John 4:29
"Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Christ?"
The Power of a Personal RevelationJ.R. Thomson John 4:29
Chance in the Divine EconomyJ. Fawcett, M. A.John 4:1-42
Characteristics of Christ Displayed in This ConversationBp. Ryle.John 4:1-42
Christ Abolishing PrejudicesLange.John 4:1-42
Christ and the SamaritansH. Burton, M. A.John 4:1-42
Christ and the WomanT. Whitelaw, D. D.John 4:1-42
Christ and the Woman of SamariaBp. Ryle.John 4:1-42
Christ and the Woman of SamariaCaleb Morris.John 4:1-42
Christ At Jacob's WellCarl Keogh, D. D.John 4:1-42
Christ Driven AwayJeremiah Dyke.John 4:1-42
Christ in His Human Weakness and Divine ExaltationLange.John 4:1-42
Christ's Gentleness with the FallenJ. Cynddylan Jones, D. D.John 4:1-42
Christ's RequestBp. Ryle.John 4:1-42
Commendable EnthusiasmDr. Guthrie.John 4:1-42
Connection Between the Conversations with the Woman of Samaria and with NicodemusBp. Westcott.John 4:1-42
He Left JudaeaW. H. Dixon., Canon Westcott.John 4:1-42
In the Path of ChristJ. Trapp.John 4:1-42
Influence After DeathH. W. Beecher.John 4:1-42
Its HistoryBp. Ryle.John 4:1-42
Jacob's Well a TypeL. R. Bosanquet.John 4:1-42
Jacob's Welt an Emblem of the SanctuaryR. H. Lovell.John 4:1-42
Jesus At the WellS. S. TimesJohn 4:1-42
Jesus At the WellSermons by the Monday ClubJohn 4:1-42
Jesus At the Well of SycharJames G. Vose.John 4:1-42
Jesus Found At the WellJohn 4:1-42
Jesus Sitting on the WellC. H. SpurgeonJohn 4:1-42
No Sympathy Without SufferingBoswell.John 4:1-42
Our Attitude Towards SamariaW. Hawkins.John 4:1-42
Providence Shown in ConversionsJ. Flavel.John 4:1-42
Sat Thus on the WellF. Godet, D. D.John 4:1-42
Soul-Winning TactBible Society ReportJohn 4:1-42
Subsidiary PointsH. J. Van Dyke, D. D.John 4:1-42
Suffering Begets SympathyJ. Trapp.John 4:1-42
Tact and Kindness Will Win SoulsJohn 4:1-42
The Appropriateness of the Place for the PurposeJ. R. Macduff, D. D.John 4:1-42
The ConferenceJ. R. Macduff, D. D.John 4:1-42
The Drawer of WaterJ. R. Macduff; D. D.John 4:1-42
The First Visit to SamariaG. D. Boardman, D. D.John 4:1-42
The Interior of the WellLieut. S. Anderson, R. E.John 4:1-42
The Jewish Treatment of WomenS. S. TimesJohn 4:1-42
The Journey to SamariaA. Beith, D. D.John 4:1-42
The LocalityF. I. Dunwell, B. A.John 4:1-42
The Lost One Met and SavedJ. Gill.John 4:1-42
The Model TeacherC. S. Robinson, D. D.John 4:1-42
The Needs BeJ. Macduff, D. D.John 4:1-42
The Occasion of the JourneyW. Arnot, D. D.John 4:1-42
The Ordinances NecessaryDean Goulburn.John 4:1-42
The Parcel of Ground that Jacob Gave to His Son JosephA. Beith, D. D.John 4:1-42
The Pedagogy or Rudimentary Teaching of JesusC. E. Luthardt, D. D.John 4:1-42
The Real Significance of the Woman's Coming to ChristJ. R. Macduff, D. D.John 4:1-42
The Realness of the SceneDean Stanley.John 4:1-42
The Retreat of JesusJohn 4:1-42
The Revolution Christ Effected in the Treatment of WomenJ. Cynddylan Jones, D. D.John 4:1-42
The Rite of BaptismT. Whitelaw, D. D.John 4:1-42
The Self-Abnegation of ChristC. E. Luthardt, D. D.John 4:1-42
The Sixth HourBp. Ryle.John 4:1-42
The Thirsting SaviourA. Warrack, M. A.John 4:1-42
The Three BaptismsF. Godet, D. D.John 4:1-42
The Weary PilgrimJ. R. Macduff, D. D.John 4:1-42
The Woman of SamariaJ. Cynddylan Jones, D. D.John 4:1-42
The Woman of SamariaW. Jay.John 4:1-42
Topography of Jacob's Well and NeighbourhoodC. Geikie, D. D.John 4:1-42
Unquenchable EnthusiasmD. L. Moody.John 4:1-42
Utilizing Disagreeable NecessitiesA. F. Muir, M. A.John 4:1-42
Value of a Well in the EastH. W. Beecher.John 4:1-42
Weariness and WorkW. Poole Balfern.John 4:1-42
Why Christ Did not Personally BaptizeJohn 4:1-42
Why Religious Ordinances are Sometimes UnprofitableD. Guthrie, D. D.John 4:1-42
Christian WorshipR. Brodie, M. A.John 4:20-29
Christianity Non-CentralizedDr. Whichcote., J. Boyd.John 4:20-29
How to Worship GodDean Close.John 4:20-29
Human Curiosity and Divine MysteryW. M. H. Aitken, M. A.John 4:20-29
Mount GerizimF. I. Dunwell, B. A.John 4:20-29
Not Where, But How is the Main ThingClerical LibraryJohn 4:20-29
Spiritual WorshipF. W. Robertson, M. A.John 4:20-29
The Advent of Christ in Relation to the HeathenCanon Vernon Hutton.John 4:20-29
The Breadth of Spiritual ReligionPhillips Brooks, D. D.John 4:20-29
The Church of the FutureH. W. Beecher.John 4:20-29
The Old Worship and the NewR. W. Dale, LL. D.John 4:20-29
The True Worship of GodT. Whitelaw, D. D.John 4:20-29
The Vanity of Religious ControversyJ. Fawcett, M. A.John 4:20-29
This MountainArchbishop Trench.John 4:20-29
Traditional ReligionJ. Lightfoot, D. D.John 4:20-29
Veneration for Places of Ancient WorshipR. W. Dale, D. D.John 4:20-29
A Fourfold ThemeD. Thomas, D. D.John 4:27-42
Christ's Treatment of the Waifs and StraysJ. Cynddylan Jones.John 4:27-42
Gospel Work in SycharC. S. Robinson, D. D.John 4:27-42
Jewish Prejudice Against WomenF. Godet, D. D.John 4:27-42
Moments of SilenceJ. R. Macduff, D. D.John 4:27-42
Sowing and ReapingSunday School TimesJohn 4:27-42
Sowing and ReapingH. C. McCook, D. D.John 4:27-42
Sowing and ReapingSermons by the Monday ClubJohn 4:27-42
The Mission of the WomanBp. Ryle.John 4:27-42
The Reticence of the DisciplesS. S. TimesJohn 4:27-42
The Samaritan Woman and Her MissionC. H. Spurgeon.John 4:27-42
The Seclusion of Oriental WomenS. S. TimesJohn 4:27-42
The Test of FriendshipH. C. Trumbull, D. D.John 4:27-42
A Woman's ZealS. R. Aldridge, LL. B.John 4:28-30
God Wilt Honour ZealD. L. Moody.John 4:28-30
Sudden ConversionJ. H. Hitchens, D. D.John 4:28-30
The Expansive Power of ChristianityJ. R. Macduff, D. D.John 4:28-30
The Forgotten WaterpotR. Berser, D. DJohn 4:28-30
The Home MissionaryJ. R. Macduff.John 4:28-30
The Woman of SamariaW. Jay.John 4:28-30
Christ and Modern ScepticismE. E. Jenkins, M. A.John 4:29-30
Christ the Saviour of Great SinnersNew CyclopaediaJohn 4:29-30
Christ's Improvement on Common ThingsDr. Goodman.John 4:29-30
ComeJohn 4:29-30
Consider Messiah's Ministry of Salvation AsW. Arnot, D. D.John 4:29-30
EnthusiasmSmiles.John 4:29-30
Every Christian Must be a MissionaryC. H. Spurgeon.John 4:29-30
God's Work is Our WorkGriffith John.John 4:29-30
Heavenly NourishmentG. W. Humphries, B. A.John 4:29-30
How Souls are WonC. H. Spurgeon.John 4:29-30
Jesus About His Father's BusinessC. H. Spurgeon.John 4:29-30
Joyful ServiceChristian TreasuryJohn 4:29-30
Love the Secret of Successful WorkH. C. Trumbull, D. D.John 4:29-30
Mysterious MeatC. H. Spurgeon.John 4:29-30
Service Should be Willing ServiceC. H. Spurgeon.John 4:29-30
Soul FoodF. D. Maurice.John 4:29-30
Sources of Christ's SatisfactionJ. Riddell.John 4:29-30
Tell the NewsW. Booth.John 4:29-30
The Duty of Spreading the GospelC. H. Spurgeon.John 4:29-30
The Hidden Support of LifeW. M. Taylor, D. D.John 4:29-30
The Joy of Having Found ChristC. H. Spurgeon.John 4:29-30
The Lord's MeatBp. Huntington.John 4:29-30
The Power of ConcentrationH. O. Mackey.John 4:29-30
The Ruling PassionFamily ChurchmanJohn 4:29-30
The Satisfying Power of a Great AspirationR. H. Lovell.John 4:29-30
The Self-RevealerG. W. Conder.John 4:29-30
The Superlative Value of FoodW. Arnott, D. D.John 4:29-30
The Two ForgettingsJ. P. Lange, D. D.John 4:29-30
The Zeal and Food of ChristT. Whitelaw, D. D.John 4:29-30
True WorkFamily ChurchmanJohn 4:29-30
Weak Instruments UsefulJ. Trapp.John 4:29-30
The narrative makes it evident that this Samaritan woman was a person of very decided character. The sympathetic spirit in which she received Christ's teaching her adroitness in changing the inconvenient course of the conversation, her vigorous action in directing the attention of the people of the city to the Divine Visitor, all indicate the woman's intelligence and independence. It is most of all remarkable that what weighed chiefly with her, in arriving at a just conviction regarding the claim of Jesus, was his insight into her own life and character - his ability to reveal her to himself. A great spiritual principle is here exemplified.


1. It is noticeable that our Lord chose to utter to this woman of Samaria some of his sublimest revelations of religious truth. To her he declared himself to be the "living water" which alone can assuage the thirst of humanity. To her he communicated the glorious and ever-memorable truth, "God is a Spirit." To her he revealed the necessity of spiritual worship. All these revelations made, it is clear, an impression on the woman's mind. She was an interested and thoughtful listener. Declarations such as these could not but fill her mind with amazement, could not but raise her thoughts heavenwards.

2. Yet the text makes it plain that what chiefly produced conviction of Jesus' Messiahship was his penetration into her heart, his perusal of her history, his revelation to her of her own character, her own conduct, in the light of the Divine Law, and doubtless also in the light of his own pity and loving kindness. It is not to be imagined that the power of this revelation lay simply in its correspondence with the actual facts of the woman's life. Christ detected the moral significance of all she had done, and made all apparent to her in the light of a very tender, but a very faithful criticism. This made her feel towards him as she had felt towards none other. That he should enter into, and interest himself in, what she had been, what sort of life she had led and was leading, - this was wonderful. But that he should deal with her conscience and heart as he did - though we are left to conjecture how - that he should open up to her sinful nature the glory and the grace of the Eternal Father, - this was convincing, this was effective in bringing about her bold acknowledgment, for such virtually was the inquiry, "Is not this the Christ?" The same principle holds good today. The witness that chiefly issues in the enlightenment and conversion of sinful men is the witness which the Saviour bears to their sinfulness and need, and to his own Divine sufficiency to meet their case and bring them back to God.

II. PERSONAL REVELATION THE CHIEF AGENCY PROMPTING TO EVANGELIZATION. We should have expected that when the woman returned to the city, and conversed with the townspeople, her chief endeavour would have been to give them some idea of the transcendent wisdom of the Lord Jesus - some evidence of his Messiahship. But such does not seem to have been the case. She acted upon the principle, "We believe, therefore we speak." Like the apostles, she testified of what she had seen and heard and handled, etc. Enlightened and impressed, benefited and purified, this woman became a missionary to her countrymen. The same principle is applicable to our own time. We need not expect men to become bearers of glad tidings to their fellow men merely because impressed with the grandeur of Divine truth. The impulse that leads to such testimony must come from a personal experience of the power of the gospel, and from a personal faith and affection towards the Divine Redeemer. - T.

Come see a Man which told me all things whatever I did: is not this the Christ?
This judgment on the claims of Christ is the verdict of common sense in contrast to that of Nicodemus, which was the verdict of scholarship. It is for learned men to study for us the question of miracles, which are the foundation of intellectual belief; but that which secures for Jesus the faith and heart of the common people is the Word of Jesus. Christ's teaching was at first a riddle to the woman, but an unexpected fact startled her into seriousness and conviction. There was another who was in the secret of her life, and this revelation by one who, humanly speaking, knew nothing of the rumours in circulation about her, prepared her for the revelation that He was the Christ.

I. CHRIST'S KNOWLEDGE OF HUMAN NATURE IS A SUFFICIENT WARRANT FOR OUR BELIEF IN HIS DIVINE MISSION. The teachers to whom we give the highest rank are those who teach us how to live. They stand higher than the mere scientist or philosopher. In the present day the scientist is more popular than the preacher. But that is because the question which inspires all his labours is "What is man?" and this question derives all its significance from two others — "What is man appointed to do?" "What is man destined to be?" People are therefore looking to him to evolve a new theory of life, and to become a moralist at some time. Some have already become preachers — of another gospel, which is not another. Taking one age with another, the foremost teachers have been those who have dealt with morals and character.

II. WHATEVER VIEW MAY BE TAKEN OF CHRIST'S KNOWLEDGE OF MAN, NO SUBSEQUENT TEACHER HAS MADE ANY ADDITION TO IT. We know nothing that helps us to understand man's position upon earth, and the reasons that have made it what it is, which cannot be traced to Matthew 5.-7. There were illustrious teachers before Christ, but there is a great gulf between the obscurities and uncertain foundations of their teaching on man and the clear, authoritative teaching of Jesus Christ. Pagan teachers —

1. Were ignorant of the origin of man.

2. Were at a loss to account for moral evil. These problems defied their reason, and therefore they remitted them to the imagination of the poets, and with the poets they found very eloquent expression in the mythologies.

III. THERE ARE MEN WHO REJECT THE WORDS OF CHRIST ON THESE SUBJECTS, BUT WHO EXPRESS THE HIGHEST ADMIRATION OF HIS CHARACTER AND WISDOM. Now it is essentially unscientific to affirm arbitrarily that while Christ was right on one subject, He was wrong in another. He was right in every doctrine, and the very men who object to receive all He said, by the pre-eminence which they give to Christ say He is above their criticism. Bring to the examination of His life and teaching every new method of analysis and research; bring the latest discovery on the antiquity of man, and the last speculation of the evolutionist and the metaphysician, and you leave the Redeemer where the Jews, and where you found Him. There He is, and you cannot touch Him.


1. An anti-Christian scepticism. This is undeniable, but its power may be exaggerated. The ungodliness of our age happens to assume a sceptical guise, but it will assume another by and by. It must not be imagined that it represents the intelligence and judgment of society. There is a religion in the heart of the masses of the people waiting to be evoked.

2. A growing belief in Jesus, not so much fostered by the literature of the Church as by the words of Jesus. Thousands are studying the New Testament outside all churches. The Stranger that met the woman is silting on other wells all over the world, and looking for thirsty souls. Conclusion: It is the duty and vocation of churches to plant themselves upon the highways of thought and life and look out for thirsty travellers and offer them the water of life freely,

(E. E. Jenkins, M. A.)


1. She was a most unlikely subject. A Samaritan scorning the Jews, having her own notion of the Messiah.

2. Christ was most unlikely to strike her as the Messiah. A Jew; a suppliant for water.

3. Yet she was thoroughly convinced, for she leaves her water-pot and carries with enthusiasm the joyful news into the city.

4. This is what has happened ever since. It is not those who are in a most favourable position for believing who are readiest to believe. There are thousands of young people who have been trained in Christianity who never dream of loving Christ, whilst there are thousands for many years utterly untouched by Christian influences who find in themselves a strange power to lay hold of Christ. Beware of the subtle influence of familiarity with Divine things.


1. Not by miracles. A miracle suggests omnipotence, but does not prove it.

2. There is a much higher thing than power — knowledge. She felt herself in the presence of omniscience.

3. Upon this knowledge of bar secret life she based her belief in the Messiah (ver. 25, cf ver. 29).

III. WHAT THIS WOMAN DID WITH HER FAITH. She put it into her proclamation of Jesus.

(G. W. Conder.)

Huber, the great naturalist, tells us, that if a single wasp discovers a deposit of honey or other food, he will return to his nest, and impart the good news to his companions, who will sally forth in great numbers to partake of the fare which has been discovered for them. Shall we who have found honey in the rock Christ Jesus, be less considerate of our fellow-men than wasps are of their fellow-insects? Ought we not rather like the Samaritan woman to hasten to tell the good news? Common humanity should prevent one of us from concealing the great discovery which grace has enabled us to make.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

According to Christ's law, every Christian is to be active in spreading the faith, which was delivered, not to the ministers, but to the saints, to every one of them, that they might maintain it, and spread it according to the gift which the Spirit has given them. Shall I venture a parable? A certain band of warlike knights had been exceedingly victorious in all their conflicts. They were men of valour and of indomitable courage; they had carried everything before them, and subdued province after province for their king. But on a sudden they said in the council-chamber, "We have at our head a most valiant warrior, one whose arm is stout enough to smite down fifty of his adversaries; would it not be better if, leaving a few such as he to go out to the fight, the mere men-at-arms, who make up the ordinary ranks, were to rest at home? We should be much more at our ease; our horses would not so often be covered with foam, nor our armour be bruised, the many would enjoy abundant leisure, and great things would be done by the valiant few." Now, the foremost champions, with fear and trembling, undertook the task and went to the conflict, and they fought well, as the rolls of fame can testify; to the best of their ability they unhorsed their foes and performed great exploits. But still, from the very hour in which that scheme was planned and carried out no city was taken, no province was conquered. If we are to subdue the earth, every one of us must join in the fight. We must not exempt a single soldier of the Cross, neither man nor woman, rich or poor. We shall see great things when we all agree to this, and put it in practice.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

No sooner do you pass the brow of the St. Gothard pass, on your way to Italy, than you perceive that, beyond all question, you are on the sunny side of the Alps. The snow lying there is nothing in comparison to the vast accumulation upon the Swiss side of the summit, the wind ceases to be sharp and cutting, and a very few minutes' ride brings you into a balmy air which makes you forget that you are so greatly elevated above the sea level. There is a very manifest difference between the southern side and the bleak northern aspect. He who climbs above the cares of the world, and turns his face to his God, has found the sunny side of life. The world's side of the hill is chill and freezing to a spiritual mind, but the Lord's presence gives a warmth of joy .which turns winter into summer. Some pilgrims to heaven appear never to have passed the summit of religious difficulty; they are still toiling over the Devil's Bridge, or loitering at Andermatt, or plunging into the deep snowdrifts of their own personal unworthiness, ever learning, but never coming to a full knowledge of the truth; they have not attained to comfortable perception of the glory, preciousness, and all-sufficiency of the Lord Jesus, and therefore abide amid the winter of their doubts and fears. If they had but faith to surmount their spiritual impediments, how changed would everything become! It is fair travelling with a sunny land smiling before your eyes, especially when you retain a grateful remembrance of the bleak and wintry road which you have traversed; but it is sorry work to be always stopping on the Swiss side of the mountain. How is it that so many do this?

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

Weak means may, by God's blessing, work great matters. He can make the words of Naaman's servant greater in operation than the words of great Elisha, and by a poor captive girl bring him to the prophet.

(J. Trapp.)

No address is so powerful as that which comes in private from heart to heart, with all the living power of a lip warm with love. God is more likely to bless this form of address than any other. There is no escaping from the directness of such an appeal, and it is hard to resist its pleading power. "Come, George, and walk down the road with me!" was the call of an earnest preacher to one of his hearers. In the course of that walk the preacher's private word had by God's blessing accomplished in George what all his 'former teachings had failed to do. George yielded himself to Christ, and declared that the personal talking while going along the street was the means of his decision. It is a great delight to the pastor of the Tabernacle frequently to see certain elders in the corners of the building after service conversing with individuals. Are we backward in such labours? Do we altogether neglect them? How shall we answer for it at the last great day?

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

At the first invitation to penitents to come forward, only half a dozen responded to the call; but as soon as these stood up rejoicing in God, another company came forward. No sooner was the joy of pardon received into the mourners' hearts, than they hastened to seek after others. One young man, about twenty years of age, was overheard praying, immediately after he felt relieved of his guilty load, "Please, Lord, let me tell somebody, or I shall die." Upon receiving permission he gladly stood up, and related what God had just done for his soul.

(W. Booth.)

In travelling across the arid desert, scouts upon camels and dromedaries are sent off in every direction to scour the country and look for springs of water. When these are discovered the finder immediately calls aloud of the nearest, "Come!" and this one repeats the word "Come!" to the next, and so this word passes from one to another until all hear and are gathered at the well. Now those of us who are Christians must do the same. We have heard the good news that Jesus Christ bore our sins in His own body on the tree. We have found the well of living waters, and we must raise the cry, "Come!"

New Cyclopaedia.
A woman came to a minister one day, carrying a bundle of wet sand. "Do you see what this is, sir?" said she. "Yes," was the reply, "it is wet sand." "But do you know what it means?" "I do not know exactly what you mean by it; what is it?" "Ah, sir," she said, "that's me, and the number of my sins they cannot be counted." And then she exclaimed, "Oh wretched creature that I am! how can a wretch as I ever be saved? Where did you get the sand?" asked the minister. "At the Beacon." "Go back then to the Beacon; take a spade with you; dig, dig, and raise a great mound; shovel it up as high as ever you can, then leave it there; take your stand by the sea-shore, and watch the effect of the waves upon the heap of sand." "Ah, sir," she exclaimed, "I see what you mean — the blood, the blood, the blood of Christ; it would wash it all away."

(New Cyclopaedia.)

Master eat... I have meat to eat that ye know not of


(J. P. Lange, D. D.)

I. His ZEAL.

1. For His Father's house (John 2:17), purity of worship.

2. For His Father's will (John 9:4), the salvation of men.

3. For His Father's children (John 17:9), the sanctification of His Church.


1. Heavenly in origin.

2. Spiritual in character.

3. Sustaining in quality.

4. Sufficient in supply.

(T. Whitelaw, D. D.)

I. It was a roadside conversation, an "accidental" interview. And yet in less time than an ordinary religious service HE HAS TOLD MANKIND THREE SECRETS.

1. What rest or peace is for every unsatisfied heart.

2. Who it is that knows these hearts through and through.

3. What God is, and how He may be found.

4. These are secrets, because for four thousand years the loftiest intellects had been striving to find them out. Prophets and kings, Solomons and Platos, desired to see these things, and did not.


1. In some crowded church, advertised beforehand, with thousands of people and a popular orator?

2. In some lecture-hall with sharp-witted students stimulated by some master brain?

3. Notice that the occasion was commonplace. The teacher sat on the stones of a wayside well. The audience was one woman, not respectable. Men of the world that day were about their business. Fortunes were building and wasting. Rome was ruling. Athens was carving and painting and making orations. Jerusalem was garnishing the sepulchres of the righteous, and devouring widows' houses. But in one still spot two people were talking together of things which have helped to revolutionize the world.

III. WHILE THUS ENGAGED THE TEACHER'S ATTENTION WAS DISTRACTED. The disciples came and asked Him to eat. Then were repeated instances when, at the moment He needed sympathy most, those around Him went on chattering about superficial trifles, misunderstanding His teaching and His life. But Christ's patience always triumphed. He simply announces —

1. The fact that He had meat they knew not of.(1) He does not mean that He was not in natural wants and exactly like ourselves. Honest hunger is no more disgraceful than honest riches. He knew that some of the most beneficent and beautiful impulses are associated with eating and drinking. He made both sacramental signs. Christianity is not the killing out or mutilating of any faculty; it is to use everything purely, unselfishly, faithfully, and in the name of the Lord Jesus.

2. While Christ would not sunder what God hath joined together, the hungering body and the immaterial soul, yet His mission is to bring the two into their right relation, and set the one over the other as its master. Eating and drinking are well enough in their place and time, but man shall not live by bread only. It is something higher that makes life worth living — the life and work of Christ.

3. Why should this be called meat? Food does two things.(1) It satisfies uneasy desire: so Christ satisfies a desire which is the hunger of the soul. You say many do not feel it, or they would give up their selfish way and turn to God. But

(a)although many people have lost the longing for a purer life by indulgence, they had it once.

(b)The desire for better things is stronger in finer natures than in coarse.

(c)Do we not all want something deeply, and are miserable when we cannot get relief.

(d)The restless heart needs to be shown the secret of its discontent, and Christ comes into the world to show it.

(e)Ask yourselves if you do not sometimes feel it.(2) Besides the craving filled and the sense of relish, there is actual nourishment. At first it seems as if Christian service were all giving and spending. But as you go on you take more than you give. A good life is continually strengthened by living it. All we give away for a good object enriches us.

4. Christ further tells us that the life of love and duty is the carrying out of God's plan.

5. Christ uplifts the ideal of a "finished" life and work. "Finished," because to the last stroke spent and the last breath drawn Christ gives it power and grace. No matter how long life is or how short if it is faithful. No matter where death is, if within us is the life of Him who liveth evermore.

(Bp. Huntington.)

The disciples had gone to buy meat: and for this they cannot be censured. Do not say that they were carnal or unspiritual, for most spiritual people must eat to live. And then I admire their care for their Master. It is right for the spiritual man to forget his hunger, but it is equally right for his true friends to remind him that he ought to eat for his health's sake. Jesus has now gone, but His mystical body remains. If you know of any of His people in poverty, ask them to partake of your abundance, lest haply your Lord should say "I was an hungered," etc. Having done this justice to the twelve, let us do honour to Christ. His mind was absorbed in spiritual objects, and He wished to lead them to that higher field.

I. THERE ARE REFRESHMENTS THAT ARE LITTLE KNOWN. "Man shall not live by bread alone." Our Lord found refreshments that were not known to His disciples, and the reason for this was —

1. That this nourishment was enjoyed on a higher plan than they had yet reached.

2. It implied a greater sinking of self than they as yet knew. In being a servant obeying the will of another, He feels Himself so much at home, that it revives Him to think of it. Not in self but in self-surrender is there fulness for the heart.

3. Christ was in fuller harmony with God than His disciples.

4. Christ was sustained because He understood the art of seeing much in little. As a wise man sees a forest in an acorn so our Lord saw the vast results Of this little incident.


1. He had so long hungered to be at His work.

2. When He got at His work He gave Himself wholly to it.

3. He found great joy in the work itself.

4. He forgot to eat bread because of the enthusiasm which filled Him in the pursuit of that soul.

5. He was moved greatly by the sympathy of pity.

6. He felt great joy in present success.

7. He saw the prospect of better things.


1. Let us remember that we are sent of God

2. Let us find joy at once in God's work and will.

3. Let us get to work and leap into our place at once.

4. We may also anticipate the wages.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

1. In the case of human creatures life is a higher thing than existence. The soul is superior to the body. The body has its wants, but the supply of these is only the means of doing the will of God by the soul. When the means are elevated into the end manhood is sunk into animalism. How often is a young man tempted into sensuality by the invitation, "Let us see life." But sensuality is not life for a man.

2. In the prosecution of life we must lay our account with privations and conflicts. We do not begin in a paradise of innocence. The very first motions of real life within often take the form of conflict.

3. Under such experiences the strength of the man comes from hidden support. He has meat to eat of which others know not. This hidden meat is the food of heroes and has always nourished those who have "resisted unto blood, striving against sin."

4. When a man has no such secret support his life loses all spiritual importance and becomes a mere grovelling thing of animal enjoyment. The soul is starved and all true nobleness disappears. Now let us particularize some of the forms of this hidden support —

I. A GOOD CONSCIENCE. This when rectified by the Holy Spirit is God's representative in the soul. Its approbation therefore being the reflex of the approval of God is a great source of support, even as its condemnation must always be a cause of weakness and pain. A good conscience is a continual feast, and they who have that within can do without the banquets of the world.

II. A WORTHY AMBITION. If we are intent on the attainment of some fixed purpose we shall be sustained amid trials which would otherwise have overmastered us. We see that exemplified on a lower level, in the case of Warren Hastings, e.g. Let the Christian set his soul on the attainment of some good, not for Himself, but for his fellow men, then that purpose will bear him up. Christ, for the joy that was set before Him, endured the cross, etc. This is the secret of the strength of those who have given their lives for missions, Livingstone, e.g.

III. FAITH IN THE UNSEEN AND IN THE FUTURE, as in the case of Moses. What the student is doing for his scholarship, and the merchant for his wealth, the Christian is doing for his recompense of eternal reward, Both alike are walking by faith, but the Christian's faith takes in eternity.

IV. DIVINE COMPANIONSHIP. "I am not alone because the Father is with Me," said Jesus. "The Lord stood by me and strengthened me," said Paul. God is "a very present help in time of trouble," not only for great emergencies, but for the common weariness of a common day.

(W. M. Taylor, D. D.)

I. OUR LORD'S ENTIRE DEVOTEDNESS TO HIS FATHER'S WILL. This is no isolated instance. Turn to any part of His life and you see the same principle.

1. He was profoundly submissive to that will.

2. He manifested His delight in it.

3. He felt the necessity for His work as Saviour, knowing as He did the dreadful power of sin.

4. Love was the foundation of His obedience.


1. There may be entire devotion arising out of a sense of obligation.

2. Our Lord's devotion sprang from delight in it.

3. It so absorbed Him that He forgot His hunger, being spiritually fed, "He saw the travail of His soul," etc.

III. THE END WHICH OUR LORD KEPT IN VIEW. "To finish His work." So at the close He was able to say "It is finished." His was a perfect life. Every part was filled in as it went on, no imperfect fragments, nothing left out or to be done over again.


1. Every Christian should regard it as his meat to do the Father's will. "As the Father hath sent Me even so send I you."

2. All may learn what a joy it is to save the lost.

(G. W. Humphries, B. A.)

My meat is to do the will of Him that sent Me

1. He speaks here in His capacity of Son and Servant. In His essential nature He is one with the Father, but in the actual execution of the Divine purpose, He stands in a low place charged with a specific mission.

2. The will of the Sender is learned best by looking at the Sent. The Gift reveals the Giver's heart. The Christ sent into the world is fitted to draw men to God, not to drive them from Him. The will of the Father corresponds with the Messenger sent to execute it. God is love and Christ embodies that love.

3. The desire of God could not be carried into effect without Christ sent.

4. This work is not left half done. Creation was completed ere God rested. His next more glorious work will be finished too. The earth was complete as a habitation for man ere the children were brought to it as their home. So will heaven be.


1. It is not enough to learn what Jesus did and suffered, we must look into the secret motives of His heart.

2. Knowing all that redemption would bring upon Himself, He longed for the work as His daily bread. In this glass we see reflected the nature and intensity of the Saviour's eagerness to save.

3. Jesus is Lord of all. The stars are His, He values them, but they do not satisfy His soul. He does not need to redeem bright worlds and unfallen angels; they cannot, therefore, appease His hunger. To seek the strayed, and save the lost — this is His meat.

4. "Blessed are they that hunger; for this they shall be filled." This He felt; and His joy will be full when all the ransomed shall reign with Him.

5. Over Jerusalem He wept for hunger. His appetite brought Him from heaven to the cradle and the cross.

6. It is difficult to reconcile Christ's desire with His omnipotence. Had he not power to accomplish His desire? Could He not have seized a whole city, as angels seized Lot, and hurried them to heaven? This would not have satisfied Him. Material acquisitions cannot sustain the spirit. Though all power is given to Him He will not satisfy His physical hunger by converting stones into bread, nor His spiritual by lifting multitudes to heaven by omnipotence.

7. With the limits of our capacity and condition the appetite of the Master may be shared by the servants. Our spiritual hunger is first a desire to get and then a desire to give salvation. In the second part of the process the disciple enters into the joy of His Lord.

(W. Arnot, D. D.)

It is peculiarly pleasing to observe the interest which God the Father takes in the work of salvation. In our childhood in grace we conceived God as an austere Judge made propitious by Christ. Since then we have learned the Father through the Son. This interest is three times hinted at in the text.(1) Salvation work is called the Father's will. It is His will not only that we should not perish, but be redeemed.(2) Jesus was sent of the Father.(3) Salvation is called God's work. When this world was made God did not make it without reference to the Spirit, for the "Spirit moved on the face of the waters"; nor without the Son (John 1:3); yet it was the Father's work. So the Father does not save without the Spirit, for "the Spirit quickeneth." Nor without the Son, for it is through His death that we are forgiven; yet it is the Father's work. This work it was the meat of Christ to do and to finish. Notice —

I. HIS SOUL WAS IN ALL HE DID. The task was not irksome. There are men who work with such reserve and coldness that you perceive it is but the shell that acts, not the man's whole soul. But our Lord's whole Being was at work. His Father's service was His element.

II. HE WAS GLAD WHEN HE SAW HIS WORK SUCCEEDING. An infallible proof of His devotedness. You know when a man's heart is in his work by the joy he feels in it. True ministers call preaching pleasure, not duty. Let Him see a penitent and the Man of Sorrows wears a smile on His sorrowful face.

III. HE WAS ANGRY WHEN HIS WORK WAS OPPOSED. When good men see penitents discouraged or evil rampant they do well to be angry.

IV. HE WEPT WHEN HIS WORK WAS UNSUCCESSFUL. Never otherwise. He will weep over unpenitent Jerusalem, but not on the cross.

V. HE WAS NOT DISCOURAGED BY OPPOSITION. How often, when our motives are misconstrued and our efforts hampered, are we tempted to give up! But Christ went on His way apologizing for nothing, doing His work whatever men thought of it or acted against it.

VI. HE ALWAYS LABOURED; never resting: intruding on sleep for prayer and helpfulness. His three years seemed like three centuries.

VII. WHEN IN FULL LABOUR HE DOES NOT SEEM TO HAVE FELT FATIGUE; as here, and when hungry forgot to eat bread. He seemed to get refreshed in His work, and instead of getting tired renewed His strength. This could not have happened unless His soul had been in it.

VIII. OUR LORD NEVER SWERVED FROM HIS ONE OBJECT, although tempted by the devil with the world and by the Galileans with a crown.

IX. HE WAS NOT DAUNTED BY THE THOUGHT OF DEATH. This thought was not before Him as a possible prospect of momentary heroism, but a certain prospect all His life through. And to this He hastened as the crowning point of His work. In conclusion —

1. Let the timid soul who thinks that Christ is unwilling to save be encouraged by all this.

2. Let the mind that was in Christ Jesus be in all Christian men.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

I. IN THE FACT OF SERVICE. It is no mean satisfaction to a servant of God to feel, "I am here of no private choice or purpose of my own; I have been sent hither by a Divine hand." What a freedom from anxiety and discouragement! The humblest task is made glorious by the authority of the Giver. Many think there is no glory but in independence. But we are so made that we are not sufficient to ourselves, and therefore, the selfish man is wretched. True joy is the joy of sympathy, but no human love can satisfy the soul's demands. In God's favour alone is life. This favour is accorded only to His servants,

II. IN THE LAW OF THE SERVICE. God's will. many persons think there is no joy but in doing their own will, and to walk in the plain path of duty is repulsive to them. And merely walking in the path of duty will not bring joy. There is no acceptable obedience that does not spring from love. But there is all joy in that Christ found it so. And this is not wonderful. The will of God is the outcome of His perfections, and therefore that will must be the perfection of blessedness. Can you choose so well for yourself as that will which measures all things. This holds good both with regard to the suffering and the doing of God's will.

III. IN THE FIELD OF SERVICE.. Every man has his work Divinely allotted and adjusted. This work is various, and all of it must be accepted as given of God. Then satisfaction will be found in —

1. Doing the work may not have been successful, but if it has been done, we have the satisfaction of having fulfilled our task. There are those who will only work when there is human applause and visible results.

2. The effectual accomplishment of the work, and receiving the glad, "Well done."

(J. Riddell.)

When the Spartans marched into battle they advanced with cheerful songs, willing to fight; but when the Persians entered the conflict, you could hear, as the regiments came on, the crack of whips by which the officers drove the cowards to the fray. You need not wonder that a few Spartans were more than a match for thousands of Persians, that in fact they were like lions in the midst of sheep. So let it be with the Church; never should she need to be forced to reluctant action, but full of irrepressible life, she should long for conflict against everything which is contrary to God.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

Christian Treasury.
"I wish I could mind God as my little dog minds me," said a little boy, looking thoughtfully on his shaggy friend; "he always looked so pleased to mind, and I don't." What a painful truth did this child speak! Shall the poor little dog thus readily obey his master, and we rebel against God, who is our Creator, our Preserver, our Father, our Saviour, and the bountiful Giver of everything we love.

(Christian Treasury.)

The other evening I was spending a few hours with a friend, and a lady who happened to be present when we were talking about this missionary work, said, "But, Mr. John, do you not know that we have a great deal of our own work to do?" "Why, madame," said I, "is not the missionary work your work? Is it not the work of the Churches?" That seemed to be a new light to her altogether; and there are a great many people in these days who seem to think that this work is the work of the missionaries arid not their own. I go to China to do your work. If I go into the deep well, it is for you to hold the rope you must not leave me there.

(Griffith John.)

When George Moore was deputed to the relief of Paris, after the seige, he hastened off to reach the place as quickly as possible. "I think I should have died," he said, "if I had not been the first man in Paris."


In the eighteenth century, an immense burning glass was constructed in France, in which all the heat, falling on a great lens, was then concentrated on a smaller one till at the focus such was the heat that iron, gold, and other metals ran like melted butter. Another one, made in England by Parker, fused the most refractory substances, and diamonds were reduced by it to vapour.

(H. O. Mackey.)

It was this prospect that cheered and refreshed Him. When our 33rd regiment was nearing Magdala, they had marched for hours over burning plains, under a scorching sky, without water or rest, and the heat began to tell upon the men — many were ready to fall down from exhaustion — when suddenly the sharp cracking of rifles told our soldiers that the foe was in the front and fighting had begun. Hunger, thirst, exhaustion, were all forgotten in the excitement and desire for the fray. If a desire like this could make soldiers forget weariness, much more a desire to save a sinner could so fill the loving, tender heart of Jesus with such delight and satisfaction.

(R. H. Lovell.)

I observe our Saviour applying every accidental occurrence to His holy purposes, as it were, by a kind of chemistry, separating the gross matter, and subliming ordinary affairs to heavenly doctrine; insomuch that there was scarcely any common affair of life,... but He spiritualized it, and applied it to His designs. Now, if we would learn of Him, we might with great ease, and without all violence, surprise men into religion, and not only at every turn introduce pious discourse, but render the subject of it intelligible to the meanest capacities; and withal by those sensible-resemblances give such lively touches upon the minds of men, as that what we delivered upon those occasions would stick and remain with them... As, for instance, when we visit a sick friend or neighbour, what a fair opportunity have we to discourse of the immorality of the soul! And what an easy transition is it from a physician to a Saviour! Or, why may we not as well cheer up our afflicted friend with the comforts of religion, as well as amuse or divert him with impertinent stories? Or, suppose friends to be together and disposed to be merry, why may not some word come in seasonably of the everlasting friendship in heaven, or the continual feast of a good conscience? Why may not the common chat about news be elevated to the consideration of the good tidings of the Gospel? What hinders but our dishes of meat may be seasoned with a gracious word or two about the food of our souls? When men are talking of old age, it would be no great strain, if thence our thoughts rise up to eternal life; nor is any great flight of fancy requisite to improve all the accidents of our lives to the contemplation of Divine Providence, which orders and governs them. In a word, everything is capable of improvement, if we be not wanting; we shall never want opportunity, if we embrace it; anything will serve an intent mind and a devout heart to these purposes (Proverbs 15:23; Lake 8:1, 5).

(Dr. Goodman.)

A traveller lost his way in an Eastern desert. His provisions were exhausted, and he had already wandered about for several days without food, when he descried under a palm tree on his track the marks of a recent encampment. He approached the spot tremulous with hope. He found a bag which the travellers had left behind, filled with something that appeared to be dates. He opened it eagerly, expecting to satisfy his hunger, when lo! it contained only pearls! He sat down and wept. What are pearls to a man who is dying for want of bread?

(W. Arnott, D. D.)

There is absolutely nothing more absorbing on the one hand, or more satisfying on the other, than successful effort in behalf of a cause or of a person loved by us. This is alike true from the lowest plane to the highest. Even a child will forget to be ready for his meals, if he once gets fairly into a game with his playmates outside, before lunch-time or supper-time. Many a hard student is sorry to stop his work in order to eat or to sleep. And when one can hope to finish a piece of work for one whom he loves, by keeping at it a few hours longer — who wouldn't rather do that than have a good dinner? If the work of the Lord drags in our hands, it is not because that work is not worth living for, and dying for; but it is because we fail of a fitting interest to its doing.

(H. C. Trumbull, D. D.)

Family Churchman.
We should aim to be too active to stagnate, too busy to freeze. We should be like Cromwell, who not only struck when the iron was hot, but made it hot by striking; like the missionary, who said, "If there be happiness on earth, it is in labouring in the service of Christ."

(Family Churchman.)

Many who have gathered crowds about them, who have produced a marked impression on those crowds, have said truly that such success was meat and drink to them. If it did not feed their vanity, but sustained them because it showed them that they were doing God's will and finishing His work, they may have understood some- thing of Christ's meaning. But the secret food He partook of certainly came from no "sudden success that followed His words. First, He met with a woman who had in general answered Him with levity; then a few people of her own rank came at her call. How little would such honours satisfy the ambition of some eloquent disciple of Christ, who has the power of influencing thousands! Could it satisfy Him who came to found a kingdom of which there was to be no end? Yes; for in their first sheaves He could see certain pledges of a world's ingathering. The corn-fields would not be reaped for four months; these men whom He saw coming showed Him that the other harvest was nearer still.

(F. D. Maurice.)

Family Churchman.
When a man dies his friends often say of him, in praise of his diligence, energy, and concentration, "He lived simply to carry through that important line of railway"; or, "His only object was to extort from the Government a more scientific education for the people"; or, "He devoted himself to the cause of Free Trade"; or, "He was a martyr to his exertions in favour of Protection." It was his one idea; it grew with his growth; he could think of nothing else; he spared neither time nor money to it; it was his monomania. He did his work in his day, and did it well, because he was heart and soul in it; and the world is in debt to him for it. Now, why should it not be said of us, "Well, he is gone, he was a man of one idea, he cared for nothing but that God's will be done on earth as in heaven. He was eaten up with this; he made it his hobby; it was meat and drink to him. And whereas the other men left behind the railway or the cheap bread, our friend has left behind him a better world."

(Family Churchman.)

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