Notes and Commentary on
The Pilgrim's Progress
by Ken Puls
3. Christian Flees Destruction
So I saw in my dream that the man began to run. Now he had not run far from his own door, but his wife and children, perceiving it, began to cry after him to return; but the man put his fingers in his ears, and ran on crying, Life! life! eternal life! So he looked not behind him, but fled towards the middle of the Plain.
The Neighbors also came out to see him run; and as he ran, some mocked, others threatened, and some cried after him to return . . .
Notes and Commentary
After Christian received instruction and encouragement from Evangelist, he wasted no time in pursuing eternal life. Even the cries of family and friends could not persuade him to go back. He had seen the hope of the gospel. Evangelist had pointed him to Jesus Christ. Christian had discovered the pearl of great price and was willing to give up all he had to obtain it (Matthew 13:46).
Jesus said, "He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who finds his life shall lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it" (Matthew 10:37-39). We must be willing to sacrifice all to follow Christ. Nothing is as important as our love and commitment to God. Paul said, "But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ" (Philippians 3:7-8).
But leaving all to follow Christ is not often simple. The world is not easily laid aside. It cries and beckons us to turn back. When one enters a strongman's house to plunder his goods (Matthew 12:29), the strongman is bound to object. Satan does not easily give up on those he has blinded and ensnared. He may seek to fetch them back, even by force. But Satan is no match for the advance of God's Kingdom. John reminds us that: "He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world" (1 John 4:4). Satan is now restrained, bound at the cross. There the head of the serpent was dealt a fatal blow (Genesis 3:15). There God "disarmed principalities and powers" and "made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it (Colossians 2:15).
Now our God is at work delivering sinners "from the power of darkness and conveying us into the kingdom of the Son of His love" (Colossians 1:13). The love Christ has for His bride and the sacrifice He was willing to make for her sake is no match for the devil and the world. It is Christ's love for us that compels us to forsake all and pursue the riches and abundance found in knowing Him.
Continue Reading 4. Encounter with Neighbors
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