Life-Study of Matthewby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
On the pathway to glory we have rejection, the lack of necessities, the storm on the sea, and the accusation from religion, and then we learn how to eat Christ. As the result of eating Christ, there is the healing for the glorification of God. Following this, there is the corporate eating, the warning regarding leaven, and the clear revelation concerning Christ and the church. In this message we come to the last station of the pathway to glory: the way of the cross. Only when people have learned how to eat Christ and to beware of religious leaven and are under a clear sky, can the revelation of Christ and the church be given. Many of us can testify that before we came to such a place, the revelation of Christ and the church did not come. It comes only in Caesarea Philippi. We feed on Christ not only as the crumbs, but also in a corporate way as the rich, unlimited, inexhaustible supply of life. Only then can we see the revelation of Christ and the church. Thus, three things are vital: that we know how to feed on Christ and to enjoy the inexhaustibly rich supply of Christ; that we are purged of all religious leaven; and that we are in Caesarea Philippi under a clear sky. Here the fog is driven away. We cannot afford to stay in a situation where there is religious fog. If we remain in that kind of place, we shall not see the revelation given in Caesarea Philippi. Hallelujah, we have the rich supply, we have a clear sky, and we have no fog! Therefore, we see the vision of Christ and the church.
A good number of Christian teachers have seen the connection between Matthew 16:13-20 and 16:21-28, the connection between the portion of the Word concerning Christ and the church and that concerning the way of the cross. In order to experience Christ and to have the church built upon Christ, we need to take the way of the cross. Christ was the Pioneer, the Forerunner, in taking the way of the cross. This is the unique way for Christ to be released, and it is also the unique way for the church to be built with Christ and upon Christ.
Verse 21 says, “From that time Jesus began to show to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised on the third day.” After the revelation of the great mystery concerning Christ and the church, the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ are unveiled. For Christ to build His church, He must go to the religious center, pass through crucifixion, and enter into resurrection. In verse 21 the Lord first revealed to His disciples His crucifixion and resurrection. Before this time, He had not mentioned anything about these things. Following the revelation of Christ and the church, the Lord Jesus revealed to His enlightened disciples His crucifixion and resurrection. This is very meaningful. After we see Christ and the church, we must be prepared to take the way of the cross. You may be wondering what the way of the cross is. To take the way of the cross is not to reserve anything of the self. No matter how good, right, or profitable you may be, you need to be crucified. For the enjoyment of Christ and for the building of the church, we must be crucified. Nothing of our being should be reserved.
In verse 21 the Lord Jesus spoke both of His crucifixion and His resurrection. The disciples, however, picked up the matter of crucifixion, but neglected the matter of resurrection. The disciples heard that the Lord was to be killed, but it seems that they did not hear that He would be resurrected. Nevertheless, the Lord did say that He would be raised on the third day. They did not grasp this part of the Lord’s word because they had no concept of resurrection. Within them was the fear that the Lord Jesus would be killed. Thus, when the Lord spoke about His resurrection, the disciples did not apprehend it. It is the same with us today. We immediately take in whatever corresponds to our concept. But if a certain thing does not correspond to what is already within us, we do not take it in. Some people wonder why in my speaking I repeat things again and again. Although I may repeat certain things, some people still do not get them. Again I say that although the Lord Jesus spoke of two matters, crucifixion and resurrection, the disciples grasped the first, but not the second.
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