« PreviousContinue »
themselves, as sinners, to partake of His favour : and they are also permitted to look forward in hope that when they have done with all things here below, they shall behold His glory, and rejoice in His salvation for evermore. What earthly enjoyment is to be compared to the blessedness derived from the knowledge of the gospel of Christ, since it admits sinners to the enjoyment of such unspeakable happiness, both here and hereafter? Well might the Apostle say, I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord; that I may win Christ, and be found in Him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith : that I may know Him. This wedding garment, the robe of the Redeemer's righteousness, is offered to us. We, to whom the gospel of Christ is preached, are called upon to believe that Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth in His name; and, relying upon His righteousness to walk humbly with our God.25 Do we then really believe the doctrine here taught? Do we make use of it continually for our acceptance in His sight, who is of purer eyes than to behold evil, and who cannot look on iniquity ?36
23 Phil. iii. 8, 9. 24 Romans x. 4. 25 Micah vi. 8. 26 Hab. i. 13.
If we reject the robe of Christ's righteousness; if we think that we have no need of it, but that our own obedience or holiness will qualify us to appear in the presence of the great King of heaven and earth, we shall be speechless when the question is put to us, How camest thou hither, not having the wedding garment ? Those who have rejected it will be cast out into the regions of darkness and despair. But if we are arrayed in the glorious robe of our Redeemer's righteousness by faith, we shall be admitted to the marriage supper of the Lamb, to partake of the unspeakable blessings of His great salvation throughout the countless ages of eternity. And while we remain here upon earth, we shall take delight in approaching God, in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, making our requests known unto Him through Christ Jesus. 27 We shall seek grace from Him to enable us to live and walk as His children in this world, adorning the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things. We shall also, while we enjoy communion and fellowship with Him, desire and endeavour to please Him in all our conduct; to abound more and more in obedience to His holy will; to avoid what He has forbidden; and to walk in all His commandments and ordinances blameless, so to His praise and glory.
27 Phil. iv. 6. 28 Tit. ii. 10. 29 I Thes. iv. l. 30 Luke i, 6.
THE TWENTY FIRST SUNDAY AFTER
THE NOBLEMAN'S SON HEALED.
John iv. 50.
JESUS SAITH UNTO HIM, Go THY WAY; THY
SON LIVETH. AND THE MAN BELIEVED THE WORD THAT JESUS HAD SPOKEN UNTO HIM, AND HE WENT HIS WAY.
To exhibit the benefit of faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, appears to have been the object which the Evangelist had chiefly in view, by relating the miracle which is the subject of the Gospel for this day. It was wrought in favour of a person who was attached to the court of King Herod, and perhaps one of his family or relatives. The narrative commences by stating that There was a certain nobleman, or royal personage, as the
word implies, whose son was sick at Capernaum. The fame of the miracles of Christ had reached the ears of this man, notwithstanding his elevated rank; and therefore when he heard that Jesus was come out of Judea into Galilee, he went unto Him, and besought Him, that He would come down, and heal his son: for he was at the point of death. The child it seems had a malignant fever ; all the means used for his recovery had failed, and he was apparently at death's door. The nobleman therefore having heard of the wonderful cures that were performed by the Lord Jesus, as his last resource went in quest of the Saviour, in the hope that he might be able to prevail on Him to visit Capernaum, and heal
He met with Jesus at Cana,31 whither He had come from Nazareth, and besought Him to hasten at once to Capernaum, that He might arrive in time to restore his son, before death should have put an end to the possibility of the application of any remedies. By the manner in which he spoke, he manifested that he was not aware of the Divine power of our blessed Saviour. He supposed that it was needful for Jesus to be personally present, like any other physician, in order to effect the desired cure; and had no idea of His ability to recal any one to life, after the spirit had once departed.
31 Jobn iv. 46.
Then said Jesus unto him, Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe. Here our Saviour reproved the man's incredulity in limiting His power, as if He were unable to work miracles unless the object were present.
It was as if He had said, The miracle must be wrought before your eyes, or you will not believe in Me. Another Evangelist shows that the unbelief of the Nazarenes prevented Jesus from doing any mighty works at Nazareth. When He opened His commission to them, they expressed their contempt of Him on account of His mean parentage and education; and afterwards were so enraged against Him, as to endeavour to put Him to death, by leading Him unto the brow of the hill, whereon their city was built, that they might cast Him down headlong. 32 The same kind of reception our Saviour knew awaited Him in other places. And although His first public miracle had been wrought in Cana of Galilee, where He turned the water into wine at a marriage feast ;3; yet He knew that this was not sufficient to induce the people to believe in Him. Something signally wonderful must still be displayed before their eyes, in order to convince them of His real character. The reply referred doubtless to the case of the people who surrounded Him, as well as to that of the
82 Luke iv. 29.
33 John ii. 9.