Luke 7:19

We have here -

I. A CONSTANT CHARACTERISTIC OF HUMAN GOODNESS. HOW came John to send this message? Was he really doubtful - he who had prepared the way of the Lord, who had baptized him, who had recognized in him the Lamb of God? Even so. Many ingenious theories account for it in some other way, but they do not satisfy. After all, was it surprising that John should begin to doubt? He had been lying in that lonely fortress by the Red Sea for some months; constitutionally active and energetic, he had been doomed to enforced idleness, and had had nothing to do but to form judgments of other people - a very perilous position; what he heard about Jesus may very well have seemed strange and unsatisfactory to him. Our Lord's method was very different from his own. He was living, as John had not done, in the very midst of the people; he was not drawing great crowds whom he excited to tempestuous feeling, but acting, with calm and deep wisdom, on smaller numbers; he was not living an ascetic life; he was not making any very great way according to ordinary human measurement; and John, writhing in captivity, and longing to be out and about in active work, allowed his mind to be affected, his belief to be disturbed, by what he heard and by what he did not hear. Nothing could be more natural, more human. This is human goodness all the world over. Nobility of spirit, self-sacrifice, devoutness, zeal, and infirmity, the partial subsidence of his faith. Who that knows the history of human goodness can be surprised at this? We must take this into the account in our estimate of good men. Infirmity is a constant element of human character. Perfection among the angels of God; perfection for ourselves further on among the glorified; meantime we may bestow our heartiest affection and our unstinted admiration upon those who are aspiring and endeavouring after the highest, but who sometimes fail to be all that they and we could wish that they were.

II. THE BEST PROOFS OF THE DIVINE POWER AND VIRTUE. Christ adduced two powerful proofs that he was indeed the "One that should come."

1. The exercise of benignant power. In that same hour he healed many that came to be cured, and he said to John's disciples, "Go and show your master what benignant power I am exercising; not smiting my enemies with blindness, but making the blind to see; not punishing the liar with leprosy, but pitying the poor leper and making him clean; not raining down fire from heaven on the obdurate, but calling back to life those who had entered the dark region of the dead; visiting the homes of men with health and life and joy."

2. Love for the lowly. "Go and tell John that I am caring much for those for whom men have not cared at all, instructing in heavenly wisdom those whom other teachers have left untaught, lifting up those whom other reformers have been content to leave upon the ground, making heirs of the outcast, making rich for ever the penniless and hopeless - say that 'the blind receive their sight, and the deaf hear,' etc., and forget not to add that 'to the poor the gospel is preached.'" As these disciples came to our Master, so do some approach us now: they come with serious, earnest questioning. "Is the Christian system which we preach the system for our age? is it still the word we want? Or is not the world awaiting another doctrine, another method, another kingdom? Is Jesus Christ the Teacher for us, or do we look for another?" What is our reply?

1. Look at the benignant power of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Follow the broad, deep river of beneficence which took its rise at Bethlehem; see what it has been effecting through all these ages; consider what it has done, not only for the physical sufferer - for the blind, for the lame, for the leper, for the lunatic - but what it has done for the poor, for the slave, for the prisoner, for the savage, for the ignorant, for the little child, for woman; consider what it has done for the sorrowful, and for those laden and crushed with a sense of guilt; what it has done for the dying; consider how it has been enlightening and uplifting and transforming the minds and the lives of men; what a blessed beneficent power it has been exerting and is as capable as ever of exerting.

2. Look at the care which the gospel takes of the lowly. Consider the fact that wherever the truth of Christ has been preached in its purity and its integrity, man as man has been approached; all human souls have been treated as of equal and incalculable worth, the poor as well as the rich, the slave as well as his master, the illiterate as well as the learned, the unknown and untitled as well as the illustrious. The gospel has gone among the people, it has made its appeal to the multitude; it is "the common salvation; "it does not content itself with imposing a faith and a cultus upon the nation; it does not rest until it has permeated the entire people with the knowledge and the love of God, and wrought in them the practice of its own pure and lofty principles. Surely this is not a system for Galilee or Syria; this is not a doctrine for one age of the world; it is the ever-living truth of God. Christ is our Teacher, our Saviour, our Lord; we do not look for another. - C.

Art Thou He that should come, or look we for another?
1. Much discussion has taken place concerning John's doubt, whether it was real or affected; and if real, what was its cause? We believe there was doubt in the mind of the Baptist — serious doubt — arising out of no personal or petty source, but caused by the way in which the Messianic career of Jesus was developing itself.

2. This doubt was not in regard to the identity of the worker of the works reported to John with Jesus, but in regard to the nature of the works viewed as Messianic. But why should John stumble at those works, so full of the spirit of love and mercy? Just because they were works of mercy. These were not the sort of works he had expected Messiah to busy Himself with; at all events, so exclusively. Cf. Jonah's zeal for righteousness.

3. The reply sent back by Jesus to John amounted to this, that the sure marks that He was the coming One, the Christ, were just the very works which had awakened John's surprise.

4. Having recounted rapidly His mighty works, Jesus appended the reflection, "And blessed is he whosoever shall not be offended in Me." We are not to find in the words traces either of harshness towards John or of wounded feeling in the speaker. The tone of compassion rather than of severity is audible in the utterance. Jesus felt keenly how much John missed by being in such a state of mind that that in His own work which was most godlike was a stumbling-block to him. Translated into positive form the reflection means, "Blessed are they to whom the mercy and the grace of which I am full, and whereof My ministry is the manifestation and outflow, are no stumbling-block, but rather worthy of all acceptation."

(A. B. Bruce, D. D.)

1. Jesus deliberately declined to rest His claims upon any other grounds than the testimony of His Father, a testimony which shone in the truth of His words, and in the heavenly character of His mission.

2. If the Master Himself is willing, nay demands, to be judged by results, manifestly organizations and churches that claim to be called by His name must not shrink from the same test.

3. The only proof of your being in contact with the living Saviour, the only proof that you rightly apprehend and sincerely embrace Him, is the result in your own hearts and conduct. No religion is worth anything that is not a power.

(E. W. Shalders, BA.)

There are times when, through the disappointments and failures of our personal religious lives, it may be necessary to look for another Christ than the Christ we have already known.

1. There are some who have been restless for months, perhaps for years, about their sin. They have appealed to Christ again and again, and the peace of Christ has not come to them. They are tempted to put this question. Christ may reply by pointing them to the great triumphs of His mercy by which they are surrounded. Go to Christ with all your trouble, and with a clear and vivid remembrance of His death, and you cannot put this question.

2. There are some who feel that their Christian life has not had the power and brightness they hoped for. This, also, often arises from a defective knowledge of Christ. Perhaps you have forgotten that He is not only a Saviour, but a Prince, and that you must accept His law as the rule of your life, and strive to get His will done on earth as the will of God is done in heaven.

3. This question may be suggested by the general condition and history of the world, a large part of the world is still unsaved: the misery Jesus came to console still largely unconsoled. Do you look for another Christ? Can the contents of His revelation be anyhow enriched? Can there be more careful warnings, more glorious promises, more compassion, more gentleness and beauty, than there are in Him and His gospel?

4. We do not look for the coming of another Christ, but the Christ whom we know will come in another form, to complete in power and majesty the work which He began in weakness and in shame.

(R. W. Dale, D. D.)

It seems to me that here the Lord prescribes to His Church the answer she should give in all days when men rise up and question whether He comes from God, when men rise up to say to His Church, "Are you the kingdom of God? are you the Divine society established upon earth to be the home of the new life, and the source of a wide-spreading influence? Are you the city set upon a hill that cannot be hid?" When such questions are asked, the Church must be ready, not merely to give proofs of her ancient origin, her orthodox title-deeds drawn from the dusty safes of her theology, but she must be able to say, "Look at my life, my work. See what I am doing for the poor, the destitute, the oppressed, and judge me as you find me." Can the Church of God, in these days, bear such an appeal as that? Can she say, "Look at the asylums I nave founded and support for the poor, the lame, the halt, and the blind! Look at my children giving devoted labour in the lowest dens of your cities; at my sons faithfully striving for the truth in the halls of your legislature; and see in juster laws and a purer life, and a more brotherly relation between man and man, proofs of the power of my spirit, and of the truth of my labours"? She must answer so, and so must you and I, when challenged to prove that we are of God. We hear a great deal in these days about answers to the infidel, about arguments philosophical, historical, and scientific, which shall have the power, in the hands of skilful men, of silencing the antagonist. But a better argument and a mightier that any of these, an argument that never fails, is that derived from the fruits and results of religion in the life. The man who reads your history with criticism, and meets your argument with argument, will bare his head and bow his neck before the spectacle of a holy and devoted life. That he sees is true, whatever else be false; that is of God, whatever becomes of books and institutions.

(Bishop Moorhouse.)

I. THE MESSAGE. What did it mean?

1. To convince his disciples? Not suited to do it; suggesting doubtfulness in their master; impairing previous witness.

2. To reassure himself? At variance with

(1)his character, testimony, Divine assurance.

(2)Words of the Lord (ver. 24), aimed to prevent the supposition.

(3)The occasion. "When he had heard the works of Christ" — the last work being the raising of the dead.

3. Message not of uncertainty, but of impatience. Things do not go as the Baptist expected. The world left in doubt. Opinion taking wrong turn for want of distinct assertion. Works of Christ, but no proclamation of Christ. It ought to be made. The time is come. He the proper person to obtain it. He will demand it in the interests of all.


1. Answer.

(1)To what was said. The facts are sufficient answer.

(2)To what was meant. The method will not be changed. The Lord must choose His own course. Men must see and judge. Facts first, then assertions.

2. Warning. There is danger in this disposition — danger of questioning God's methods; restlessness, dissatisfaction, diminution of attachment, failure of faith.

(Canon T. D. Bernard.)

1. It is evident John did not clearly apprehend the spirituality of the kingdom Christ was to introduce. Like the apostles, he expected the kingdom of God would come with observation, instead of its being of a slow, quiet, spiritual growth. He looked for something more visible. There were the remains of the old dispensation mixed up with his ideas of its nature; too much of the Old Testament theocracy.

2. The remarkable manner in which the idea of the coming of Christ had taken possession of the minds of men at the time John sent his disciples to inquire respecting it. The familiar designation of the Messiah was "the Comer." "Him that is to come" is but the common version of the world's designation of the Messiah. The Comer, as if with Him came everything else desirable. The coming of all future good depended upon His coming.

3. I might notice the world's slowness in recognizing Christ as the Messiah, and the circumstances which occasioned that slowness to admit His claim.

4. He proceeded to enforce His claim by evidence corresponding with His character, and their necessities, and by evidence alone, the result of which He is prepared to wait (Luke 7:21-23). As if He had said, "Go and tell John My kingdom is a spiritual kingdom, and the employment of other than spiritual means would be uncongenial and obstructive."

5. That our Lord not only employed evidence in contradistinction from worldly display and physical force, but that He presented to these inquirers and the multitude moral evidence as superior to miraculous.


1. Thus on this occasion, the God-like reply to the inquiry, "Art Thou He that should come?" His deeds spoke. He entered into no argumentative defence of His claims — "Actions speak louder than words." "In the same hour He cured many of their infirmities and plagues, and of evil spirits; and unto many that were blind He gave sight." He left the stupendous miracles He had performed to speak for themselves (Psalm 19.l-3). The heavens had done much, and now He is in the world to develop what the heavens could not declare. It was not to be expected that His more full manifestation would be verbal merely, or chiefly, for how can speech, which is but the symbol of thought, convey ideas of what thought cannot grasp respecting "God, who is a spirit," immaterial, infinite, invisible, incomprehensible. Speech fails to do justice to the finite, the visible, the material, and comprehensible; to convey the greatest and best conceptions of our own minds.

2. Christ's verbal teaching related especially to Himself. Each portion of it was either the vindication of acts He had performed, or an intimation of some purpose he was about to accomplish, or a development of the kingdom He was then establishing — relating to its nature, origin, character, or growth.

3. This distinctive and important fact supplies a reply to the following objections.(1) The first objection we refer to, more frequently felt than expressed, relates to the greater fulness of evangelical doctrines in the Epistles than in the Gospels. Although the latter comprise the discourses and teaching of Christ Himself, we reply to this by saying, "Christ came not so much to preach the gospel as to procure it, to establish and confirm it, to perform the deeds, the record of which constitutes the gospel."(2) The second objection urged from the time of Celsus downwards is, that parallels to some of our Lord's sayings are to be found in the writings of Plato, Isocrates, and others. Hence it has been inferred, absurdly enough, that the gospel had been anticipated — that Christianity was not original. To which we reply, admitting the supposed resemblances, the wonder is that they are so extremely few — two or three mere maxims of morality, and these but the distant reverberations of Sinai's echoes of the ancient and moral law. What is Christianity? Nothing but a few maxims of morality? We triumphantly point inquirers for Christianity to her spirit and her works — her resemblance to her Lord.

II. His WORKS WERE WONDERFUL. It is a frequent description given of God in the Old Testament, "He only doeth wonderful things." To achieve wonders is the prerogative of God. "He alone doeth wonders"; and this called forth the grateful praises of His people. Not only is God the wonder-worker, but strictly speaking, all that God does are wonders, only wonders. The atom is as an atom not less wonderful than a world. Both owe their origin to His creative power, and are impressed with the Divine signature. Was it strange then that when "God was manifested in the flesh," that when He appeared amongst us, who was predicted as "the wonderful," His works and deeds should be "mighty signs and wonders." There was a sense in which He could do nothing which was not wonderful; His constitution made it impossible that anything ordinary could emanate from Him.


1. All His miracles were miracles of mercy. Nor was it necessary to alter His laws, imposed at the first on nature, they suffered no violence from His mercy; on the contrary, they harmonized with it. In giving sight to the blind, He was but restoring the eye to the use and exercise of its proper function. His power He used as a trust to be administered for man's good alone.

2. Besides the present happiness, His mercies conveyed in the physical and mental benefits, miraculously bestowed, they had a higher value, a symbolical meaning, pointing to spiritual necessities and supplies, to the things relating to our redemption.

3. His miracles demonstrated His power, and our interest in turning the elements of earth to account of spiritual uses, relating them to heaven. In opening the blind eye He denoted that He came to be the Light of the world, and that we need that the eye of the understanding should be open to receive that light. The greatest wonder was that of His incarnation. In comparison with this wonder, all mere acts of His power were less splendid. This was the long desired and promised wonder. The ancient tabernacle foreshadowed His tabernacling among men. The temple with its indwelling Shekinah symbolically predicted this. Every instance of union between God and man, and the union of soul and body, prefigured this infinitely more mysterious union of the Divine and human natures in His person.

IV. HIS MERCIES, like His acts, by which He replied to John's disciples, WERE ANSWERS TO MAN'S NECESSITIES. This is only another mode of saying that the blessings of His redemption are fully adapted to man's exigencies. It might have been otherwise. His words might have been works; His works might have been wonders; His wonders might have been mercies; and yet, after all, there might have been a want of strict suitableness between our necessities and the mode of meeting them, but the text reminds us that His mercies and deeds are exactly suitable and fully answerable to the exigencies.

1. This correspondence admits of universal application. He comprehended the entire scheme of nature and Providence. No legitimate question on any natural subject can ever arise in the mind of man, which his Creator and Redeemer has not foreseen; to which He has not inserted an answer in the things which He has made. Ten thousand answers are silently awaiting the future questions which shall call them forth. At this moment, while we are assembled here, the Creator may be elsewhere exhibiting similar demonstrations of His perfections in reply to inquirers. In the amplitude of space, hosts of intelligent beings may be collected around the chaos of a world, wondering whether it will ever be restored to harmony and order; whether all creative acts are at an end, and while they are inquiring the fiat may go forth from the Creator again, as "in the beginning," "Let there be light," and the light of Divine power may kindle around them.

2. The lessons of the Old Testament are represented as replies. God was graciously pleased to allow Himself to be inquired of. His replies were called responses or oracles.

3. But now Christ had come as the living oracle; from Him the questions which human guilt and misery had never ceased to agitate, were to receive a full practical satisfactory reply.

V. A PRACTICAL CHRISTIANITY ALONE, A CHRISTIANITY EMBODIED IN DEEDS OF MERCY, ADEQUATELY ILLUSTRATES THE WORKS OF REDEMPTION BY CHRIST. "Blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in Me." Our Lord meant not that His wondrous works should end with Himself. All power was given to Him as Mediator and Head of the Church, as a centre of an ever-enlarging circle. From Him as the Head of all things to the Church all emanates.

(J. Harris, D. D.)

However good and great you may be in the Christian life, your soul will never be independent of physical conditions. I feel I am uttering a most practical, useful truth here, one that may give relief to a great many Christians who are worried and despondent at times. Doctor Rush, a monarch in medicine, after curing hundreds of cases of mental depression, himself fell sick and lost his religious hope, and he would not believe his pastor when the pastor told him that his spiritual depression was only a consequence of physical depression. Andrew Fuller, Themes Scott, William Cowper, Thomas Boston, David Brainard, Philip Melancthon, were mighty men for God, but all of them illustrations of the fact that a man's soul is not independent of his physical health. An eminent physician gave as his opinion that no man ever died a greatly triumphant death whose disease was below the diaphragm. Stackhouse, the learned Christian writer, says he does not think Saul was insane when David played the harp before him, but it was a hypochondria coming from inflammation of the liver. The Dean of Carlisle, one of the best men that ever lived, and one of the most useful, sat down and wrote: "Though I have endeavoured to discharge my duty as well as I could, yet sadness and melancholy of heart stick close by and increase upon me. I tell nobody, but I am very much sunk indeed, and I wish I could have the relief of weeping as I used to. My days are exceedingly dark and distressing. In a word, Almighty God seems to hide His face, and I intrust the secret to hardly any earthly being. I know not what will become of me. There is, doubtless, a good deal of bodily affliction mingled with this, but it is not all so. I bless God, however, that I never lose sight of the Cross, and, though I should die without seeing any personal interest in the Redeemer's merits, I hope that I shall be found at His feet. I will thank you for a word at your leisure. My door is bolted at the time I am writing this, for I am full of tears."

(Dr. Talmage.)

Doubt often comes from inactivity. We cannot give the philosophy of it, but this is the fact, that Christians who have nothing to do but to sit thinking of themselves, meditating, sentimentalising, are almost sure to become the prey to dark, blank misgivings. John the Baptist, struggling in the desert, needs no proof that Jesus is the Christ. John shut up became morbid and doubtful immediately. We are mysteries, but here is the practical lesson of it all: for sadness, for suffering, for misgivings, there is no remedy but stirring and doing.

(F. W. Robertson, M. A.)

During his earlier life Dr. Merle D'Aubigne, the Swiss historian of the Reformation, was grievously vexed with depressing doubts. He went to his old teacher for help. The shrewd old man refused to answer the young man's perplexities, saying, "Were I to get you rid of these doubts, others would come. There is a shorter way of destroying them. Let Christ be really to you the Son of God the Saviour. Do His will. His light will dispel the clouds, and His Spirit will lead you into all truth." The old man was right, and the young D'Aubigne was wise enough to adopt his counsel. He hoisted anchor, and moved out of the region of fogs, and quietly anchored himself under the sunshine of Christ's countenance.

(Dr. Cuyler.)

Active devotion to Christ's service is another cure for spiritual despondency. The faith-faculty gets numb by long inaction, just as a limb becomes numb and useless if it is not exercised. The love-power grows cold if it is not kept fired up. When faith and love both run low, the soul easily falls into an ague-fit. What you need is to get out of yourself into a sympathy with, and downright efforts for, the good of others. When a desponding Christian came to old Dr. Alexander for relief, the Doctor urged him to prayer. "I do pray continually." "What do you pray for?" The young student said, "I pray that the Lord would lift upon me the light of His countenance." "Then," replied the sagacious veteran, "go now and pray that He will use you for the conversion of souls."

(Dr. Cuyler.)

To the poor the gospel is preached.
I. THE EXCELLENCY OF THIS LAW. A new development of a heaven-laid plan to enlighten the poor; to raise them in the scale of being; to sweeten and adorn their lot by the honours of intellectual culture, the comforts of social life, and the hopes of immortality. The wisdom of our text, as a poor's law, excels all the contrivances of men. It does not so much provide for the poor as it prevents men from being poor. It cuts off the causes of poverty.

II. THE OBLIGATION IT LAYS UPON US. The way to the most effective sense of duty is by discovering the need and the worth of the thing that is enjoined; and is this a thing to be countermanded or opposed?: But if the argument from the goodness of precept seem too weak, let us view its peremptory demand. It is the will of our Saviour that none live in a Christian land without hearing the glad sound, that so all may walk in the light of His countenance.


(N. Paterson.)

1. Our Saviour's works were words.

2. His works were wonders.

3. His wonders were wonders of mercy.

4. His wonders of mercy were suited to the necessities of man.

5. The suitableness of His wonders of mercy to the necessities of man is a satisfactory proof of His Messiahship.

(G. Brooks.)

The gospel is especially adapted to the poor, in respect of —

1. Their education.

2. Their resources.

3. Their opportunities.

4. Their prospects.

(G. Brooks.)

John Wesley always preferred the middling and lower classes to the wealthy. He said "If I might choose I should still, as I have done hitherto, preach the gospel to the poor."

Before many a Popish shrine on the Continent one sees exhibited a great variety of crutches, together with wax models of arms, legs, and other limbs. These are supposed to represent the cures wrought by devotion at that altar — the memorials of the healing power of the saint. Poor, miserable superstition, all of it, and yet what a reminder to the believer in Jesus as to his duty and his privilege? Having pleaded at the feet of Jesus, we have found salvation; have we remembered to record this wonder of His hand? If we hung up memorials of all His matchless grace, what crutches and bandages and trophies of every sort should we pile together! Temper subdued, pride humbled, unbelief slain, sin cast down, sloth ashamed, carelessness rebuked. The cross has healed all manner of diseases, and its honours should be proclaimed with every rising and setting sun.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

A celebrated doctor of divinity in London, who is now in heaven I have no doubt — a very excellent and godly man — gave notice one Sunday that he intended to visit all his people, and said, that in order to be able to get round and visit them and their families once in the year, he should take all the seatholders in order, A person well known to me, who was then a poor man, was delighted with the idea that the minister was coming to his house to see him, and about a week or two before he conceived it would be his turn his wife was very careful to sweep the hearth and keep the house tidy, and the man ran home early from work, hoping each night to find the Doctor there. This went on for a considerable time. He either forgot his promise, or grew weary in performing it, or for some other reason never went to this poor man's house; and the result was this, the man lost confidence in all preachers, and said, "They care for the rich, but they do not care for us who are poor." That man never settled down to any one place of worship for many years, till at last he dropped into Exeter Hall and remained my hearer for years till Providence removed him. It was no small task to make him believe that any minister could be an honest man, and could impartially love both rich and poor.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

Jesus, John, Simon
Capernaum, Galilee, Judea, Nain
Calling, Disciples, Expect, Expected, John, Saying, Someone, Summoning, Wait, Waiting
1. Jesus finds a greater faith in the centurion;
10. heals his servant, being absent;
11. raises from death the widow's son at Nain;
18. answers John's messengers with the declaration of his miracles;
24. testifies to the people what opinion he held of John;
31. compares this generation to the children in the marketplaces,
36. and allowing his feet to be washed and anointed by a woman who was a sinner,
44. he shows how he is a friend to sinners, to forgive them their sins, upon their repentance.

Dictionary of Bible Themes
Luke 7:18-19

     8726   doubters

Luke 7:18-22

     7755   preaching, importance

Luke 7:18-23

     2206   Jesus, the Christ
     8105   assurance, basis of

Luke 7:18-25

     5098   John the Baptist

Luke 7:19-22

     2345   Christ, kingdom of
     2351   Christ, miracles

June 10 Evening
As Christ forgave you, so also do ye.--COL. 3:13. There was a certain creditor which had two debtors: the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty. And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both.--I forgave thee all that debt; shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellow-servant, even as I had pity on thee? When ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. But if ye do not forgive,
Anonymous—Daily Light on the Daily Path

Greatness in the Kingdom
'He that is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.'--LUKE vii. 28. We were speaking in a preceding sermon about the elements of true greatness, as represented in the life and character of John the Baptist. As we remarked then, our Lord poured unstinted eulogium upon the head of John, in the audience of the people, at the very moment when he showed himself weakest. 'None born of women' was, in Christ's eyes, 'greater than John the Baptist.' The eulogium, authoritative as it was, was immediately
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions Of Holy Scripture

Thwarting God's Purpose
'The Pharisees and lawyers rejected the counsel of God against themselves, being not baptized of Him.' --LUKE vii. 30. Our Lord has just been pouring unstinted praise on the head of John the Baptist. The eulogium was tenderly timed, for it followed, and was occasioned by the expression, through messengers, of John's doubts of Christ's Messiahship. Lest these should shake the people's confidence in the Forerunner, and make them think of him as weak and shifting, Christ speaks of him in the glowing
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions Of Holy Scripture

A Gluttonous Man and a Winebibber
'The Son of man is come eating and drinking; and ye say, Behold a gluttonous man, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners!'--LUKE vii. 34. Jesus Christ very seldom took any notice of the mists of calumny that drifted round Him. 'When He was reviled He reviled not again.' If ever He did allude to them it was for the sake of the people who were harming themselves by uttering them. So here, without the slightest trace of irritation, He quotes a malignant charge which was evidently in the
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions Of Holy Scripture

Worthy-Not Worthy
'... They besought Him ... saying, That he was worthy for whom He should do this:... 6. I am not worthy that Thou shouldest enter under my roof: 7. Wherefore neither thought I myself worthy to come unto Thee....' --LUKE vii. 4. 6. 7. A Roman centurion, who could induce the elders of a Jewish village to approach Jesus on his behalf, must have been a remarkable person. The garrison which held down a turbulent people was not usually likely to be much loved by them. But this man, about whom the incident
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions Of Holy Scripture

Go into Peace
'And He said to the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee: go in peace.'--LUKE vii. 50. We find that our Lord twice, and twice only, employs this form of sending away those who had received benefits from His hand. On both occasions the words were addressed to women: once to this woman, who was a sinner, and who was gibbeted by the contempt of the Pharisee in whose house the Lord was; and once to that poor sufferer who stretched out a wasted hand to lay upon the hem of His garment, in the hope of getting
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions Of Holy Scripture

Jesus at the Bier
'And when the Lord saw her, He had compassion on her, and said unto her, Weep not. 14. And He came and touched the bier: and they that bare him stood still. And He said, Young man, I say unto thee, Arise. 15. And he that was dead sat up, and began to speak. And He delivered him to his mother.'--LUKE vii. 13-15. We owe our knowledge of this incident to Luke only. He is the Evangelist who specially delights in recording the gracious relations of our Lord with women, and he is also the Evangelist who
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions Of Holy Scripture

John's Doubts and Christ's Praise
'And the disciples of John shewed him of all these things. 19. And John calling unto him two of his disciples, sent them to Jesus, saying, Art thou He that should come? or look we for another? 20. When the men were come unto Him, they said, John Baptist hath sent us unto Thee, saying, Art Thou He that should come? or look we for another? 21. And in the same hour He cured many of their infirmities and plagues, and of evil spirits; and unto many that were blind He gave sight. 22. Then Jesus, answering,
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions Of Holy Scripture

The Two Debtors
'There was a certain creditor which had two debtors; the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty. 42. And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both. Tell Me therefore, which of them will love him most? 43. Simon answered and said, I suppose that he to whom he forgave most.'--LUKE vii.41-43. We all know the lovely story in which this parable is embedded. A woman of notoriously bad character had somehow come in contact with Jesus Christ, and had by Him been aroused from her
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions Of Holy Scripture

Forgiveness and Love.
TEXT: LUKE vii. 36-50. HOWEVER much admiration and honour was given to our Saviour by many of His contemporaries during His life on earth; however powerfully a yet greater number were struck, at least for the moment, by His exalted character; still just His greatest words and His noblest deeds often remained dark even to the noblest and best around Him, and seemed to the rest a piece of insolent pretension. When He spoke of His eternal relation to the Eternal Father, even His more intimate disciples
Friedrich Schleiermacher—Selected Sermons of Schleiermacher

On the Words of the Gospel, Luke vii. 2, Etc. ; on the Three Dead Persons whom the Lord Raised.
1. The miracles of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ make indeed an impression on all who hear of, and believe them; but on different men in different ways. For some amazed at His miracles done on the bodies of men, have no knowledge to discern the greater; whereas some admire the more ample fulfilment in the souls of men at the present time of those things which they hear of as having been wrought on their bodies. The Lord Himself saith, "For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them;
Saint Augustine—sermons on selected lessons of the new testament

On the Words of the Gospel, Luke vii. 37, "And Behold, a Woman who was in the City, a Sinner," Etc. On the Remission of Sins,
1. Since I believe that it is the will of God that I should speak to you on the subject whereof we are now reminded by the words of the Lord out of the Holy Scriptures, I will by His assistance deliver to you, Beloved, a Sermon touching the remission of sins. For when the Gospel was being read, ye gave most earnest heed, and the story was reported, and represented before the eyes of your heart. For ye saw, not with the body, but with the mind, the Lord Jesus Christ "sitting at meat in the Pharisee's
Saint Augustine—sermons on selected lessons of the new testament

On Dress
"Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of -- wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; "But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price." 1 Pet. 3:3, 4. 1. St. Paul exhorts all those who desire to "be transformed by the renewal of their minds," and to "prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God," not to be "conformed to this world." [Rom. 12:2]
John Wesley—Sermons on Several Occasions

Saving Faith
I. WHAT WAS IT THAT SAVED the two persons whose history we are about to consider? In the penitent woman's case, her great sins were forgiven her and she became a woman of extraordinary love: she loved much, for she had much forgiven. I feel, in thinking of her, something like an eminent father of the church who said, "This narrative is not one which I can well preach upon; I had far rather weep over it in secret." That woman's tears, that woman's unbraided tresses wiping the Saviour's feet, her coming
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 20: 1874

A Gracious Dismissal
THE main part of my subject will be--that gracious dismissal, "Go in peace." To her who had been so lately blest, the word "Go" sounded mournfully; for she would fain have remained through life with her pardoning Lord; but the added words "in peace" turned the wormwood into honey--there was now peace for her who had been so long hunted and harried by her sins. Rising from the feet she had washed with tears, she went forth to keep her future footsteps such as those of a believing, and therefore saved,
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 37: 1891

Go in Peace
"And he said to the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace."--Luke 7:50. THERE appear to have been four stages in Christ's dealing with this woman. I know not what had preceded the narrative as we have it recorded in this chapter; I need not enter into that question now. There had, doubtless, been a work of the Spirit of God upon that woman's heart, turning her from her sin to her Saviour; but when she stood at our Master's feet, raining tears of penitence upon them, wiping them with the hairs
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 48: 1902

Liii. The Contemplation of Death.
16th Sunday after Trinity. S. Luke vii. 12. "Behold, there was a dead man carried out." INTRODUCTION.--The name of the village where the miracle was wrought which is recorded in this day's Gospel, was Nain, and the meaning of the name is "Pleasant" or "Beautiful." A sweet little village, you can picture it to yourself where you like, in the East, anywhere in Europe, here in England, it is all the same, an "Auburn" among villages, with thatched cottages, and green pastures, and the cows coming home
S. Baring-Gould—The Village Pulpit, Volume II. Trinity to Advent

Answer to Mr. W's Third Objection.
Our author says: p. 19. By way of objection to the letter of these three miracles, Let us consider the condition of the persons raised from the dead.--Where then was his wisdom and prudence to chuse these three persons above others to that honour? p. 20. I answer, that Jesus did not ordinarily choose the subjects of his miracles, but heal'd those chiefly who earnestly implored his mercy, or who pressed on him to be healed, or importunately desired it of him by others, when they could not possibly
Nathaniel Lardner—A Vindication of Three of Our Blessed Saviour's Miracles

Justifying or Sanctifying Grace
Sanctifying grace is defined by Deharbe as "an unmerited, supernatural gift, imparted to the soul by the Holy Ghost, by which we are made just, children of God, and heirs of Heaven." As it makes sinners just, sanctifying grace is also called justifying, though this appellation can not be applied to the sanctification of our first parents in Paradise or to that of the angels and the sinless soul of Christ. Justification, as we have shown, consists in the infusion of sanctifying grace, and hence it
Joseph Pohle—Grace, Actual and Habitual

Jesus Raises the Widow's Son.
(at Nain in Galilee.) ^C Luke VII. 11-17. ^c 11 And it came to pass soon afterwards [many ancient authorities read on the next day], that he went into a city called Nain; and his disciples went with him, and a great multitude. [We find that Jesus had been thronged with multitudes pretty continuously since the choosing of his twelve apostles. Nain lies on the northern slope of the mountain, which the Crusaders called Little Hermon, between twenty and twenty-five miles south of Capernaum, and about
J. W. McGarvey—The Four-Fold Gospel

Jesus' Feet Anointed in the House of a Pharisee.
(Galilee.) ^C Luke VII. 36-50. ^c 36 And one of the Pharisees desired him that he would eat with him. [We learn from verse 40 that the Pharisee's name was Simon. Because the feast at Bethany was given in the house of Simon the leper, and because Jesus was anointed there also, some have been led to think that Luke is here describing this supper. See Matt. xxvi. 6-13; Mark xiv. 3-9; John xii. 1-8. But Simon the leper was not Simon the Pharisee. The name Simon was one of the most common among the Jewish
J. W. McGarvey—The Four-Fold Gospel

The Raising of the Young Man of Nain - the Meeting of Life and Death.
THAT early spring-tide in Galilee was surely the truest realisation of the picture in the Song of Solomon, when earth clad herself in garments of beauty, and the air was melodious with songs of new life. [2625] It seemed as if each day marked a widening circle of deepest sympathy and largest power on the part of Jesus; as if each day also brought fresh surprise, new gladness; opened hitherto unthought-of possibilities, and pointed Israel far beyond the horizon of their narrow expectancy. Yesterday
Alfred Edersheim—The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah

The Woman which was a Sinner
The precise date and place of the next recorded event in this Galilean journey of the Christ are left undetermined. It can scarcely have occurred in the quiet little town of Nain, indeed, is scarcely congruous with the scene which had been there enacted. And yet it must have followed almost immediately upon it. We infer this, not only from the silence of St. Matthew, which in this instance might have been due, not to the temporary detention of that Evangelist in Capernaum, while the others had followed
Alfred Edersheim—The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah

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