Eagles and Crowns

Something about the eagle's size, power, and regal look stirs me. My favorite coffee mug has eagles painted on the side; I have a calendar (last year's) that has drawings of eagles for each month. The text of Isaiah 40:31 with a cross-stitched eagle hangs on the wall of my of my study, and a molded brass eagle paperweight sits on my desk. But I have never held a real eagle, and very seldom seen one up close--except once, in the San Diego Zoo. I stood in front of the display and gazed a long time, hardly wanting to leave.

The Gospel of John is the Gospel of the eagle. The eternal God is introduced as the One who dwelt alone in awesome majesty before anything else existed. The eternal Son dwelt, co-equal and co-eternal with the eternal God, and shared perfect harmony with Him. The eternal Son is the Word and is revealed as the source of life and light. By Him all things were created.

But in John, the One who dwelt in such majesty clothed Himself in humanity and came to this planet so we could see Him up close, could hear Him and touch Him and get to know Him. The apostle John said, "We beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father full of grace and truth." And in his Gospel, he shows us the Son of God and how we can enter into a relationship with Him, issuing in life eternal. When was the last time you held this eagle?

Dr. Ed Harlow, missionary, instructor, publisher, and author, has written commentaries on many of the Old and New Testament books. Each of them is written in the language of John--dealing with the infinite in simple language that we can all understand.

One of his latest books is a commentary on the Gospel of John. Verse by verse, he wends his way through this most exquisite Gospel, explaining the text in non-technical but accurate terms. Many charts which summarize teaching in John's Gospel help greatly in bringing the message of John home to each heart and mind. I also like the little barbs of practical lessons he puts along the way. These are italicized and placed in the middle of the page so you won't miss them. For Dr. Harlow knows that information is only part of education. Until it is applied, you really don't know it. The next time you want to look at the Gospel of the Eagle up-close, John, A Commentary, by R. E. Harlow will be a big help.

I was traveling up north a few months ago. Along the side of the road I noticed a group of crows devouring some "road-kill." Nothing out of the ordinary--except suddenly I saw in the middle of the pack a very large bird and it dawned on me it was an eagle! Now that was unusual. An eagle in the midst of crows. As I thought about it, I wondered how often we as Christians feed with the crows. Identification with the crucified Saviour demands separation in my life. Do we really know what the cross of the Lord Jesus means to us? Do we know the New Testament teaching of the cross and its significance? Do we know the distinction between the cross of Christ and the death of Christ?

Mr. David Long, in his book The Cross--Its True Meaning, points out with deep feeling that the cross is a symbol of rejection, and the acceptance of its real meaning by the believer is essential for true discipleship. The author takes up each New Testament passage that deals with the cross and with great clarity demonstrates that the cross has vital implications in every life. Slowly and surely Galatians 6:14 comes into focus: "But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me and I unto the world."

Crows and eagles are different birds; Christians and non-Christians are different also. The cross separates us forever. Only as I understand that truth will I be a true follower of the Lord Jesus. May you soar with the Eagle and identify with Him and His cross.

John (US $9) and The Cross (US $5) are available from GFP. See p. 29 for ordering info.