After these things Jesus went over the sea of Galilee, which is the sea of Tiberias.…
I. ENCOURAGEMENT FOR THE LOWLY. For the insignificant, the commonplace who make up the greater portion of mankind, there is either no gospel or it is Christ's.
1. For the world of wealth, power, brute violence, sceptical intellect is inflated with its own self-importance. The haughty beauty will scarce deign to glance at the plain neglected girl; the proud aristocrat is patronizing or contumelious to those who are not of his own caste; the conceitedly clever will revel in his power to wound the Inferior capacity. "This multitude that knoweth not the law is accursed," says religious pride. "These persons are not in society," says fashionable pride. "Mankind is composed of 1,000,000,000 mostly fools," says intellectual pride.
2. See how Christ in His every word and action set His face against all this. Despised Galilee was His country; Nazareth His home; the manger His cradle; the Cross His bed of death; women His intimates; infants His proteges; lepers the objects of His compassion; the depraved the recipients of His mercy. This is not only the lesson of love, nor that Be loved as none other had loved, but that He loved those whom none had loved before, the friend of publicans and sinners.
II. NOT LESS COMFORTING IS THE ACCEPTANCE BY CHRIST OF LITTLE THINGS. He instantly made use of the poor lad's barley loaves and fishes. His symbols of the kingdom were a handful of loaves and a grain of mustard seed; the widow's mite receives His commendation; and those whom He will finally accept will be those who have done little deeds of kindness. Lessons:
1. Most of us have only one talent. The world attaches importance to our deficiency, but when God comes He will not ask how great or how small were our endowments but only how we have used them. He who has one talent sometimes makes ten of it; while he who has ten sometimes makes them worse than one. The last may be first and the first last. Was it not so with those whom He chose, "Not many rich," etc., were called.
2. Why then should any of us be ashamed of our earthly insignificance? We have only five barley loaves, etc., which indeed in themselves are useless, but when given to Christ He can make them enough to feed 5,000. Take the one instance of kind words of sympathy and encouragement. What may they not do? What may be left undone if they are unsaid.
Parallel VersesKJV: After these things Jesus went over the sea of Galilee, which is the sea of Tiberias.