Wednesdays with Watson is a weekly reading taken from my favorite Puritan writer, Thomas Watson. This week’s selection is taken from The Godly Man’s Picture.
‘Unto you therefore which believe, he is precious’ (1 Pet. 2:7). In the Greek it is ‘an honour’. Believers have an honourable esteem of Christ. The psalmist speaks like one captivated with Christ’s amazing beauty: ‘there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee’ (Psa. 73:25). He did not say he had nothing; he had many comforts on earth, but he desired none but God; as if a wife should say that there is no-one’s company she prizes like her husband’s. How did David prize Christ? ‘Thou art fairer than the children of men’ (Psa. 45:2). The spouse in the Song of Solomon looked upon Christ as the Coriphaeus, the most incomparable one, ‘the chiefest among ten thousand’ (Song 5:10). Christ outvies all others: ‘As the apple tree among the trees of the wood, so is my beloved among the sons’ (Song 2:3). Christ infinitely more excels all the beauties and glories of this visible world than the apple tree surpasses the trees of the wild forest. Paul so prized Christ that he made him his chief study: ‘I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ’ (1 Cor. 2:2). He judged nothing else of value. He knew Christ best: ‘have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord?’ (1 Cor. 9:1). He saw him with his bodily eyes in a vision, when he was caught up into the third heaven (2 Cor. 12:2), and he saw him with the eye of his faith in the blessed supper. Therefore he knew him best. Consider how he slighted and despised other things in comparison with Christ: ‘I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord’ (Phil. 3:8). Gain he esteemed loss, and gold dung for Christ. Indeed, a godly person cannot choose but set a high valuation upon Christ; he sees a fulness of value in him:
1. A fulness in regard to variety. ‘In whom are hid all the treasures’ (Col. 2:3). No country has all commodities of its own growth, but Christ has all kinds of fulness — fulness of merit, of spirit, of love. He has a treasure adequate for all our wants.
2. A fulness in regard to degree. Christ has not only a few drops, or rays, but is more full of goodness than the sun is of light; he has the fulness of the Godhead (Col. 2:9).
3. A fulness in regard to duration. The fulness in the creature, like the brooks of Arabia, is soon dried up, but Christ’s fulness is inexhaustible; it is a fulness overflowing and ever-flowing.
And this fulness is for believers: Christ is a common thesaurus (as Luther says), a common treasury or store for the saints: ‘of his fulness have all we received’ (John 1:16). Put a glass under a still and it receives water out of the still, drop by drop. So those who are united to Christ have the dews and drops of his grace distilling on them. Well, then, may Christ be admired by all those who believe.