James Nisbet Commentary - Titus 3:4 - 3:4

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James Nisbet Commentary - Titus 3:4 - 3:4

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‘The kindness of God our Saviour, and His love toward man,’

Tit_3:4 (R.V.)

The message of Christmas affects each of us in different ways at different times, for it deeply concerns our whole humanity.

I. It never loses its power.—Men and women whose hearts are untouched by other great facts of Divine revelation feel strangely thrilled as their ears catch the angels’ tidings of the birth of the Virgin’s Son.

II. Christmas appeals to the primary instincts of humanity.—It meets man’s deepest needs; and if those without the Church feel a new glow at this season, surely we who are accustomed to meet here must be more deeply moved still.

III. We pass beyond the outward expressions of the joy to the inner meaning of which everything else is but a sign. ‘The Word was made Flesh and dwelt among us.’ The Incarnation is the making of God poor that we may be made rich.

Rev. S. Kirshbaum.



In what does wealth consist? Not surely in money, not even in knowledge. What are the most precious things, the things we hold most dear? We think of home, and we realise the glory of motherhood and the dignity of childhood.

I. Through the Incarnation we have become inestimably wealthy—

(a) In the power of home which binds hearts together indestructibly.

(b) In the riches of Christian literature and art springing through the centuries from that humble home at Bethlehem.

(c) In the new spirit which helps us in that work which is so trying to body and brain, for the whole routine of life is known to God, Who became a labourer in the city of Nazareth. All this true wealth is ours in this world through the Incarnation.

II. What then shall we say of the treasure and Divine riches given to us for the sustenance of our spiritual life, of the grace of Jesus Christ in His Church and in His sacrament, of the knowledge of His will in His inspired word and through His ministers, of the hope of everlasting life which binds earth and heaven? The kindness and philanthropy of God! In all parts of the world men are even now gleaning these riches of Christ’s poverty, the riches of an inheritance which is incorruptible and fadeth not away.

III. A Challenge to imitate His example.—As we consider the message of Christmas and realise all that that means, we find in it not only a gospel of infinite joy, but also a challenge to imitate the example of Him Who has made this wealth ours. ‘Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus’—the mind of true philanthropy. Christmas is the festival of kindness. Through the Incarnation philanthropy has acquired a new meaning.

Rev. S. Kirshbaum.


(1) ‘It is not to be asserted that there were no efforts to alleviate poverty and suffering before the Incarnation. The sympathies of humanity have had some expression at every period of the world’s history, and we know that the Roman noble gloried in giving alms to the beggar. But still there was nothing like the Christian conviction of the obligation resting upon each man to do all in his power wisely to alleviate misery.’

(2) ‘There is nothing in Christ’s teaching, or in the teaching of His Apostles, which approves of indiscriminate almsgiving. We must give ourselves trouble to see that our charity is always well advised, and that it is not a generous giving to comfort ourselves independently of the result of our bounty. The kindness and philanthropy exhibited in the Incarnation is our pattern.’