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Great Nights of the Bible (15 of 16)
The Night of the Ghost
Clarence E. Macartney
Anybody can walk on the land. That is easy. The land
is man's natural element. But the test is, Can you
walk on the sea? Can you walk on the sea of your
tribulation and sorrow? Can you walk on the stormy
waves of your temptation? Can you walk on the sea of
your disappointment or loneliness or affliction?
The sad word had come to Jesus and the disciples of
the death of John the Baptist, who had been murdered
by Herod to please his vindictive paramour, Herodias.
For John had denounced Herod and Herodias for their
adultery. When John's disciples had buried his body-
although his spirit could never be buried-they went
and told Jesus. As soon as Jesus heard the word, He
called His disciples together and, getting into a
boat, withdrew to a desert place across the Sea of
Galilee. That was the fitting tribute Jesus paid to
His great forerunner, John the Baptist. Jesus had
declared John to be the greatest man that had been
born of woman, and in all His dealings with him and
His references to him He treated him with the highest
deference and respect. When He hears that John is
dead, that he is a martyr to conscience and to the
kingdom of God, Jesus stops His own preaching and
healing for a season and withdraws to a desert place.
He paid John the Baptist a tribute of silence and
The death of our friends deserves the tribute of
silence and solitude. If once it was a custom for
people to go to the extreme in their mourning for
those who had passed out of life, today it would seem
to me that many have gone to the other extreme and
that far too little deference and respect is paid to
the event of death and the passing of our friends.
Silence and solitude, for a season at least, fit such
If you were to take the Sea of Galilee out of the Holy
Land, its most pleasing physical feature would ...
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