoted self-satisfied ones who are at ease in Zion, who say, We are rich in learning and increased in good works and have need of nothing; let us alone that we may enjoy our ease, and glory, and honor of men--these are not "the meek"; and the true gospel will not be received by such. Seek those who are worthy, those who hunger after righteousness-- truth.
And, beloved, as we seek to teach the meek the glad tidings which we have received, let us see to it that we maintain always the meek childlike spirit, without which we would not have been worthy of the truth either. Let us remember the meekness of our Master, though Master and Teacher above all. The promise is, "The meek will he guide in judgment, and the meek will he teach his way," and "The meek shall increase their joy in the Lord."--Psa. 25:9; Isa. 29:19.