Thoughts for Daily Duty, Service, and Suffering
by Octavius Winslow, 1870
"He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth." 1 Peter 2:22
Purer than the purest crystal, more transparent than the brightest sun, was the character of Jesus. It needed but the visual organ purged from the blinding and distorting effects of sin to have looked into the deepest recesses of His heart, to have seen every pulse, to have read every thought, and to have fathomed every purpose of His soul--so open, transparent, and childlike was He. His foes sought with deception to ensnare Him, but He was too innocent to be ensnared. The moral atmosphere of His being was too pure and translucid for their wicked purposes to find a single fault. They could fix no thought, excite no passion, rouse no imagination within His breast that would have left a taint or a cloud upon that pure, bright spirit of His. What He declared of Satan could with equal truth have been affirmed of ungodly men--"The prince of this world comes, and has nothing in me." They found no evil in Him upon which their own sinfulness could work. Wickedness could not for a moment exist in an atmosphere so holy.
Consider the integrity and honesty of Jesus as the fulfillment of a prophecy: "Neither was any deceit in His mouth" (Isa. 53:9). Ponder carefully, my soul, every fulfillment of prophecy concerning your precious Jesus. It will fortify you against the assaults of infidelity and the suggestions of Satan, and enlarge your knowledge of, and deepen your love to, the Savior. Behold the fulfillment of this remarkable prediction--"Neither was deceit found in His mouth."
There was no deceit in THE TRUTHS WHICH JESUS TAUGHT. All that the Father revealed to Him He made known to His disciples. He falsified nothing, obscured nothing, kept back nothing. What a lesson for us! Are we ministers of Christ? Then it is our solemn duty to guard against deceit and hypocrisy in our ministrations of the truth. There must be no adulteration of the Word, nothing doubtful in our statement of the Deity and Atonement of Christ, no mental reservation in preaching the doctrines of grace, no denying or neutralizing the Person and work of the Spirit, not the slightest vestige of craftiness or deceitfulness in handling the word of the living God. Woe unto us if we preach not the great truths of the gospel as Christ taught them! We must preach Christ only and wholly, and with Paul be able to testify--"We have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth, commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God." My soul! beware of holding the truth with guile!
Jesus was guileless in ALL HIS ACTIONS. Everything that He did was as open and as transparent as the light of day. Thus, my soul! learn of Him. Let there be nothing doubtful or ambiguous in your dealings with the world; no deceit or equivocation in your communion with the saints; but let every action and motive and end be as clear and pure as the sun's noontide splendor. Lord, in all things "let integrity and uprightness preserve me."
Above all, Jesus was without guile in HIS WALK BEFORE GOD. He could say, and He only, "I do always those things which please Him." It is here, O my soul, you have the most closely to commune with your own heart, and to weigh and ponder and scrutinize every step you take. "You, Most Upright One, do weigh the path of the just." Oh, walk before God with a perfect heart, and let your prayer be--Lord, search me! and should I not be real, honest, transparent--graciously, effectually root up every noxious weed, especially that hateful weed of hypocrisy, from Your own garden; and let no principle or motive, aim or end exist but what You approve, and what will be for Your honor and glory. By the sanctifying grace of Your Spirit, by the searching power of Your word, by the hallowed discipline of temptation, affliction, and sorrow, make me an Israelite indeed, in whom is no deceit!