Sermon 2568. Sabbath-work
A SERMON INTENDED FOR READING ON LORD'S-DAY, MAY 1, 1898.
DELIVERED BY C. H. SPURGEON,
AT THE METROPOLITAN TABERNACLE, NEWINGTON, ON LORD'S-DAY EVENING, FEBRUARY 18, 1883.
"And on the same day was the SSabbath." John 5:9.
OUR Divine Master healed men every day of the week. From the first day even to the close of the seventh day, He went aboutdoing good and healing all manner of diseases. The healing virtue did not flow from Him occasionally, but perpetually. Itwas not like that famous pool which was only now and then touched with the angel's wing and so made salutary to the sick folklying around-but whoever stepped into the pool of Christ's mercy found healing at any hour of the day or night!
Still, it is worthy of notice that the Lord Jesus frequently made the Sabbath to be a high day of Grace and blessing. Therewas, I suppose, something about that day that led Him more especially to display His great power, or, perhaps, He felt boundto meet the superstition of the Pharisees, and He met it by a flood-tide of mercy upon that day to the sons of men. I haveread to you the records of six notable miracles which were worked by our Lord on the Sabbath. [See EXPOSITION at end of sermon.]I need not read them, again, but I will just remind you that those miracles comprised the casting from a devil in the synagogue,the healing of a man whose hand was withered, the lifting up of a woman who had been bound by infirmity for 18 years, theinstantaneous cure of the dread disease of dropsy, the recovering of a man who had been afflicted with palsy for 38 yearsso that he could not stir and the opening of the eyes of one who was born blind-six notable miracles to render the Sabbathmost famous as a day of the display of Christ's power!
The Sabbath was a day of rest and Christ did not break His rest by His miracles, for He was God, so it was rest to Him todo good. You remember how, when He spoke to the woman of Samaria at the well of Sychar, He told His disciples that it wasHis meat and drink to be dealing out mercy to her. He was refreshed by what, to others, might have been wearisome and, assuredly,whenever the Lord Jesus worked a deed of mercy, it was rest to His heart. And, moreover, it was giving rest to others. Tothose who had been afflicted so long, what rest His miracles brought! To that poor daughter of Abraham who had been bound18 years-what rest it was, once more, to straighten herself and to stand upright, and to glorify God for the marvelous miraclethat had been worked! And the man who had been bedridden for 38 years-what a time of merciful rest that Sabbath was for him!To take up his bed and walk was to be made truly to rest! Not for all that long period had he enjoyed such rest as he didon that memorable Sabbath when Christ healed him!
So, then, viewing the Lord Jesus Christ as Divine, I say that He committed no breach of the rest of God. He first enjoyedit, Himself, by working the miracle, and then He spread the influence of that rest upon those who were helped by Him. ViewingHim, also, in His condescending capacity as the God-Man, in the form of the Servant of men, He did not break the day of rest,for His healing was a form of holy ministry. He was preaching sermons while He was healing the sick-and the best sort of sermons,too-sermons that must strike and be remembered, for men could see them with their eyes as well as hear them with their ears!His cures are acted discourses. Whenever we try to interpret any of the miracles, I am sure you feel that we do not put theTruth of God into them, but that the Truth of God is already there! There is much precious teaching in every miracle thatHe worked.
The ruler of the synagogue might just as well have confessed that he broke the Sabbath when he read a chapter of the Scripturesas have said that Christ broke the Sabbath by healing anyone. They were really both doing the same thing, only the mere officialwas doing it in a much poorer and more perfunctory manner. Christ was grandly teaching while He was healing the sick, forwhat is the Sabbath? Is it not a day set apart for the Glory of God, for the reverencing of His most holy name? And, my Brothersand Sisters, what could bring God more Glory than for the Lord Jesus Christ to be working these miracles which caused mento glorify Him? She who had been bound for 18 years-the first thing she did when she stood upright was to glorify God! Andothers in the synagogue, of nobler spirit than Pharisees and lawyers, when they saw what God was doing by Him whom they thoughtto be a Prophet, glorified God. Although Jesus, in a measure, worked, He was all the while doing Sabbath-work-the very servicefor which the day was set apart, that God might be honored among the sons of men. Fools and slow of heart-no, foul of heart,were they, to bring the charge of breaking the Sabbath against our blessed Master for what He did.
I am going, very briefly, to refer to these cures of Christ in the fond hope that He will transfer from the seventh to thefirst day of the week the Glory which He put upon His ancient Sabbath. I need not say in the "hope" that He will do it, asthough it were a new thing, for He has done it all through the Christian era! I suppose that there have been more souls bornto God on the last day of the week than on all the other days of the week. Certainly, this day, on which Christ rose fromthe grave, has been the time of the resurrection of ten thousands times ten thousands-and when we have met together, on thisfirst day of the week, to sing hymns and to pray in the name of Jesus-and to talk of His great love and of all that came ofit, He has been especially present with us, and He has worked wondrous miracles of mercy many and many a time. May He do soamong us now!
I. First, then, concerning Christ's Sabbath cures, I make this observation-THESE CURES MEET MANY CAS-
ES-and we may expect that Christ, who worked such cures in the past, will continue to meet similar cases of need today.
The first was a man under Satanic influence. Christ spoke the Word and the devil came out of him. There may be such personshere. I have known many children of God in that sad condition. Ah, poor creatures! They have been assailed with blasphemousthoughts which they have hated and loathed, and yet the thoughts would come. They could not stop them. And if it so happensto God's people, much more will it happen to those who, as yet, have never fled to Christ! I believe that there are some menwho are transported in wickedness far beyond themselves and who both say and do things which would not have entered into theirhearts, bad as they are, if it were not for Satan taking possession of them and bearing them beyond themselves. Just as Iam sure that the Spirit of God often works in gracious men things which would not come, even of their renewed nature, carryingthem from themselves by a holy ecstasy and a divine enthusiasm, so does Satan, on the other hand, work in ungodly men beyondthemselves, bearing them into a kind of frenzy and fanaticism of iniquity. Well, if I am addressing any such-if it is a lucidinterval with some poor wretch-if the drunk is sober tonight-if the man who plunges into vice is here-yes, even if the devilishspirit is still within him, I am glad that he is here, for my Master can rebuke that spirit and cast it from the man to neverreturn! He will need more done to him than that, but that will be a grand beginning. Oh, that, in His infinite mercy, Jesus,the enthroned King, would manifest His Divinity by casting out the spirit of darkness from the stronghold which He has madefor Himself in the hearts of men! That case, then, was met by Christ on the Sabbath.
The next case was that of a man conscious of a very grievous inability. He had an arm which hung helplessly by his side. Hecould not earn bread for his children. He could do nothing to help himself. His arm was withered-it was not merely dislocated,so that he could not lift it, but it had gradually dried up. The sinews had shrunk, the flesh had gone, the arm had becomea mummified useless object. There are spiritual inabilities in all unregenerate men, but there are some inabilities of whichthey are conscious. "I cannot pray," says one, "oh, that I could!" " 'I cannot believe," says another, "would God that I could!""I cannot do this, and I cannot do that." Dear Friend, whatever your inability may be, the Lord Jesus Christ is able to giveyou, even now, that power of which you lament the absence. He can say, "Stretch out your withered hand" and if you are butobedient to His gracious command, you shall stretch it out! You shall pray. You shall believe. You shall at once quit thesin that now holds you spellbound. Oh, blessed be His name, though the power to do these things is not in you, it is in Him!All that is needed to meet the sinner's case is in Christ, for all power is given unto Him in Heaven and in earth. Look up,then, you with the withered hands, for Christ is still present and able to heal, now, just as of old.
The third case was that of a woman who had been afflicted, I suppose, by spinal disease, till she was bent double. She couldnot lift herself up. It was something more than a more stoop-it was evidently a very painful doubling of herself up so thather face looked rather to the earth than, as it should look, towards Heaven. Poor creature! Eighteen years she had sufferedfrom this grievous bend, but the Lord Jesus lifted her up and made her straight in one single minute! There may be, here,some very desponding and even despairing soul, but the Lord can lift up that soul. Last Thursday morning I preached over inthe City Temple and I had my wages for preaching as soon as the sermon was done, for when I came from the pulpit there metme a brother minister, and he said, "Sir, I cannot tell you now, but I will write tomorrow-my wife is set at liberty!" Hewrote to tell me how she had been in despair and what sorrow she had had, and what a grief it had been to him. But while Ipreached upon, "Cast not away your confidence, which has great recompense of reward," she was brought from bondage. Oh, howI praised and blessed God and thought that I would like to preach day and night if I might but be the channel of such blessingagain and again! It was the Master who made that poor crooked woman straight and if there is another here who is like sheis, He can work a similar miracle for that poor soul! I know that many of you belong to the Despondency family. Miss Much-Afraid,down there, you think there is nobody so bad as you, so lost as you are. But my Lord and Master can lay His hand upon youand you shall be straightened at once! Oh, what a blessed thought this is-Jesus worked this miracle on the Sabbath! Oh, thatHe would work others like it on this
The fourth case was that of the man with the dropsy, an inward complaint which would soon have ended his life if Christ hadnot cured him. Last Wednesday I saw a dear man of God who was afflicted with dropsy and I bade him farewell. He said that,in the night, when he slept a little, the water seemed to rise almost to his heart, and he knew that he must soon die. Andwhen I called just now, I found that he was gone. I may be addressing someone who has an inward fatal complaint-I do not meanbodily, but spiritually-and you feel that it must soon be all over with you and that you must perish forever. But, dear Friend,you need not perish-if you come within range of my Master's hand, you shall live, for He is able to pluck men from the jawsof destruction! As it is said of this man, that He took him and healed him and bade him go his way, so can He do with you.God grant that He may!
The next case was that of a man paralyzed. I believe that the man, after being so afflicted for 38 years, had become paralyzedin his mind as well as in his body. He was a poor feeble creature who said to Christ, "Sir, I have no man, when the wateris troubled, to put me into the pool." So the Lord Jesus Christ said to him, "Will you be made whole?"-as if He would seewhether the paralysis had penetrated even into his will-and when the man said that he had hardly any hope about it, but onlydescribed his sad case, the Master said at once, "Rise, take up your bed, and walk." And the man did so. Now, if you havebeen long a trembling seeker, not so much in earnest as you ought to have been, and have now come to be spiritually paralyzedso that you do not seem to have any energy left, yet still my Lord can give you energy and speak the healing words so thatyou shall rise and take up your bed and walk!
The last case was that of the man who was born blind. I know that he is represented here. Plenty of you were born blind. No,more-there is not one of you who was not born spiritually blind-and, "since the world began was it not heard that any manopened the eyes of one that was born blind." Perhaps it was not heard till that day, but on that blessed Sabbath, Christ openedthat blind man's eyes! Oh, that He would take away the scales of prejudice that are blinding so many tonight! Oh, that Hewould remove the natural opposition to the Gospel which blinds so many eyes and hearts-and give men to see tonight! He cando it. Oh, that He may! I think that I have proved my assertion that these Sabbath cures meet many cases. They certainly meetthe cases of many who are here. Christ is still, "able to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by Him, seeing Heever lives to make intercession for them."
II. I shall only be able to say a little upon my second point which is that THESE CURES REPRESENT VARIOUS PROCESSES OF GRACE.The way in which Christ healed, then, shows how He heals now.
The first man He healed with a word. That word was not spoken to the man, but to the devil in the man. The devil in the manmade a disturbance in the congregation. He cried, "Let me alone." Christ said, "Hold your peace and come from him." And Ibelieve that the Lord Jesus Christ still deals with the devil in that way. He never gives him a word more than is necessary.Oh, that He would say, "Come from him," to some drunk who is here, and who has the drink devil in him, or to some sweareror some other great sinner who is here! That man under Satanic influence was healed by a word and Christ can do the same thingwith a word now!
The man with a withered hand was healed by a personal word. The Lord Jesus Christ said to him, "Rise up and stand forth inthe midst." That he could do, for he had not withered feet and there he stood. It is a grand thing when the Gospel messagepicks a man out from his fellows and he feels that the preacher is speaking specially to him. Have you ever felt that? Itis one of the ways in which Christ saves men. I am preaching to the whole congregation, but Christ is not-He is preachingto you, my Friend-if He means to bless you and you feel as if you were stood out to be shot at. After Christ had given theman a personal pointed word, He said to him, "Stretch forth your hand." It was done at once at the word of command and nowHe says to you, poor guilty Sinner, "Believe! Believe in Me and you shall be saved." Oh, that Christ might speak that wordof command straight into your soul, for, as the Lord lives, if you believe in Him, you shall not perish, but you shall haveeverlasting life! In this man's case it was a personal word that worked the healing he needed.
In the next case, there was a touch as well as a word. The woman was in the crowd in the synagogue, bent double, and, perhaps,could not even see the Christ. But He said to her, "Woman, you are loosed from your infirmity," and He laid His hands on her-andwith that word and that touch she was loosed in a minute! She was called upon to do nothing except to believe that it wasall done-and so she lifted herself up. The Lord Jesus Christ gave her the strength to rise and she did rise! There are manyconversions like that. All of a sudden a man finds that all has been done for him-Christ has saved him, he is forgiven andso he rises and stands upright. Now, poor woman over yonder, do that! Believe that Christ has loved you and given Himselffor you. Oh, may His Spirit enable you to do so! Now you are upright, are you not? You feel as if you could stand up and shout,"Hallelujah! The Lord has done it! He has broken my bonds and set His child at liberty." It was a word and a touch in thatpoor woman's case.
In the next case-that of the man afflicted with the dropsy-there was healing without a word. I do not think that there waseven a word spoken to him. Christ saw the man swollen as He stood before him and it is written, "He took him, and healed him,and let him go." And I have known the Lord save some souls without any spoken word. His own secret power has done it all.The man has been sitting at his work, or walking about and, suddenly-he knew not how-he felt his heart become soft, his spiritinclined to his Savior, he looked to Him and was lightened and his face was not ashamed.
In the case of the paralytic, there was not only a word, there were two words. The first was an enquiring word, meant to arousehim. "Will you be made whole?" This was spoken to wake him up and make him think and hope. And then came the commanding word,"Take up your bed and walk." The Lord sometimes brings men into a state of spiritual health by two words instead of one. Fora little while, He seems to ask them whether they really will be saved, whether they have any wish to be saved-and when earnestdesires after salvation are excited, then comes the Gospel precept, "Believe and live"-and they do believe and live!
In the last case-that of the blind man-Christ used means as well as words, but the means were very poor ones, as we think.He spat and made clay of the spittle-and then put the clay on the man's eyes. "More likely to blind him," you say, "than togive him sight." And I have known a sermon, of which I have thought when I went home, "I wish I had never gone into the pulpit."I have been ready to cry my eyes out about it. The Lord could not bless it-so I thought- but He did. It was from His own mouth,after all! Though I was but the clay, He put that clay on the man's eyes-even my poor rough statement of the Truth of Godwhich seemed as if it would blind the man from seeing Him, but it did not-it opened his eyes. The Lord can use very strangemeans-and He does. I have known Him use means in men's conversion which I thought He could not use. And it makes one speakwith bated breath about some people who seem to use very odd means to bring men to Christ. If the Lord brings them, the endmay not justify the means, but, at the same time, it makes us very aware of what we say, lest we fight against God. If theLord chooses to spit, let Him spit. And if He chooses to use clay and that seems a very strange thing to put on blind eyes,it is better than the best ointment if Christ ordains it! So let Him do things after His own fashion, for He always does themright.
Now, which shall be the way in which He will heal you? Well, it will not matter, dear Friend, what means are used-so longas your cure is effected, God shall have the glory of it!
III. I want you to notice now, in the third place, very briefly, indeed, that THESE CURES ON THE SABBATH WERE WORKED BOTHIN AND OUT OF THE SYNAGOGUE.
The first was the man who was misbehaving himself in the synagogue. I do not say to any, "Come, and misbehave yourselves inthe House of God," but I do say, "Come anyway you can to the place where prayer is known to be made." I would rather thata man should come to ridicule the Gospel than not come to hear it at all! Here is a man, with the devil in him, disturbingthe worship in the synagogue by crying out to Jesus, "Let me alone." Yet it was a blessing for him to be there and a greatblessing for him that the devil was not quiet that morning! The devil is very crafty, but he is often a great fool and hemade a huge mistake when he took to bawling out that Sabbath. Whenever I hear a man swear, I always pray for him and, I havesometimes thought, when I have heard an oath, it has been a warning bell ringing to let me know that it was time for me topray. It is a horrible thing that men should blaspheme, curse and swear, but I believe that there would be less of these evilsif all Christians prayed whenever they heard an oath, for the devil would see that it would not pay him, for, fool thoughhe is, he has some sense left. At all events, this man was in the synagogue making a disturbance.
The next person was the man with a withered hand. He could not do any work and, beside that, it seems that he had some lovefor the House of God and there Christ picked him out and blessed him. The woman who was bent double was also there. I likethe idea of her going to the synagogue. No doubt it was a trouble for her to walk and she was a very pitiable object-yet sheloved the place. I believe she was a gracious woman, for it was said of her as it is not said of others, "she glorified God"when she was made straight. Never mind what your infirmity is, dear Friends, be sure to come to the House of God. There wasa dear Sister who used to sit on my left hand, here, and who did not hear a word I said, for she was deaf. But she alwayscame because, she said, she thought it was a good example to those who were round about her to come and sit here. Besides,she said, somebody told her what hymn we were singing and she could join in that. And so, to the day of her death, she wasstill here. Yes, we love the place where God deigns to meet with His people and we hope to get a blessing there, somehow orother, as this poor woman did.
But the other three people healed in these Sabbath miracles were not in the synagogue. The man with the dropsy was cured aftersynagogue hours. The Lord Jesus Christ had gone to eat bread with a certain Pharisee and it was then that He saw this poorman. O dear Friends, may the Lord bless you after the service is over, if He does not bless you while the service is goingon! May He bless you at your meal! You who love the Lord, pray Him to bless men and women when they are sitting at their supper,tonight, after the sermon is over, and they have gone home and have not, perhaps, felt the power of the Word. God can blessthem even there, as this poor dropsied man received his cure when the Sabbath services were over and he had gone to his eveningmeal!
The next case, I think, was earlyi n the morning, before the service. Whether it was or not, does not matter, for it was thecase of a man who could not go to the synagogue. He had the palsy, he could not even step into the healing bath, so I knowthat he could not go to the synagogue-yet the Lord came and healed him. Pray, dear Friends, for the sick folk at home and,when you are, yourselves, ill, do not think that you are shut out from Christ because you are shut out from the public meansof Grace! The Lord can come and bless you wherever you are! Oh, what a Savior my Master is! If you cannot come to His House,He can come to your house! If you cannot go to the synagogue, He can come and make a temple of your little chamber and saveyou there!
As for the blind man, he was not in the synagogue, but he used to go, for we read that they cast him from the synagogue, sohe must have been formerly in it. But on that occasion he was not there. Iwonder whether the reason was because he was toopoor. His neighbors asked, "Is not this he that sat and begged?" Perhaps he did not like to go because he had not fit clothesto go in. I always think it is a very sad thing that people should make that excuse. I do not care what clothes you come in-theonly clothes that are unfit to wear are those that you have not paid for! Let our clothes be ever so poor, or ever so mean,do not stay away from the House of God on that account, but come and listen to the Gospel. But if it really is the case thatyou cannot come, what a mercy it is that God can bless the poor who do not come to His House-for He can go to them.
Perhaps He means somebody who is here tonight-some dear child of His-to call in, on the road home, to see some poor personwho has not come because he says that he has not fit clothes. Knock at his door and say, "Our minister was saying, this evening,that some people did not come to God's House because they thought they had not fit clothes, and his words brought you to mymind. He said that God could bless them at home. I thought that, perhaps, the Lord might bless you through me. Let me tellyou about Jesus Christ for a few minutes. I won't tire you. Then let me pray with you before I go." Why, who knows? Perhaps,this very night, you may be a messenger of mercy to some poor creature of that kind.
IV. Now I close with what might have been the whole of my sermon, for there is enough in this last division to preach fromfor a month. It is a very singular thing that all these Sabbath cures were cures of PERSONS WHO DID NOT ASK TO BE HEALED.They were all instances of free, Sovereign Grace giving blessing to those who did not crave it.
The first one did not ask for it, but entreated Christ to leave him alone, yet he was healed. The next, the man with the witheredhand, I suppose did not even think of it till Christ said, "Stand forth." And then he stood forth and his hand was restored.The next, the poor woman who had been bent double for 18 years, I should think that she did not hope for such a thing. Certainly,she did not say a word about it, but, to her astonishment, mercy burst upon her with these words, "Woman, you are loosed fromyour infirmity." What a surprise it was to her, as the Grace of God often is when it dispels man's despair! The dropsied mandid not ask for healing, but Christ took him and healed him, and sent him on his way. As for the paralytic man, hehad notnerve enough left to ask. Christ had to ask him, "Will you be made whole?" And then the blind man, he also, perhaps, had neverdreamed of such a thing, for he expressed his own astonishment- "Since the world began was it not heard that any man openedthe eyes of one that was born blind." They did not ask for the blessing, yet they received it.
Well, what is the inference from all that I have been saying? Why, that you who ask for the blessing shall receive it, forif Christ goes to those who do notask, you who have been asking-asking for days and perhaps for months, may well pluck upcourage and expect His mercy-and you shall have it. Why, if a man in the street gives alms to a poor beggar who did not askanything of him, the boy at the crossing will be touching his hat to him, I am sure, and following him all across the road,for he is sure of getting something! He says, "He gave to that fellow who did not ask. Surely he will give to me if I do ask"Oh, believe that it must be so with you if you ask of the Lord Jesus Christ! Surely you seekers shall be finders.
The next inference I draw is this. What a mercy that we are able, sometimes, to bring into the House of God some who havenever asked God to bless them. Have you brought in any tonight? If you have not, you know that you ought to do it, for itis the duty of Christians to be constantly bringing in outsiders where God gives a blessing. Some of you have brought others.Well, then, if the Lord Jesus Christ spontaneously blessed those people who seemed to be there by accident, much more willHe bless those whom you have brought to His House and for whom you are now praying that He would bless them. Do not say, "Itis of no use to bring in such-and-such, he is not at all seriously inclined." That is the very person to bring in! Those whoare seriously inclined will come of themselves-you are to bring those who do not have any desire to come! It is grand workto be plowing virgin soil that has never been broken up before. It is a great mercy to speak into an ear that has not beenstopped up with Gospel wax, an ear that listens to the Gospel as a thing that is fresh and new, and which comes with startlingnovelty to the soul. Bring in people of that sort! Remember that we do not trust in theirwill-our trust is in the will ofGod! We do not trust in theirpower-our trust is in the power of Almighty Grace! We do not trust in their coming here to seekChrist-our trust is in the fact that "the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost!"
As for you who have never trusted the Savior, all you have to do is to cast yourselves, with all your weight of sin, uponthe finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ, and I solemnly charge you to take heed that you do not neglect it. Beware lestwhile you are thinking about it, the moments should steal away and hope should steal away with the moments. Some of you havecome here a good many Sabbath nights hoping to lay hold on Christ-leave your hoping and lay hold on Jesus! May the blessedSpirit now bid you stretch out that withered hand and grasp eternal life! It is within reach of everyone who desires to haveit-it may be yours, now, if you trust Him who brings it to you. But do not, I pray you, continue longer in unbelief. If youdo, I think I know what will happen to you. You will begin to say, "There is no hope for me." And then you will leave offcoming to hear the Gospel and then what is likely to become of you?
As I look at some of my hearers, I might well settle my countenance, as Elisha did when he looked on Hazael. He could notbear to think of all that the man would do-and when the man himself heard the prophecy, he said, "Is your servant a dog, thathe should do this great thing?" Yes, he was dog enough to do even that! A Friend was speaking to me of an unhappy man whoselife has been one of licentiousness and crime-and who has gone away from his country-he used to sit by his wife's side inthis house and he said that he would one day turn over a new leaf. But then he did not yield himself to Christ. So, when hedid turn over a new leaf, it was a blacker one than he had ever turned over, before, and, unless you repent, some of you willdo the same as that man did. God bless and save you, dear Friends, for Jesus Christ's sake! Amen.
EXPOSITION BY C. H. SPURGEON: LUKE4:33-36; 6:6-11; 13:10-17; 14:1-6; JOHN 5:1-9; 9:1-14.
We are going to read the Inspired records of several of our Savior's Sabbath cures, for they are very instructive.
Luke 4:33-36. And in the synagogue there was a man which had a spirit of an unclean devil, and cried out with a loud voice, saying, Letus alone! What have we to do with You, You of Nazareth? Have You come to destroy us? I know You, who You are: the Holy Oneof God. And Jesus rebuked him, saying, Hold your peace and come from him. And when the devil had thrown him in the midst,he came from him, and hurt him not And they were all amazed, and spoke among themselves, saying, What a word is this! Forwith authority and power He commands the unclean spirits, and they come out. This was a very remarkable cure worked by theLord Jesus Christ on the Sabbath. Now let us turn to another, which is recorded in the sixth chapter of this same Gospel.
Luke 6:6-10. And it came to pass also on another Sabbath, that He entered into the synagogue and taught: and there was a man whose righthand was withered. And the scribes and Pharisees watched Him, whether He would heal on the Sabbath; that they might find anaccusation against Him. But He knew their thoughts, and said to the man which had the withered hand, Rise up, and stand forthin the midst And he arose and stood forth. Then said Jesus unto them, I will ask you one thing. Is it lawful on the Sabbathto do good, or to do evil? To save life, or to destroy it? And looking round about upon them all.- I think I see that piercingglance which read their very hearts, and condemned the wickedness it saw there-"Looking round about upon them all"-
10, 11. He said unto the man, Stretch forth your hand. And he did so and his hand was restored whole as the other And theywere filled with madness and communed one, with another, what they might do to Jesus. This was a second miracle worked byour Lord on the Sabbath and it, also, was a very notable one. Follow on in the same Gospel until you come to the 13th Chapter,at the 10th verse.
Luke 13:10-17. And He was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath. And, behold, there was a woman which had a spirit of infirmityeighteen years, and was bowed together, and could in no wise lift up herself And when Jesus saw her, He called her to Him,and said unto her, Woman, you are loosed from your infirmity. And He laid His hands on her: and immediately she was made straight,and glorified God. And the ruler of the synagogue answered with indignation, because that Jesus had healed on the Sabbath,and said unto the people, There are six days in which men ought to work: in them, therefore, come and be healed, but not onthe Sabbath. The Lord then answered him, and said, You hypocrite, does not each one of you on the Sabbath loose his ox orhis ass from the stall, and lead him away to watering? And ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan hasbound, these eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath? And when He had said these things, all His adversarieswere ashamed: and all the people rejoiced for all the glorious things that were done by Him. His adversaries might well beashamed and the people might well rejoice at such a display of His power and mercy! But the point I want you to notice isthat the poor woman was set at liberty by the Lord Jesus on the Sabbath. There is another Sabbath miracle recorded in thenext chapter.
Luke 14:1-6. And it came to pass, as He went into the house of one of the chief Pharisees to eat bread on the Sabbath, that they watchedHim. And, behold, there was a certain man before Him which had the dropsy. And Jesus answering spoke unto the lawyers andPharisees, saying, Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath? And they held their peace. And He took him, and healed him, and lethim go; and answered them, saying, Which of you shall have an ass or an ox fallen into a pit, and wiil not straightway pullhim out on the Sabbath? And they could not answer Him again to these things. Christ's question was unanswerable unless theywished to condemn themselves. Now I want you to kindly turn to the next Evangelist, in whose Gospel you will find the recordof the fifth miracle which our Savior worked on the Sabbath.
John 5:1-9. After this there was a feast of the Jews; and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market,apool which is calledin the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having fveporches. In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, ofblind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water. For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, andtroubled the water: whoever, then, after the troubling of the water, first stepped in, was made whole of whatever diseasehe had. And a certain man was there which had an infirmity thirty and eight years. When Jesus saw him and knew that he hadbeen now a long time in that case, He said unto him, Will you be made whole? The impotent man answered Him, Sir, I have noman, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steps down before me. Jesus saidunto him, Rise, take up your bed, and walk And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked: and onthe same day was the Sabbath. I hope to speak on these miracles in my discourse, so only briefly refer to them now, but thisSabbath afforded another memorable instance of our Lord's healing power. In the ninth chapter of John's Gospel you have theremarkable story of the man born blind.
John 9:1-3. And as Jesus passed by, He saw a man which was blind from his birth. And His disciples asked Him, saying, Master, who didsin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind? Jesus answered, Neither has this man sinned, nor his parents. Thatis to say, their sin was not the cause of his blindness.
3-14. But that the works of God should be made manifest in him. I must work the works of Him that sent Me, while it is day:the night comes, when no man can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the Light of the world. When He had thus spoken,He spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and He anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay, and said untohim, Go, wash in the Pool of Siloam, (which is, by interpretation, Sent). He went his way, therefore, and washed, and cameseeing. The neighbors, therefore, and they which before had seen him that he was blind, said, Is not this he that sat andbegged? Some said, This is he: others said, he is like he: but he said, I am he. Therefore said they unto him, How were youreyes opened? He answered and said, A man that is called Jesus made clay and anointed my eyes, and said unto me, Go to thepool of Siloam, and wash: and I went and washed, and I received sight. Then said they unto him, Where is he? He said, I knownot. They brought him to the Pharisees that before was blind. And it was the Sabbath when Jesus made the clay and opened hiseyes. This gracious act of Christ was made another occasion of complaint on the part of the Pharisees-and it is the sixthinstance in which we are very specially and definitely informed that our Lord Jesus Christ worked miracles of healing on theSabbath. Oh, that He would do similar works in our midst even now in a spiritual sense, if not literally!