(Extracted from Scripture Truth, 1915, Vol. 7, page 335.)
The Lord Jesus put His own exquisite touch upon every detail of life and perfectly adjusted, as it were, by the balances of the Sanctuary every existing relationship.
His mother's desire that He should distinguish Himself, and the wish of His brethren that He should make a public display, were each perfectly met in the full intelligence that the time for display had not come, that He must first be the sufferer, and in His death lay a basis of glory transcending all power of human thought.
When the Pharisees and Herodians joined together to ensnare Him on the tribute question, the simplicity of His answer showed them at once their proper place in regard to "the powers that be," and at the same time pressed home upon them the claims of God.
The Claims of Israel.
The claims of the Jews as the covenant people were fully and clearly upheld when He said to the Gentile woman, "It is not meet to take the children's bread and give it to dogs" (Matt. 15). He was there as "a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God to confirm the promises made to the fathers" (Rom. 15:8). But if the state of those people was such that they were incapable of appropriating the goodness of God come to them in their own Messiah, that same goodness would overflow every dispensational barrier to meet the need of those who had no claim upon Him.
Stern religionists sought to tie His hands from doing good by the Sabbath question, and when they could not succeed held a council to destroy Him; but the grace of Christ overcame every legal barrier in the scene of man's need. The mercy that was in Him could not be restrained. When the question of the temple tribute arose (Matt. 17) He paid it so as to give no offence, though as the Son of the great King He was under no obligation to do so. He met the claim for both Himself and His servant, but in such a way that His creatorial power and glory shone out. He was the Lord of the temple for which the tribute was paid; that was a great truth that Peter, zealous for His master's honour, had to learn.
The State of Society.
When one came to Him and said, "Master, speak to my brother that he divide the inheritance with me," He answered, "Man, who made me a judge or a divider over you" (Luke 12:13, 14), And this may seem a difficulty to some, but the more we look at it the more shall we see His amazing perfection. The state of society was very far from what God intended it to be, but He will not take the place of Caesar, and put it right. He had not come to patch up the old garment, but to go to the cross, where He was to die, that in resurrection He might establish a new order of society entirely, in which every moral and social question should be established according to God's own thoughts.