[R988 : page 7]

THE OLD Pharisees rejected Jesus because He taught men that God's plans of grace were wider than they had believed them to be. The Gentiles, the outcasts, the whole world of humanity, was included in them. The Pharisees believed that the Jews, and especially their own sect, had a monopoly of the grace of God. It is strange how this old spirit of human nature comes out in our day. Many in the church seem to be just as averse to any view of the gospel which widens its scope beyond the narrow lines in which they have conceived of it. The idea that there can be any blessing in it for the countless masses of the dead who passed out of life before Christ came, or who have since died with no knowledge of Him, is something they cannot admit. Nor have they an ear for any interpretations of Scripture which do not pass current in their sect, or which bring within the scope of God's love and blessing those whom they have always regarded as outside of His covenant. Men love to think that they belong to that favored class who have a monopoly of both the truth and the grace of God.—Words of Reconciliation.