The consciousness of unworthiness will be deepened.  The more we know ourselves to be sinful, the more we shall cleave to Christ, and the more we cleave to Christ, the more we shall know ourselves to be sinful.  Peter caught a glimpse of what Jesus was when he sat in the boat and said, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!”  But Peter saw both himself and His Lord more clearly – that is, more truly – when, subsequent to his black treachery, his brother apostle said to him, concerning the figure standing on the beach in the grey morning, “It is the Lord,” and he flung himself over the side and floundered through the water to get to his Master’s feet.  For that is the place for the man who knows himself to be unworthy.  The more we are conscious of our sin, the closer let us cling to our Lord’s forgiving heart, and the more sure we are that we have that love which we have not earned, the more shall we feel how unworthy of it we are.  As one of the prophets says, with profound meaning, “Thou shalt be ashamed and confounded, and never open thy mouth any more because of thy transgression, when I am pacified towards thee for all that thou hast done.”  The child buries its face in its mother’s breast and feels its fault the more because the loving arms clasp it close. – Alexander Maclaren (1826-1910), from a meditation on Luke 7.4, 6-7.

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