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About M. A. Jollay
For many years M. A. Jollay served as pastor of Christ Church of Washington, D.C., where he was known for his eloquent and in-depth Biblical exposition in the congregation that he founded in the nation's capital. The series presented here in the Murry Reading Room, Today, Tomorrow, and Forever, is a good example of the kind of Biblical teaching for which M. A. Jollay was appreciated. The editor of this website had the unique privilege of working on staff at Christ Church of Washington during pastor Jollay's tenure.


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M. A. Jollay
Today, Tomorrow, and Forever

by M. A. Jollay


Chapter One: And Peter!

"He is not here. He is risen. Go tell the disciples -- and Peter!"

On the morning of the resurrection, Peter had special attention from the Lord. He needed it! Had he not, after his boastfully expressed confidence, three times denied the Saviour? -- even had cursed and sworn he didn't know Him?

But Peter was still precious to Jesus. Jesus knew Peter. He knew very part of his personality. He knew that on one day he would indeed become the stone of His prediction. Not the Petra Stone, for that was the Saviour Himself. But the Petros Stone, the "Little" stone, and yet, of the same character and strength of the Mighty Gibraltar.

It took Peter some time, even after the resurrection of Christ, to come into a true pattern of spiritual life and strength. Not until Pentecost did he really seem to take hold. The secret, of course, was the Holy Spirit's presence, now come to abide -- in Peter, and in all believers who would accept this new power from on high.

It would be interesting if we had the running account of Peter's ministry through to its' end, but little is known of his mission following his miraculous deliverance from prison at the time of his arrest by King Herod. I am sure it was eventful, both in the hazards faced and the mighty works wrought by this great man of God.

However, since we do not have the continuous history of Peter’s action, we must content ourselves to the study of the epistles he wrote. Perhaps in the long run this is best. Objective truth is always stronger than the subjective, even though it may be harder to understand.

"Tell the disciples -- and Peter!"

And Peter! That is good! To this crucial turning point, we owe his epistles. And you detected it in the first words he writes in this, his first, epistle:

"Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ . . . "

Unlike St. John who, in his epistles, addressed himself as "an elder," Peter describes himself in a way appearing, on the surface, astute, "an apostle."

But was he that? Yes! Every inch an apostle!

Which brings us to determine, what is an apostle?

Titles have a way of vaunting themselves, taking on both medals and meaning through the ages, never intended, until their whole purpose has given way to a distorted aggrandizement.

While it is true that even in ancient Hebrew tradition, they bedecked their priestly ministers in sacred, even costly attire, and meticulously regarded rank and honor in titles conferred and power authorized, that usually was the area of their spiritual deficit. The thrust of divine life and flaming revelation of the divine will usually came from the wilderness prophet who, clothed in crude camel hair garments and the dust of desert solitude, fearlessly proclaimed the will of God. They sought no honor and accepted none.

John Baptist came forth likewise. He had no title. He did not even dignify himself with a common name. The people asked of him at his wilderness baptismal service:

"Who art thou, so we may give an answer?" (to the religious hierarchy that sent us?)

My, what an opportunity for John to have spread it on thick! But John simply replied:

"I am a voice -- the voice of one crying in the wilderness, 'Make straight the way of the Lord.' Every valley shall be filled up, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low; and the crooked shall become straight and the rough roads smooth; and all flesh shall see the salvation of the Lord." (John 1:19-23; Luke 3:4-6 RSV)

And what did they see? An institution? Not at all! Then did they see a man, John? No, much more!

To them would be revealed the man Christ Jesus, whom John was about to introduce. In this man lies our salvation still.


turn to page two of TODAY, TOMORROW, and FOREVER


Photo of M. A. Jollay by Lee Cantelon, Christ Church study, Washington, D.C.


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