And it came to pass, as he went to Jerusalem, that he passed through the middle of Samaria and Galilee.…
I. WE ARE CONTINUALLY RECEIVING FAVOURS FROM GOD. No creature is independent. All are daily receiving from the Father of lights, from whom "cometh every good and perfect gift," and "with whom there is no variableness, nor shadow of turning." Our bodies, with all their powers; and our souls, with all their capacities, are derived from Him. But whilst the beneficence of the Supreme Being is, in one sense, general; it is, in another, restricted. Some are more highly favoured than others. Some have experienced remarkable interpositions of Divine providence. Some have been raised up from dangerous illness. Some have been advanced in worldly possessions. Some are the partakers of distinguished privileges. Such are those who are favoured with the dispensation of the gospel.
II. THAT THESE FAVOURS SHOULD INDUCE A SUITABLE RETURN.
1. Gratitude will not be regarded as unsuitable. We always expect this from our fellow-creatures who participate in our bounty.
2. Commendation is another suitable return. Make known the lovely character of your merciful Redeemer to others.
3. Service is another suitable return. "Wherefore, we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace whereby we may serve God acceptably, with reverence and with godly fear."
4. Humiliation is a suitable return. This Samaritan prostrated himself before his Divine Healer. How unspeakable is the felicity of that man, who, deeply humbled under a sense of the manifold mercies of God, can lift up his eyes to the great Judge of quick and dead, and say in sincerity, "Lord, my heart is not haughty, nor my soul lofty, neither do I exercise myself in great matters, nor in things too high for me; I have surely behaved and quieted myself as a child that is weaned of its mother: my soul is even u a weaned child!"
5. Honour is a suitable return. This Samaritan was not, perhaps, acquainted with our Lord's divinity; but he regarded Him as some extraordinary personage, and, as was customary in such cases, he prostrated himself before Him, as a token of great respect and veneration. Entertain the most exalted conceptions of Him; you cannot raise your thoughts too high: "He is God over all, blessed for ever."
III. THAT THIS RETURN IS TOO COMMONLY NEGLECTED. The cause of this forgetfulness is to be traced, in general, to the influence of inward depravity; and nothing is a clearer proof of the corruption of our nature; but there are other causes, co-operating with this, of which we may mention two. First: Worldly prosperity. Honey does not more powerfully attract bees than affluence generates danger. Secondly: Worldly anxiety is another cause of this forgetfulness.
IV. WE MAY OBSERVE, THAT TO NEGLECT A RETURN OF GRATITUDE TO GOD IS HIGHLY REPREHENSIBLE. Nay, it is exceedingly sinful. What insensibility does it argue, and what criminality does it involve! It is a virtual denial of the Divine providence.
(T. Gibson, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And it came to pass, as he went to Jerusalem, that he passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee.