the Week of Proper 20 / Ordinary 25
Charles Spurgeon's "Morning & Evening"
“Ye shall keep my Sabbaths.”
Not from any idle feeling of passing away time, but because of necessity, the disciples took ears of corn to eat as they passed through the fields. This they were allowed to do by the Jewish law, and no one found fault with them for it, only it happened to be the Sabbath, and therefore the Pharisees renewed the old quarrel.
One would have thought that it was surely permissible to relieve hunger on the Sabbath; but the Pharisees made it out to be an act of harvesting, and even of threshing when they saw them rub the ears in their hands. Some men are great at making much ado about nothing.
Matthew 12:3 , Matthew 12:4
Necessity has no law. It was never intended that men should die of hunger in order to preserve the sanctity of a day.
Matthew 12:5 , Matthew 12:6
Works done for God are commendable on the Sabbath, and if the Lord himself was present, and had not blamed his disciples, it was not for others to complain.
Matthew 12:7 , Matthew 12:8
God has not intended the fourth commandment to be used cruelly, so as to forbid the doing of that which is absolutely needful. The institution of the Sabbath is under the power of Jesus, the Lord of love, and is not a burden, but a delight.
Thus he emphatically showed the true position of the Sabbath, and his own resolve not to be bound in the fetters of Jewish tradition with regard to it.
But when Jesus knew it, he withdrew himself from thence: going to the borders of the sea of Gennesaret
He neither sought popularity nor controversy.
He left those fuming Pharisees, and the weak reeds of scribes and doctors, till a future time, not caring utterly to quench or crush their broken power.
Quiet as he was, he is our hope and joy, and our soul rests upon him.
Help us, through good report and ill,
Our daily cross to bear;
Like thee, to do our Father’s will,
Our brethren’s griefs to share.
Let grace our selfishness expel,
Our earthliness refine;
And kindness in our bosoms dwell,
As free and true as thine.
“There went virtue out of him.”
And it came to pass in those days, while he was by the sea, near Capernaum
It was his wont to spend a season in special prayer before any great act of his life. He was about to send out the first missionaries, but he would do nothing till he had prayed.
Now was another great opportunity for preaching, and our Lord availed himself of it. We now find him delivering the Sermon on the Plain which, in many points, resembles the Sermon on the Mount. It has four beatitudes and four woes, and repeats in almost the same words the former discourse.
Poor though they were, they were his disciples, and were poor in spirit as well as in pocket, and therefore blessed. We must understand all these beatitudes spiritually, or we shall make grave mistakes.
For the most part those who are rich despise religion. “Gold and the gospel seldom do agree,” says Bunyan.
If satisfied with earth’s good things, they will soon be gone, and eternal want will follow.
To spend life in frivolous mirth and gaiety is to store up sorrow.
Dangerous then is the position of the favourite of mankind. If the ungodly mass love a man, God loves him not.
Better suffer any loss than wrangle and go to courts of law, where indeed one is apt to increase his loss rather than repair it.
This noble godlike principle of doing good without prospect of return should be better exhibited by professed Christians than it is. Let it be our prayer that we may act by its rule.