Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 18 (1903)


Lt 272a, 1903

Wessels, Peter and Family

“Elmshaven,” St. Helena, California

October, 1903

Previously unpublished.

Dear Brother Peter Wessels and family,—

My heart is drawn out after you. The Lord wants you to come into active working order with Himself. You have, my dear brother, no time to lose. “What is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, or be cast away?” “Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?” [Luke 9:25; Matthew 16:26.] 18LtMs, Lt 272a, 1903, par. 1

Christ was a true medical missionary. He healed the sick, rebuked satanic agencies, and taught the people. He ministered to both soul and body. His labors were incessant. And His work was made harder by the frequent interruptions of the scribes and Pharisees, who sought to divert and confuse the minds of the hearers. Notwithstanding their repeated failure to entangle Him in His speech, they continue to annoy Him, hoping to induce Him to say something that would give them an opportunity to accuse Him before the Roman authorities. 18LtMs, Lt 272a, 1903, par. 2

Such exertions were exhausting to the physical powers of Christ. With great anxiety His friends and relations looked upon His pale face and wearied countenance. They besought Him to hide Himself for a time from the multitudes which continually pressed around Him. So great was the multitude that sought to hear Him that the Pharisees exclaimed, “The whole world is gone after Him.” [John 12:19.] As with compassion He beheld the needs of the people who flocked to Him, it seemed to Him impossible to withhold from them the healing leaves of the tree of life. Apparently there was no respite for Him. 18LtMs, Lt 272a, 1903, par. 3

After a day of toil, one evening, realizing the need of retirement and rest, He “departed thence by ship into a desert place apart.” [Matthew 14:13.] While the attention of the multitude was for a few moments diverted, He entered a fishing boat and sailed to the eastern side of the lake. 18LtMs, Lt 272a, 1903, par. 4

It was hard for Him to tear Himself away from the multitudes to whom He longed to minister. The urgency of the work was great, yet He was physically exhausted, and He sought in retirement an opportunity to gain strength, that He might be better fitted to take up His work again. In all things He was an example to His workers. No one is to continue to tax his physical powers until nature can no longer sustain the system in health. 18LtMs, Lt 272a, 1903, par. 5

The gentle movement of the boat had a soothing influence upon the Saviour, and He slept. Never did boat carry a more precious burden. He was our Saviour. The salvation of a sinful world depended upon Him. 18LtMs, Lt 272a, 1903, par. 6

The sea of Galilee was the scene of much of Christ’s ministry. On the eastern side the shore rises to a great height. The surrounding country was a lonely region. There were desolate hills and barren rocks where there was neither cultivated land nor houses. To this place Jesus came, that He might be alone to commune with His heavenly Father. 18LtMs, Lt 272a, 1903, par. 7

When they had arrived at the other side of the lake, Jesus went a little way from His disciples and spent the remainder of the night in agonizing prayer. 18LtMs, Lt 272a, 1903, par. 8