1Pe_2:7. Unto you therefore which believe he is precious.
THERE is a great difference between the views of natural and spiritual men. This exists even with respect to things temporal; much more in those which are spiritual and eternal. It appears particularly with respect to Christ. Hence St. Peter represents him as disallowed of some, but chosen by others. This was designed of God, and agreeable to the prophecies; and it justifies the inference drawn from it in the text.
Confirm this saying of the Apostle, that Christ is precious to believers—
We might suppose that Christ would be precious to all men; but he is not so. Nevertheless he is so to all that truly believe.
The history of the Old Testament affords abundant proof of this—
[Abraham rejoiced to see his day, though at a distance [Note: Joh_8:56.]. Job delighted in the thoughts of death as introducing him to his presence [Note: Job_19:25-27.]. Moses esteemed reproach for his sake [Note: Heb_11:26.]. David regarded nothing in earth or heaven in comparison of him [Note: Psa_73:25.]. Isaiah exulted in the prospect of his incarnation [Note: Isa_9:6.]. All the prophets contemplated him as the Messiah, the Saviour of the world.]
The New Testament Scriptures confirm it—
[The Virgin, while he was yet in her womb, sang his praises [Note: Luk_1:47.]—The angels congratulated the shepherds on his incarnation [Note: Luk_2:10.]—The just and devout Simeon after seeing him, could depart in peace [Note: Luk_2:29-30.]—John Baptist, as the bridegroom’s friend, rejoiced in his voice [Note: Joh_3:29.]—How precious was he to that Mary who was a sinner [Note: Luk_7:38.]—St. Paul counted all as dung for the knowledge of him, was willing to be bound, or to die for him, and knew no comfort like the expectation of being with him [Note: Php_3:8. Act_21:13. 1Th_4:18.]—The glorified saints and angels incessantly adore him [Note: Rev_5:12-13. This and all the foregoing passages should be cited in whole or in part.]—]
The experience of living saints accords with that of those who have gone before [Note: There are
many to whom he is ô
, preciousness itself; who account him as the pearl of great price, desire to know more of him, grieve that they cannot love him more, welcome every thing that leads to him, and despise all in comparison of him.]. The world even wonders at them on account of their attachment to him.
Account for the fact, and shew why he is so precious to them—
They have reason enough for their attachment:
They love him for his own excellence—
[He is infinitely above all created beauty or goodness. Shall they then regard these qualities in the creature, and not in him? Whosoever views him by faith cannot but admire and adore him.]
They love him for his suitableness to their necessities—
[There is in Christ all which believers can want; nor can they find any other capable of supplying their need: hence they delight in him as their “all in all.”]
They love him for the benefits they receive from him—
[They have received from him pardon, peace, strength, &c. Can they do otherwise than account him precious?]
We may rather wonder why all do not feel the same attachment.
Shew why this regard for him is found in them exclusively—
There certainly exists no reason on his part; he is good to all. But unbelievers cannot love him:
Because they have no views of his excellency—
[The god of this world has blinded them that they cannot see him [Note: 2Co_4:4.]. How then should they esteem him, whose excellency they know not? They must of necessity be indifferent to him, as men are to things of little value.]
Because they feel no need of him—
[Christ is valuable only as a remedy [Note: Isa_32:2.]; nor can any man desire him as a physician, a fountain, a refuge, unless he feel some disease, some thirst, some danger.]
[All, who have any spiritual discernment, feel a love to Christ: he is beloved of the Father, of angels, and of saints. None but devils and unbelievers despise him; and shall any, who do not account him precious, be objects of his regard? Surely his final decision will correspond with that declaration [Note: 1Sa_2:30.].—Let all then believe in him, that he may become precious to them; nor let any be dejected because they cannot delight in him as they wish. The more we love him, the more shall we lament the coldness of our love. In a little time all the powers of our souls shall act without controul. Then shall we glory in him with unrestrained and unabated ardour.]