the Week of Christ the King / Proper 29 / Ordinary 34
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Charles Spurgeon's "Morning & Evening"
“The poor have the gospel preached unto them.”
Matthew 11:2 , Matthew 11:3
Had his sufferings depressed his spirit? We think not. He probably sent his disciples, that their faith might be confirmed.
These are the attesting proofs of the true Messiah’s mission, and among them all there is no greater wonder of grace than the preaching of the gospel to the poor. Other teachers had shut them out, but Jesus specially sought them out.
Was he a man easily moved, pliant and yielding? By no means. John was very far from being fickle or cowardly.
His was but a twilight dispensation, and we who live in the full blaze of day have greater privileges than he had. John had never heard the words, “It is finished,” as we have done, to our hearts joy.
There is no such thing as winning this kingdom by halfhearted endeavours. Energy is needed for success in this life, and much more for the life to come. Grace in the heart leads men to strive to enter in at the strait gate. Oh that we could see more holy violence in the church of God. Sloth and lethargy are robbing Jesus of his honour, and the church of its success.
They could not agree as to what they should play. Some of them proposed to imitate a wedding, and began to pipe, but the others would not dance. “Well, then,” said they, “let us perform a funeral,” and they commenced to mourn, but their wayward companions would not respond with lamentations. Even so it is hard to find ministers to please men: one is top rambling, and another too logical; and if one preacher be condemned for being vulgar, another is censured for his flowery style. There is no satisfying fastidious tastes. If we are in a right state of heart, we shall remember George Herbert’s words: “Judge not the preacher, he is thy judge.”
Matthew 11:18 , Matthew 11:19
God knows best whom to send, and we ought to be on the watch to profit by them all.
‘Tis not a cause of small import
The pastor’s care demands;
But what might fill an angel’s heart,
And fill’d a Saviour’s hands.
They watch for souls for which the Lord
Did heavenly bliss forego;
For souls which must for ever live
In raptures, or in woe.
May they that Jesus, whom they preach,
Their own Redeemer see:
And watch thou daily o’er their souls,
That they may watch for thee.
“The Son quickeneth whom He will.”
Luke 7:1 , Luke 7:2
He was a good master, and had a good servant, therefore there was much affection between them, which is a rare thing in these days.
The Jews called him worthy, but he did not think himself so. He who enjoys the good opinion of others, and is not thereby lifted up, possesses a sound mind.
Give the word, and the disease will fly without thy needing to come personally. This was grand faith.
Although only a petty officer, yet his word was law, and therefore he rightly concluded that the word of the Lord Jesus would be equally powerful over all the realms of nature. He had only to say to the disease “Go,” and it would be gone. This was such good reasoning as only grace could have taught him.
The Jews had praised the centurions works, but the Lord fixed his eye upon his faith. This is the jewel which Jesus prizes most. Do we each and all possess it?
Luke 7:11 , Luke 7:12
Death takes away the young full often. Had it been the Lord’s will, one of us might have been this day a corpse, and to-day would have been mournfully spent by the rest of the family at the tomb. The poor widowed mother who mourned her only son was at once observed by the tender Jesus, and addressed in tones of deepest sympathy.
Oh, that he would give spiritual life to those of this family who are dead in sin! Young and fair, excellent and amiable as young men and women may be, they must be quickened by the Holy Spirit, or else they will remain dead in trespasses and sins. Jesus can give the spiritual life, and a mothers tears will go far to touch his heart and win the blessing.
Luke 7:16 , Luke 7:17
So was his name renowned, even as it is among his own saints at this hour. Blessed, for ever blessed, be the Friend of Man!
Thou art the Life: the empty bier
Proclaims thy conquering arm;
And those who put their trust in thee,
Nor death nor hell shall harm.
Thou art the Way, the Truth, the Life
Grant us that Way to know,
That Truth to keep, that Life to win,
Whose joys eternal flow.