Sermon 3050. The Errand of Mercy
A SERMON PUBLISHED ON THURSDAY, JULY 25, 1907.
DELIVERED BY C. H. SPURGEON,
AT THE METROPOLITAN TABERNACLE, NEWINGTON, DURING THE YEAR 1863.
"For the Son of Mann is come to seek and to save that which was lost." Luke 19:10.
GOD came down from Heaven but once to be united with human flesh. On what errand did He come and who were the objectives ofit? What messenger was sent on that errand? What method was pursued by Him? With what success was it attended?Our text givesus the information-"The Son of Man is come to seek and to save that which was lost." Let us speak briefly upon these fourpoints.
I. First, AS TO THE OBJECTIVE OF CHRIST'S ERRAND-"The Son of Man is come to seek and to save that which was lost."
That word, "lost," is constantly applied by desponding and despairing persons to themselves. Such people say, "We are lost-wefeel that we are lost, wholly lost. There is no hope for us." Herein they betray both their ignorance and their unbelief-theirignorance, for to be lost is nothing so peculiar that they should claim to be heritors of a strange doom since the whole humanrace is lost! And their unbelief since Christ came especially to seek and to save the lost. Therefore, their being lost isnot a ground for despair, but may be construed into a ground of hope! Let us think over that word, "lost," and see in whatsense those are lost whom Christ came to save.
Christ came to save those who were lost hereditarily. You often hear people say, "Man is in a state of probation." No suchthing! There is no man now in a state of probation. Adam was in a state of probation and man in Adam was in a state of probationin the Garden as long as he stood in obedience to the test that was given. He was upon his trial, but the moment that Adamtasted of the forbidden fruit, the probation was over-he was a lost man! And our probation was over, too, for we were lostin him. Man, in this world, is either in a state of condemnation or a state of salvation. "He that believes not" is not ina state of probation-he is "condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God." Wehave Divine authority for this. A man who has believed in Jesus is not in a state of probation, for "there is therefore nowno condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus," and, "Beloved, now are we the sons of God." The fact is that we are allabsolutely lost through the sin of Adam and we need a Revelation to show us that we are absolutely saved in the righteousnessof Christ! It is not a question whether I shall fall or not-I have fallen in Adam. "By one man's disobedience," says the Apostle,"many were made sinners." I stood in Adam as long as he stood, but when Adam fell, he so represented me and all my kith andkin, that I fell in him-and fell so as to be hopelessly and forever lost-if Jesus Christ had not stepped in "to seek and tosave that which was lost."
We are lost, again, in another sense. We are lost naturally. It is supposed by some that man has it now in his power to choosehis own character and so become the arbiter of his own destiny. They say that his nature is, at first, in such a state ofequilibrium that he can select either the strait and narrow path of rectitude, or pursue the broad road which leads to destruction.No, my dear Friends, both Scripture and experience teach us otherwise! We are born with natures that incline towards thatwhich is evil and never of themselves tend towards that which is good! "Behold," says David, "I was shapen in iniquity; andin sin did my mother conceive me." Well did Job ask, "Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? No one." How, then, canhe be pure who is born of a woman who is herself sinful? How can we, who are impure, be the parents of pure children? Sucha thing is not possible! The whole head of human nature is sick and the whole heart faint. Naturally from our very birth wego astray, speaking lies! There is written upon human nature, by the finger of our first parent, this word, "Lost!"-lost toGod, therefore lost to the virtuous exercise of the affections and the true balance of the judgment, lost to rectitude, thewill lost to obedience, the mental vision lost as to a sight of God, the moral sense lost as to that proper sensibility ofconscience by which it shall stand out against sin. The reigning power in
man is dislodged from its place-manhood's glory, his victory and integrity lost, lost forever-unless some greater Man shallrestore it. This is how we truthfully describe the whole human race and so, surely, those whom Christ came to save were hereditarilyand naturally lost.
Among these, there are some so totally lost to all feeling that they do not know they are lost. Even the preaching of theGospel does not suffice to bring them to a consciousness of their condition. Their conscience has become seared and theirheart hardened by perversity in sin. If they once knew what it was to tremble at the wrath to come, that time is past. Eventhe wooing of Divine Mercy fall upon them as oil would fall upon marble and runs off without producing any effect. They wishthey could feel. They envy souls that despair and wish that they could, themselves, despair. They despair, however, of everbeing able to get into a good enough state of heart to despair! "If anything is felt," they say, "'tis only pain to find wecannot feel," and not much of that is felt. Now, even such Jesus Christ came to save-and we know this because such were someof us! Do not I recollect the time when I would have given my eyes for a tear and would have been willing to suffer anythingif I could have but bent my knees and uttered one groan? But my heart would not yield a sigh or my eyes a tear! I turned tothe Book of God but that did not move me. I listened to the preacher without emotion. It seemed as if even a dying Savior'sgroans could never move a heart so base as mine-and yet I bear witness that Christ came to save such, for I do myself rejoicein His salvation! You who are lost to all feeling may well catch at this text, "The Son of Man is come to seek and to savethat which was lost."
Then there are others who are lost to all hope. It is in vain that you pray with them. They rise up from their knees and thankyou for your prayers, but they are assured that God will never hear them. They sometimes pray-necessity drives them to theirknees-but they pray with the conviction that they are merely talking to a God whose mind is made up about them and determinedto cast them forever from His Presence. Comforts that are available to others are of no use to them. You may skillfully seekto adjust your consolation so as to suit their case, but they ward off your comfort as skillfully as a warrior guards himselffrom the enemy's arrow with his shield. They will not hear a word of comfort, charm you ever so wisely. They have made uptheir minds that there cannot be anything in the Book of God for them except thunder and lightning and "a certain fearfullooking for ofjudgment and fiery indignation." Yes, and if they had their own names put in the Bible and a promise appendedto their names, they would deny their own names and the promise too! They have come to be in such a state of subjection tothat tyrant, Unbelief, that they say, "Never shall we have hope. It is impossible that such sinners as we are, should everbe partakers of eternal life." If you ask them the reason for their despair, they cannot always tell you. "No," they say,"we would not tell any man living what we have done and what we feel." In one case it is some overwhelming sin. In anothercase it is having resisted at certain periods the convictions of conscience. Or yet again, it is old age-their having beenliving so long a time in impenitence. They have all different arguments and none of them are the arguments of truth.
They believe Satan's lie that God is not willing to forgive, in preference to God's own oath-"As I live," says the Lord God,"I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live." I do not know how it is thatthese poor souls manage to get away from such texts as these-"All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men.""The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin." "He is able also to save them to the uttermost that come untoGod by Him, seeing He ever lives to make intercession for them." And such an one as this- "This is a faithful saying, andworthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief." I say again that Ido not know how they escape from the soothing influence of such words of hope, but they do manage, by some means, to fly fromthem! And still they hug their chains and sit in a sort of willful bondage in the darkness of their dungeon. Yet Jesus cameto save just such sinners as those and there are some here of elastic step and bright eyes who once were "bound in afflictionand iron!" But you have been brought out of the Valley of the Shadow of Death and Christ has broken your bonds asunder! Youcan now sing praises unto God and your songs shall testify to others, who were your fellow captives, that Jesus Christ hascome "to seek and to save that which was lost."
Some whom Christ saves are lost socially. Their names are not mentioned in the family-they would bring such a pang to themother's heart, such a flush to the father's cheek. They could not now enter into any respectable society- they are markedmen and marked women. There are some who are lost even before the law of the land. The hand of justice has been laid uponthem and they are held in bonds under the law. It may be that they are even marked as felons. Yet the Son of Man has cometo seek and to save those who are socially lost! When the gates of society are shut, the gates of Mercy are not shut. Whenman considers the case to be utterly hopeless and the social outcasts are put into a sort of leper colony lest the infectionshould spread, Jesus walks into the colony and touches the leper and says, "Be you clean." You may shut them out from yourselves,but not from the Savior! When they have come to their worst and have run the whole
round of dissipation till they are jaded and sick, still can the Master step in and whisper into that ear rendered attentiveby pain and sickness-and snatch the fire-brand from the flame-to the Glory of His own Grace!
Others whom the Savior doubtless came to save, were, at one time, lost avowedly and determinedly. There have been those whohave made a league with Satan and a covenant with death. They have said, "Turn to God? Never! We will burn first." They havenot only resisted conscience, but they have, as it were, proclaimed war to the knife against God Himself! They have calledHeaven and earth to witness that they were the slaves of Satan and had chosen him to be their master-and would serve him totheir dying hour! Yet their covenant with death has been broken and their league with Hell has been broken! God has, by mightyGrace, made them quite as decidedly His servants as they were once the servants of the Evil One! Oh, what has not Grace done,and what can it not still do? Take the word, "lost," in the very worst possible sense that you can attach to it and stillmy text shall apply to it also-"The Son of Man is come to seek and to save that which was lost."
Perhaps of all lost souls, the most miserably lost are those whoperish under the sound of the Gospel. There are some of youwho have been prayed over, preached at and wept over year after year till you seem to be hopeless cases. You yourselves feelthat there is a hardness which is begotten in the light of the Gospel which is not begotten anywhere else. The same sun whichmelts wax hardens clay and it has hardened you after an awful fashion till, now, you really dread to hear the Gospel lestyou should drift still further away from God! Well, even such lost ones Jesus came to save! I am conscious that my languagecannot sufficiently express the extent to which the word, "lost," may be applied. Some of you think there is very little differencebetween you and the damned in Hell-they feel the flame-you are waiting for it. You feel that they are undergoing the executionwhile you are in the condemned cell. They have heard Christ say, "Depart, you cursed." You feel that you are cursed thoughHe has not yet said to you, "Depart." You think (though you think wrongly, let me say), that your death warrant has been signedand sealed-you declare that you might as well be banished from this world, for you know that if you live ever so long, youwill live and die without hope and without God! Ah, poor Soul! Jesus Christ has come to seek and to save just such sinnersas you are! And I trust, notwithstanding all you say to the contrary, He has come to seek and to save you-even you.
Such are the woe-begone objects of this mission of mercy! Now let us turn to the Messenger of mercy-the Savior of the lost!
II. If the lost are to be saved, someone of extraordinary character must come to do it. No, IF THEY ARE TO BE SOUGHT AND FOUND,THERE MUST BE A SPECIAL MESSENGER.
Ordinary men, if they go to seek the lost ones, soon grow weary in the search. Perhaps they have to seek them where pridedoes not like to go, or to follow them when their perseverance fails and their patience cannot endure. It needs a specialOne to seek the lost. But when the sinner is found, who can save the found one? No human arm is long enough, no human meritsstrong enough, no human plea prevalent enough-it is delightful, therefore, to read that "the Son of Man is come to seek andto save that which was lost."
Who is this Son of Man? "Christ, who is over all, God blessed forever.." Though peerless in dignity, He assumes a humble titlewith a lowly estate when He condescends to undertake this menial service. Before He came to be the Son of Mary, He was theeternal Son of God! He sat upon the Throne of His Glory, adored by the spirits which His own hand had made, but He came downfrom yonder starry sky to seek and save the lost! This proves how full of pity, how condescending and how kind was God's eternalSon. Lost one, here is some comfort for you! If Jesus, from His Throne of Glory, pitied you in your lost estate and if itis the same pitying One who is come to seek and to save the lost, then is He not the One to find and to save you?
But remember who He is, "the Son of Man." He gives Himself that title, "the Son of Man!" He feels as you feel. He was temptedin all points like you are tempted. He never had a single sin of His own, but He bore the sins of many and He knows what theweight of sin is. You think Christ has forsaken you and Christ once thought His Father had forsaken Him-"My God, My God, whyhave You forsaken Me?" He cried. You are broken in heart. He knows what that means for He said, "Reproach has broken My heart."You think that all God's waves and billows have gone over you. He said they had all gone over Him and in very truth they had!It is not possible that you should have a grief deeper than that which the Savior knew. You cannot plunge lower than He went.What if I say that though sin is come over you so that you cannot look up, there cannot be so black a cloud of sin betweenyou and God as there was once between the Substitute and the Father-for ALL the sins of His elect ones rolled like an ocean'stempest between the God of Justice and the Surety who was smitten in our place! Think of Christ, you who are lost, as beingjust such an One as yourself,
except in the matter of sin-poor, having not where to lay His head-destitute, afflicted and tormented as much as you can be.He is the Son of Man! Oh, rest you upon that tender bosom and confide in that compassionate heart!
If it were merely that He came from Heaven, it would be a proof of love and a token of sympathy, but that is not enough. Itis written, "He is come to seek and to save." Here is a proof of His activity. He does not sit still and pity men, does notstand up and propose a plan for them, but He is come to seek and to save them! The angels celebrated His Advent when theysang, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men." The Son of Man is come! They watched Him inHis journey through the 30 years of His earthly pilgrimage and they seemed to sing, "The Son of Man is come to seek and tosave." But how the song must have deepened with a wondrous emphasis when they saw Him sweating great drops of blood in Gethsemane,when they saw Him bound, scourged and tormented by the Roman soldiers, when they saw Him bearing the weight of the Cross,when they marked Him fastened to the accursed tree, pouring out His soul in streams of blood! How they must have felt, then,that the Son of Man was come to seek and to save! Earth heard the note, "The Son of Man is come." Sin heard it and Death heardit-and when the Savior bowed His head upon the Cross, there went up a great shout, "The Son of Man is come!" And startledHell heard it when Satan saw those whom he had expected to be his prey, delivered by the strong arm of the dying Sufferer!Heaven heard it as the peal rolled upward and angels said, "The Son of Man is come to bring up here that which was lost."So, then, there is activity in the Savior and on this you may rely!
I shall say but little more concerning the Savior, except these few thoughts on which you may meditate at your leisure. Hewho has come to save the lost, loved sinners from before the foundation of the world, was appointed of God to be their Savior,comes on a Divine mission clothed with the Spirit of Power, comes with an atoning Sacrifice in His hands, comes with a pleain His mouth-the voice of blood, "which speaks better things than that of Abel"-comes with love beaming from His eyes andoverpowering compassion in His heart! He comes not to those who come to Him, but to those who cannot come and are afraid tocome! The Son of Man, none other than He who said, "I am meek and lowly of heart," has come to seek and to save the lost!
III. Now notice THE PLAN OF THIS LOVING COMMISSION.
It does not say, "He is come to save" merely, but, "to seek and to save." It is an astounding thing and a great proof of humandepravity that men do not, themselves, seek salvation. They even deny the necessity of it and would sooner run away than bepartakers of it! If you pass by a dispensary in the morning, you will often see the poor outpatients at the door. And whenthe time comes for the doctor to see them, many will be found waiting in his outer room, but you do not often hear of a doctorwho goes out seeking for gratis patients. But my Savior not only cures, but seeks the patients out-and if He did not, He wouldnever have patients, for our sickness is of a kind that never brings men to the Physician, but drives them farther and fartherfrom Him!
He is come to seek them. He seeks them by the Gospel. Tonight He seeks some of you. He seeks them by Providence. SometimesHis rough Providences seek them. At other times the daily mercies of His goodness beckon them to come. He seeks them by thedeath of their fellows-a mother's dying bed, the snatching of a baby to Heaven-all these are the ways in which Jesus is seekingthat which was lost. He seeks them effectually by His Spirit. His Spirit comes and reveals to them their darkness, pointsthem to Christ, the true Light, and thus clearly they are found out, just where they are, and stand discovered to themselvesin their ruin.
But it is added that He not only came to seek, but to save. "Oh!" says one, "I don't need any seeking. I am found. Convincedof my folly, here I sit, and acknowledge my sin. I am indeed sought out and found, but I need saving." Now, Friend, the Sonof Man has come to save the lost, as well as to seek them. And He does it in this way-He saves them from the guilt of pastsin. In one moment, as soon as ever the blood of Christ is applied to the conscience, every past sin is gone and the man is,in God's sight, as if He had never sinned. Christ puts away iniquity in a moment. The next thing He does is that He killsthe power of sin within and makes the man "a new creature." He does not merely save him from the guilt of the past, but fromthe power of sin in the present! If He does not tear up sin by the roots, He at least cuts it down. And sin does not havedominion over us because we are not under the Law, but under Grace. The man who has trembled long, trembles no longer! Hewho was sinking deeper and deeper in the mire feels that there is a new song in his mouth and that his goings are established.And as He saves him from the power of sin in the present, so He saves him from future falling. He saves, not only for a year,or for ten years and then lets men fall, but He finally and completely saves that which was lost! And this one act will enableyou, sinner, to realize all this blessedness-cast your guilty soul on Him who saves you! Do this with your whole heart andyour sin is blotted out-your soul is saved and you may go in peace!
IV. Lastly, let us rejoice in THE SUCCESS OF THIS BLESSED SCHEME. "The Son of Man is come to seek and to save that which waslost." Does He succeed in what He came to do? He does, thank God! And in these later times we live to see how the Master savesthat which was lost. The opening of the theatres for the preaching of the Word has been a very blessed thing. The raisingup of Evangelists who have gone throughout the land preaching the Word has been a proof that the Son of Man has not ceasedto seek and to save! When I look back to 11 years ago, when I commenced my pastorate in London,  I recollect that thereseemed to be very little care, then, about the preaching of the Word. We could not, then, do what we now can-count up some20 Evangelists always going through the country, and all of them in their measure useful men-I mean such men as Richard Weaver,Reginald Radcliffe and Brownlow North and a great many others, all in their way adapted to the work. It seemed then as ifthe Church of Christ had given up seeking the lost-but God has raised up one and another for the purpose of preaching theWord, fulfilling this Scripture, that "the Son of Man is come to seek and to save that which was lost."
Some say, "If the people want to hear the Gospel, let them go to church or chapel-they can always hear the Gospel when theylike." That is not Christ's way! We are to go and seek them! Open-air preaching is a blessed institution and though you maysometimes block up a thoroughfare, it is better to do that than that the thoroughfare to Hell should be crowded! If you canturn a soul from the road to Hell, it will not matter though you may turn some passenger in the street out of his way, sothat he may have to muddy his boots! Midnight services, hunting after the poor sinners in the streets at midnight, the openingof Ragged Schools and Reformatories-all these things are the fulfilling of the word, "The Son of Man is come to seek thatwhich was lost."
We know that He seeks, but does He save them? If I must give an answer from my own observation, I can point to many membersof this congregation and say, "Save them? Indeed He does! Has He not delivered them from the bonds of sin? Has He not madethem new creatures in Christ Jesus?" But if you look anywhere, wherever a faithful Gospel is preached, you will see that salvation-workdoes go on! I hope it may go on with us for many and many a year until Christ shall come. Christ is not disappointed in thesouls He came to save. All for whom He stood as Substitute shall sing His praise in Heaven. He has not redeemed souls thatmay afterwards be cast into Hell. He did not suffer for my sins that I might suffer for them, too! His Atonement is effectual!Every sinner He died to save He does save. He is not foiled at any point, nor disappointed in any single aim. The lost Hecame to seek and save, He finds and saves! And in eternity we shall find, when turning over the register of the chosen, thatevery one of them has been gathered around the Eternal Throne singing the praise of His Sovereign Grace!
EXPOSITION BY C. H. SPURGEON: LUKE 19.
Verses 1-5. And Jesus entered and passed through Jericho. And behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus, who was the chief amongthe publicans, and he was rich. And he sought to see Jesus who He was; and could not for the press, because he was littleof stature. And he ran before, and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see Him: for He was to pass that way. And when Jesuscame to the place, He looked up, and saw him, and said unto him, Zacchaeus, make haste, and come down; for today I must abideat your house.Remember that the Lord Jesus was on His way to Jerusalem to suffer and to die. And there He was, the patient,suffering Lamb of God-but here He speaks in that commanding tone which well became the Prince of the House of David-"Zacchaeus,make haste, and come down; for today I must abide at your house."
6. And he made haste, and came down, and received Him joyfully. Solomon said, "Where the word of a king is, there is power."Omnipotence went with the word of this King of kings, so Zacchaeus was bound to obey it.
7-11. And when they saw it, they all murmured, saying, That He was gone to be guest with a man that is a sinner. And Zacchaeusstood and said unto the Lord; Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken anything from anyman by false accusation, I restore him fourfold. And Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house, for ashe also is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man is come to seek and to sa ve that which was lost And as they heard these things,He added and spoke a parable, because He was near to Jerusalem, and because they thought that the Kingdom of God should immediatelyappear Their minds were full of thoughts concerning Christ's coming as a King-and they had very mistaken notions concerningHis Kingdom, so He indicates to them that, for the present, the practical matter to be remembered was that He had come "toseek and to save that which was lost." If they had not been
so full of their idle dreams of a temporal sovereignty, they would have perceived that in the calling of Zacchaeus, Christhad manifested His Kingship in the realm of mercy and had there exercised the Sovereignty of His Grace. In order that theymight be able the better to understand the meaning of His spiritual Kingdom and not have their eyes so dazzled by the illusionswhich had so long deceived the Jews, our Lord pointed out to them, in the parable of the pounds, the practical way of preparingfor His Second Coming.
12-15. He said therefore, A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return. Andhe called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come. But his citizens hatedhim, and sent a message after him, saying, We will not have this man to reign over us. And it came to pass that when he wasreturned, having received the kingdom, then he commanded these servants to be called unto him, to whom he had given the money,that he might know how much every man had gained by trading. It would have been well if our translators, instead of usingthat ugly Latin word, "occupy," had kept to the expression, "trade with it," for here we get the same words again-"that hemight know how much every man had gained by trading."
16. Then came the first, saying, Lord, your pound has gained ten pounds. The genuine servant, with due humility, puts himselfin the background. It is not he who has "gained ten pounds"-it is his lord's pound that has done it. He is pleased to bringthe ten pounds, yet he claims no credit for himself, but says, "Lord, yourpound has gained ten pounds."
17. Andhe said unto him, Well, you good servant: because you have been faithfulin a verylittle, have you authority over tencities. There is no comparison between the servant's work and the reward for its faithful performance. That ten pounds, ifhis lord had given it all to him, would not have bought a house in a village, unless it had been a very tiny one-"a cottagein a vineyard," or "a lodge in a garden of cucumbers." Yet his lord gives him "authority over ten cities."
18. 19. And the second came, saying, Lord, your pound has gained five pounds. And he said likewise to him, Be you also overfive cities. How he must have opened his eyes when he received authority over five cities!
20. And another came, saying, Lord, behold, here is your pound, which Ihave kept laid up in a napkin. The napkin with whichhe ought to have wiped away the sweat from his brow, he had used merely as a wrapper for the pound that his lord had entrustedto him for the purpose of trading with it. He had done nothing with the pound-he thought he was all right because he had notdone any harm with his lord's money. He had not joined the revolting citizens who said, "We will not have this man to reignover us." He had not spent the pound, nor embezzled his master's money-in fact, he had been very careful to keep intact thetreasure that had been entrusted to him-and he felt proud of his own prudence and said, "Lord, behold, here is your pound,which I have kept laid up in a napkin."
21. For I feared you, because you are an austere man: you take up that you lay not down, and reap that you did not sow. Thiswas impudence indeed! But his master took him on his own ground and showed that even if his statement had been true, he oughtto have been the more diligent in obeying his lord's command.
22. 23. And he said unto him, Out of your own mouth will I judge you, you wicked servant. You knew that I was an austere man,taking up that Ilaid not down, and reaping that I did not sow: therefore then gave not you my money into the bank, that atmy coming I might have required my own with usury?"You might have done that, at any rate, even if you were afraid to tradewith it, as I bade you." God often deals with men on their own ground and condemns them out of their own mouth. They say thatGod is very severe in threatening them with "the wrath to come." Well, if you so believe and so speak, there is the more reasonwhy you should fear to disobey Him and so to incur His just displeasure! If, in spite of such terrible threats, you stilldefy Him, it only brings out the more clearly the greatness of your guilt!
24, 25. And he said unto them that stood by, Take from him the pound, and give it to him that has ten pounds. (And they saidunto him, Lord, he has ten pounds). They were quite astonished. "What? Give more to the man who has so much already?" "Yes,"says the master, "that is my command."
26. For I say unto you, That unto everyone which has shall be given; and from him that has not, even what he has shall betaken away from him. Hear again the note of sovereignty. Christ will do as He wills! And His mode of action shall sometimesbe so singular that even His own attendants will wonder at the strangeness of His procedure and will begin to ask, "How isthis?" But, as Elihu said to Job, "He gives not account of any of His matters."
27-31. But those my enemies, which wouldnot that Ishouldreign over them, bring here andslay them before me. " And when Hehad thus spoken, He went before, ascending up to Jerusalem. And it came to pass, when He was come near to Bethphage and Bethany,at the mount called the Mount of Olives, He sent two of His disciples, saying, Go you into the village over against you; inthe which at your entering you shall find a colt tied, whereon yet never man sat: loose him, and bring him here. Andif anyman asks you, Why do you loose him? Thus shall you say unto him, Because the Lord has
need ofhim. Here we see Christ's true royalty again flashing out from beneath the humiliation of His Humanity! He lets usknow that although He is going up to Jerusalem to die, it is not because He is not Lord of All! But that being Lord of All,He makes Himself of no reputation, takes upon Himself the form of a Servant, is made in the likeness of men and being foundin fashion as a Man, He humbles Himself and becomes "obedient unto death, even the death of the Cross."
32-34. And they that were sent went their way, and found even as He had said unto them. And as they were loosing the colt,the owners thereof said unto them, Why loose you the colt? And they said, The Lord has need ofhim. The word of the King wasagain with power and the owners of the colt were willing to let the animal go since the King had "need of him." They may havebeen secret disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ, but we have no information upon that point. Our King's warrant runs anywhere-andeven when His personal Presence is not consciously realized, His royal and Divine word still rules the minds and hearts ofmen!
35-38. And they brought him to Jesus: and they cast their garments upon the colt, and they set Jesus thereon. And as He went,they spread their clothes in the way. And when He was come near, even now at the descent of the Mount of Olives, the wholemultitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen.Saying, Blessed be the King that comes in the name of the Lord: peace in Heaven, and glory in the highest They were so jubilantthat they seemed to have caught some notes from the song that the angels sang at the Savior's birth-"Glory to God in the highest,and on earth peace, good will toward men." There had been war in Heaven, but these disciples of Christ sang, "Peace in Heaven,and glory in the highest."
39-41. Andsome of the Pharisees from among the multitude said unto Him, Master, rebuke Your disciples. AndHe answered andsaid unto them, I tell you that if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out. And when He was comenear, He beheld the city and wept over it. What a contrast! The King's courtiers shouting for joy and the King, Himself, weepingover the guilty city where the greatest tragedy in the history of the whole universe was about to take place! The King saw,in the near and more remote future, what no one else could see, so, "when He was come near, and beheld the city, He wept overit."
42-48. Saying, If you had known, even you, at least in this your day, the things which belong unto your peace! But now theyare hid from your eyes. For the days shall come upon you that your enemies shall cast a trench about you, and compass youround, and keep you in on every side, and shall lay you even with the ground, and your children within you; and they shallnot leave in you one stone upon another; because you knew not the time of your visitation. And He went into the Temple, andbegan to cast out them that sold therein, and them that bought; saying unto them, It is written, My house is the House ofPrayer; but you have made it a den of thieves. And He taught daily in the Temple. But the chief priests and the scribes andthe chief of the people sought to destroy Him, and could not find what they might do: for all the people were very attentiveto hear Him. There was a popular wave of enthusiasm in His favor but, alas, it soon ebbed away and then the multitudes thathad cried, "Hosanna!" were just as loud in their shouts of, "Crucify Him! Crucify