Wednesdays with Watson is a weekly reading taken from my favorite Puritan writer, Thomas Watson. This week’s selection is taken from The Godly Man’s Picture.
As we would prove to the world that we have the impress of godliness on us, let us be prizers of Jesus Christ; he is elect, precious. Christ is the wonder of beauty. Pliny said of the mulberry tree that there is nothing in it but what is therapeutic and useful: the fruit, leaves and bark. So there is nothing in Christ but what is precious. His name is precious, his virtues precious, his blood precious – more precious than the world.
Oh, then, let us have endearing thoughts of Christ, let him be accounted our chief treasure and delight. This is the reason why millions perish – because they do not prize Christ. Christ is the door by which men are to enter heaven (John 10:9). If they do not know this door or are so proud that they will not stoop to go in at it, how can they be saved? That we may have Christ-admiring thoughts, let us consider:
1. We cannot prize Christ at too high a rate. We may prize other things above their value. That is our sin. We commonly overrate the creature; we think there is more in it than there is; therefore God makes our gourd wither, because we overprize it. But we cannot raise our esteem of Christ high enough; he is beyond all value. There is no ruby or diamond but the jeweler can set a fair price on it. He can say it is worth so much and no more. But Christ’s worth can never be fully known. No seraphim can set a due value on him; his are unsearchable riches (Eph. 3:8). Christ is more precious than the soul, than the angels, than heaven.
2. Jesus Christ has highly prized us. He took our flesh upon him (Heb. 2:16). He made his soul an offering for us'(Isa. 53:10). How precious our salvation was to Christ! Shall not we prize and adore him who has put such a value upon us?
3. Not to prize Christ is great imprudence. Christ is our guide to glory. It is folly for a man to slight his guide. He is our physician (Mal. 4:2). It is folly to despise our physician. What! To set light by Christ for things of no value? ‘Ye fools and blind’ (Matt. 23:17). How is a fool tested but by showing him an apple and a piece of gold? If he chooses the apple before the gold, he is judged to be a fool and his estate is beggared. How many such idiots there are who refer husks before manna, the gaudy, empty things of this life before the Prince of Glory! Will not Satan beggar them at last for fools?
4. Some slight Christ now and say, ‘There is no beauty that we should desire him’ (Isa. 53:2). There is a day coming shortly when Christ will as much slight them. He will set as light by them as they do by him. He will say, ‘I know you not’ (Luke 1327). What a slighting word that will be, when men cry, ‘Lord Jesus, save us’, and he says, ‘I was offered to you but you would have none of me (Psa. 81:11); you scorned me, and now I will set light by you and your salvation. Depart from me, I do not know you.’ This is all that sinners get by rejecting the Lord of life. Christ will slight at the day of judgment those who have slighted him in the day of grace.