Sometime Minister of Whitebbey Presbyterian Church, N. Ireland
William Rogers M.A., L.L.D.
‘But this man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood. Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.’
Who intercedes? The Church of Rome teaches that we should apply to the Virgin Mary, or to other saints; that they should speak to God on our behalf; that we should appeal to saints to pray for us. But what need have we for other intercessors when we have Jesus the Son of God? In the matter of asking a favour, a great deal more depends on the person who asks for the favour than on any other consideration whatever.
What encouragement I find to faith in the fact that there is One who is using all His influences on my behalf, who is constantly asking favours for me; and this One is none other than the Only-Begotten, Well-Beloved Son.
Scripture links together the Son-ship of Christ and His intercession. In other words, the Lord would encourage us by impressing on us this fact, that it is the Son who is asking, is pleading on our behalf.
‘Seeing then that we have a Great high Priest, that is passed into the Heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not an High Priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin’.
Let us boldly come unto the throne of Grace, for we have a Great High Priest – Jesus the Son.
Who has such influence with a father as a son, an only son?
‘The Lord hath said unto Me, Thou art My Son, this day have I begotten Thee. Ask of Me, and I shall give Thee the heathen for Thine inheritance, the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession’.
It is the Son who is to ask. ‘If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone?’ How much more if the Eternal Son, the Only Begotten ask? In the matter of asking a favour, a great deal more depends on the person who asks for the favour than on any other consideration whatever. What encouragement I find to faith, in this, that there is One who is using all His influence on my behalf, who is constantly asking favours for me, and this none other than the Only-Begotten, Well-Beloved Son of God!
Jacob prevailed. Elijah, a man of like passions with us, could shut and open Heaven. God encourages His Son to ask.
Solomon’s name was Jedidiah (Beloved of God) and He shows His love to him in this way, He bade him ask what He should give him.
The King told Esther whom he loved to ask, and promised it should be given her to the half of his Kingdom – but God keeps nothing back from His Son. He says, ‘Ask of me and I shall give Thee the heathen for Thine inheritance and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession.’ He keeps back no part of His Kingdom. He ‘hath committed all judgement unto the Son’. No prayer of that Son was ever unanswered. Him the Father heareth always. He has only to express His wish – He can pray as no other ever could or dare. Even thus ‘Father, I will that they also whom thou hast given Me, be with Me where I am’. His slightest wish is a prevailing prayer.
By and bye we shall see what Jesus is working for us – Meantime, oh believer, take encouragement from this thought – Does it not help thee? That at this very moment, the Only Begotten Son of God, the well-beloved Son is engaged on thy behalf; appearing in God’s presence for thee, promoting thy full salvation.
‘If thou thoughtest thou had’st all the saints in heaven and earth jointly concurring in promoting thy salvation, and encouraged with God in instant and incessant prayers to save thee, how wouldst thou be encouraged? Shall I tell thee? One word out of Christ’s mouth would do more than all in Heaven and earth can do – and what is there then that we may not hope to obtain through His intercession?’ – Goodwin.
And now before we pass from this point, let us not carry away the impression that Jesus is pleading and that the Father is unwilling to grant what He asks for us.
Not so, Jesus himself says, ‘I say not unto you that I will pray to the Father for you, for the Father Himself loveth you’, that is, I need not tell you I will pray for you; of course I will – and yet I need hardly; for the Father Himself loves you and is disposed to give you, even apart from My asking.
The heart of David longed to go forth to Absalom. He was only waiting to find a reason for fetching home his banished. Hence when the wise woman of Tekoa pleaded for Absalom, she found the King just waiting to be gracious, longing to welcome the prodigal. So God’s heart goes forth to us and He welcomes the intercession of Christ and rejoices to bestow gifts on men, even the rebellious.