And it came to pass, that, when Jesus was returned, the people gladly received him: for they were all waiting for him.
When Jesus is waited for and welcomed, He delights to come. He is not waited for by all in our congregations; so that we may ask the question of our present hearers — Do you welcome Christ? Let it be answered by each one this day.
I. A BEAUTIFUL SIGHT. "They were all waiting for Him." This waiting may be seen in several different forms.
1. A gathered congregation, waiting in the place where prayer is wont to be made. Want of punctuality, and irregular attendance, often show that Jesus is not waited for.
2. A praying company, an earnest Church, looking for revival, and prepared to co-operate in labour for it. Some Churches do not wait for the Lord's presence, and would not be ready for Him if He were to come.
3. A seeking sinner, sighing for mercy, searching the Scriptures, hearing the Word, inquiring of Christians, constantly praying, and thus "waiting for Him."
4. A departing saint, longing for home: saying, like Jacob, "I have waited for Thy salvation, O Lord" (Genesis 49:18).
5. An instructed Church, looking for the Second Advent (Revelation 22:17). It is good for the eyes to behold such sights.
II. A SURE ARRIVAL. "Jesus was returned." We are quite sure that our Lord will graciously appear to those who are "all waiting for Him," since —
1. His Spirit is there already, making them wait (Romans 8:23).
2. His heart is there, in sympathy with them, longing to bless them.
3. His work is there. He has brought them into that waiting condition, and now He has found a sphere wherein to display his grace to saints and sinners.
4. His promise is there, "Lo, I am with you alway" (Matthew 28:20).
5. His custom is to be there. His delights are still with the sons of men (Proverbs 8:31). What countless blessings His coming will bring!
III. A HEARTY WELCOME. "The people gladly received Him."
1. Their fears made Him welcome. They feared lest He might have gone for ever from them (Psalm 77:7).
2. Their hopes made Him welcome. They trusted that now their sick would be cured, and their dead would be raised.
3. Their prayers made Him welcome. Those who pray that Jesus may come are glad when He comes.
4. Their faith made Him welcome. Jairus now looked to have his child healed (see verse 41).
5. Their love made Him welcome. When our heart is with Him, we rejoice in His appearing.
6. Their care for others made Him welcome. Jesus never disappoints those who wait for Him. Jesus never refuses those who welcome Him. Jesus is near us now: will you not open the doors of your hearts to receive Him? (Revelation 3:20.)
(C. H. Spurgeon.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And it came to pass, that, when Jesus was returned, the people gladly received him: for they were all waiting for him.