Sermon 3302. Faith in Christ's Ability
A SERMON PUBLISHED ON THURSDAY, MAY 16, 1912.
DELIVERED BY C. H. SPURGEON,
AT THE METROPOLITAN TABERNACLE, NEWINGTON, ON THURSDAY EVENING, APRIL 12, 1866.
"Jesus sai unto them, Believe you that I am able to do this?" Matthew 9:28.
[Other Sermons by Mr. Spurgeon upon verses 27 to 30, are #1355, Volumen 23-OUR LORD'S QUESTION TO THE BLIND MEN and #1560,Volume 26- THE PLAIN MAN'S PATHWAY TO PEACE.]
I WANT to lay special emphasis on the word, "this," in the text-"Believe you that I am able to do this?" The question of Jesusreferred to one particular thing-it was not intended to apply to the general power of Christ to heal the sick or to raisethe dead-it concerned the specific malady from which these two men were suffering. The question meant did they believe thatChrist was able to cure their blindness? Among professing Christians, there is much so-called faith that is not really faith.Many of us profess much more in our creeds than we believe in our hearts and we hold a great deal more in theory than we doin reality. For instance, I suppose there is no professor of religion here who would dispute the power of the Lord Jesus Christto do anything and everything-we believe that He has all power in Heaven and in earth. And yet, if it came to be a matterof personal detail and He said to us, "Believe you that I am able to do this?" we might not all be able to answer as promptlyand as confidently as the blind men did, "Yes, Lord."
I. I am going to speak about this matter, and I start with the very simple statement that FAITH, IN SO FAR AS IT IS TRUE,DEALS IMMEDIATELY WITH THE CASE IN HAND.
True faith believes that Jesus Christ is "able to do this." It believes, of course, that He is able to do twenty thousandother things, but it believes especially that He is "able to do this"-to forgive this sin of which I am so deeply conscious,to remove this trial with which I am now so sorely afflicted, to sustain me under this temptation which so fiercely assailsme, to strengthen me to accomplish this duty which so clearly is before me. As each special case arises, faith will exerciseitself upon that particular thing and believe that Christ is "able to do this."
There are solemn thoughts connected with unbelief concerning "this" which Christ is able to do. Over there is a Brother whois in such a plight that he thinks there is no way of deliverance for him out of it. He has a task before him which he hardlydares ask his Lord to enable him to perform because he lacks the necessary faith in his Lord's power and willingness to helphim! Now, my dear Friend, as you are in doubt in this case, I want to ask you what is to prevent you from doubting in thenext difficulty that occurs to you-and then in the next after that, and so on? You say that it is only upon this one pointthat you are in doubt and that you think you have very good reasons for not believing in this particular case? But the nextcircumstances that occurs to you will very probably furnish you with just as weighty reasons for doubting-and so will it bewith each succeeding case as it arises. It seems to me that you are shut up to this alternative, either to trust God in thiscase or else to confess that you do not intend to believe Him in any case. I know you will urge that the present case is avery peculiar one, but I shall remind you that the next one will also be a very peculiar one. I have not lived as long assome of you have but, during the years that I have been able to observe what has been passing around me, I have noticed thatevery year of my life has been a crisis in the affairs of the nation-at least so the papers have always told us and so havesome good people always told us! I think it is very likely that the present time is a most solemn crisis and I also thinkwith equally good reason, that this is a most solemn crisis in your history and that if you do not believe now, you are notlikely to believe in the next crisis that comes to you. The fact is, you must either believe God always or you must neverbelieve Him! If you think Christ is not "able to do this"-forgive this sin, remove this trial,
overcome this temptation, or strengthen you for this duty-you will probably think the same when the next testing times comes.
Moreover, it seems to me that if you doubt God concerning any one trial, you give up the whole case. You would have me believethat your present trial is very peculiar and strange. Well, suppose I admit that it is? Still, if you do not believe concerningthis, you have given up the whole case, for what Christ claims is Omnipotence-and if there is any one thing that He cannotdo, then He is not Omnipotent! If there is any one heart too hard for Him to break, if there is any one sin too strong forHim to enable me to abandon, then He is not Omnipotent. If you look this thought fairly in the face, I think you will scarcelydare to rob your Lord of one of the most glorious of His attributes! You would surely hesitate to put forth that right handof yours to snatch from His crown one of its most precious gems! No, you would sooner lose your life than commit so traitorousa crime as that-yet you do practically commit it if you do not believe that He is "able to do this," whatever, "this," maybe and, therefore, you do virtually say that He is not Almighty!
Besides, your doubt concerning God's power sets up a new god. Do you start in alarm at that statement? It is true, for thatwhich is mightiest in the world is God-but if there is anythingwhich surpasses the power of God-something that is more potentthan Omnipotence, that something must be god! I only put the matter thus to show you that you are obliged to believe thatGod can deliver you out of your present desperate plight, or else you must become an idolater! You must feel that your difficultiesand trials are greater than God and, therefore, you deify them! Of course you do not mean to do that! You feel a cold shivergo through you at the bare thought of such blasphemy, yet you practically do it whenever you doubt that God is "able to dothis," whatever, "this," may be!
Further, to doubt God's power to do "this," whatever it may be, is challenging every attribute of the Divine Character. Icould prove this if I had the time, but I will indicate only one attribute of God, that is, His truthfulness. Take such apromise as this, "He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble." Now, if you doubt God's powerto fulfill that promise, you practically challenge His veracity! Can you calmly contemplate such a sin as that would be? Yetit seems to me that you cannot avoid committing that sin unless now, by simple faith, you believe that He is "able to do this."But grant that God is Omnipotent, once really accept that Truth of God in your heart and then you will feel that there remainsno strait into which you can be brought out of which He cannot deliver you, that there is no temptation which may assail youfrom which He cannot preserve you, that there can be no position of peril in which He cannot protect you and out of whichHe cannot bring you unharmed! May the Holy Spirit graciously reveal to us the unsafe, treacherous, boggy pit that would swallowus up if we doubt that God is "able to do this"-and may He enable us to realize that it is safe walking and happy walkingwhen we walk by faith!
II. My second statement, which is as simple as the first, is that TRUE FAITH, ESPECIALLY IN THE MATTER OF SALVATION, MUSTBE PERSONAL.
If I have any true faith in Christ at all, I must believe that He is "able to do this"-that is, that He is able to do forme what He has done for many who are now in Glory-and what He is doing for many who are rejoicing in His salvation here onearth! I know that I am addressing many who believe in the Bible. At least you say that you do and that you believe that JesusChrist is able to do everything. That is the theory of your faith, yet you do not believe this-that Jesus Christ is able tosave you now. You have got an idea in your mind that for some reason or other, on account of some lack of preparation in you,or for some equally foolish reason, the simple act of faith in Christ would not be the means of bringing salvation to yoursoul! You imagine that your case is not one that is covered by the promise of God, or encompassed by the Grace of our LordJesus Christ!
If that is what you think, that Christ cannot save you-why do you not doubt whether He can save others? In fact, why do younot doubt whether He can save any sinner who ever lived? You tell me that your case is a very peculiar one. I will grant youthat, but then the case of the next sinner you meet will also be a peculiar one. He is as honest a man as you are and he willtell you that there is something very peculiar about his case. I have very seldom talked with any person under convictionof sin who did not think that his case was different from that of anybody else-and very surprised has he been when I havetold him that his words just described my own experience when I was under conviction of sin! If you believe that Christ cannotsave you because of some peculiarity in your case, is it not equally reasonable or unreasonable that you should believe thatHe cannot save another sinner because of some peculiarity in his case? In this way you would soon get to believe that JesusChrist cannot save at all! "No," you say, "I shall never believe that." But that is practically
what you do believe! You do not believe that Jesus Christ is a potent Savior! You may think that you do, but if the matterwere put to the test and you regarded every other sinner's case as you regard your own, there would be just as good reasonto suppose every other case to be hopeless as to conclude that there is no hope of salvation for yourself! If you are strictlyreasonable in your belief, you must either believe that Christ can save you or that He can save nobody at all!
Then, as I said before under the previous head, if you do not believe that Christ can save you, you give up the whole case.You have probably, all of you, held as one of the undisputed articles of the Christian faith that Christ is Omnipotent. Butsupposing that your case is one in which His blood has no cleansing efficacy-supposing that you are so vile that He cannotand will not receive you, supposing that your heart is so hard that He cannot soften it-then He is not Omnipotent! That isas clear as anything can be, for here is a case that has defied and defeated Him! Oh, tell it not in Gath, publish it notin the streets of Askelon that there is a man here who professes to believe the Bible, yet He holds that Christ is not Omnipotent!"Oh," you say, "I do not hold that!" But you do practically hold it, for if you thought Him to be Omnipotent, you must concludethat He is "able to do this," that is, to save you!
More than that, disbelieving Christ's power to save in your own case is virtually making yourself god. "Oh, no!" you say inhorror at the bare mention of such a thing! "I never did that!" Stay a moment and let me prove it to you. You believe thatthere is something in you which cannot be overcome by Divine Power. You think that there is something in you which makes itimpossible that you can be saved. Now listen, the most mighty of all forces must belong to Deity- but if there is in you someforce of wickedness, some hardness of heart, some obstinate willfulness which you imagine God really cannot overcome, thenyou are practically making out that the evil in you is more powerful than Omnipotence and greater than God! Is not this verystrange, as well as very wicked? You thought you were making yourself out to be very humble, but it turns out that you arevery proud, lifting up yourself to the very Throne of God and seeking to usurp His place! This is what you are practicallydoing when you assume that Christ is not "able to do this," that is, to save you. My dear Friend, look at the enormous guiltin which such unbelief would involve you and start back from it with the utmost abhorrence! And believe that Christ is mightyto save, yes, that He is Almighty to save even you!
I say again, as I said upon the first part of my subject, this unbelief of yours challenges all the Divine Attributes. Inbelieving that Christ cannot save you, you are dishonoring the Character of God in the Person of His well-beloved Son, foryou have set a limit to His power although He said that all power in Heaven and in earth had been given to Him! When He asks,"Is My arm shortened that it cannot save you?" you answer, "Yes, Lord." When He says, "Is My ear heavy that it cannot hearyour cry?" you reply, "Yes, Lord." You may not dare to say it with your lips, but you really mean it in your heart-and thatis even worse! You are denying the Truth of Christ's promise. He said, "Come unto Me, all you that labor and are heavy laden,and I will give you rest." Yet yousay, "Lord, I would come to You, but I would never get any rest. I would trust you, butI would never be saved." You suppose either that Christ has promised more than He can perform, not knowing that He was doingso, which is challenging His Omniscience, or that He has deliberately promised more than He knew that He could do, which ischallenging His truthfulness and honor! He has commanded that this message should be preached to every creature in all theworld-"He that believes and is baptized shall be saved." He also said, "He that believes on the Son has everlasting life."This is His declaration concerning every believing soul, so that if you believe on Him, it is notpossible that your case couldbe beyond the limit of His power to save! I am not talking now about His willingness to save. If I were, I would speak justas confidently, but just now I am referring to His power. Christ's own question to you, my dear Friend, is the same that Heput to the blind men, "Believe you that I am able to do this?"-that, is, to save you! Think of the solemn consequences ofunbelief-see how shamefully it maligns and slanders the Character of Jesus and then may His gracious Spirit sweetly compelyou to believe that He is "able to do this," and to save even you!
After Christ had cured these blind men, He healed a dumb man who was possessed with a devil. And the multitudes marveled,saying, "It was never so seen in Israel." I wonder if there is one here who thinks himself the biggest sinner in the world,the most hardened, the most hopeless? If so, and he believes in Jesus, Jesus will save him and then he, also, will be ableto say, "It was never so seen in Israel." I know that when I found peace through believing in Jesus, I thought that it hadnever been so seen in Israel! And I have met with many others who have felt just the same about their own conversion. Well,supposing that it wasnever so seen in Israel, then there are new honors and fresh glories for Immanuel and there is no reasonwhy it should not be seen here tonight! At any rate, I pray God to show you the inconsistency of professing to believe theBible and yet thinking that for some reason or other, or for all the reasons in the world put together, Christ is unable tosave you!
III. My third statement, which is as simple as the first and second were, is that IN ALL MATTERS AFFECTING THE SOUL, THE VITALQUESTION IS THAT OF FAITH.
"Believe you that I am able to do this?" must be the vital question concerning a soul's salvation! Personal faith with regardto Christ's power to save must be the main matter. Jesus did not say to these blind men, "Have you a proper sense of yourblindness? Are you sufficiently sensible of the deprivation from which you suffer through the loss of your eyesight? Do youfeel the degradation of the poverty which compels you to beg? Have you wept, moaned, groaned and grieved because you cannotsee?" No such questions as these were put to them by our Lord! He simply asked them, "Believe you that I am able to do this?"There are various questions that many of you ask yourselves although Christ never puts them to you-His one enquiry is, "Believeyou that I am able to do this?" If you can answer that question satisfactorily, you need not trouble about your own queries!
You will notice, too, that Christ did not ask the blind men whether they loved Him. He did not say to them, "I am not goingto do anything for you unless your hearts are burning with love to Me." Oh, no! It would have been clean contrary to our Savior'snature to say to these men, "Are you really fond of Me? Then I will do what you desire." So, Sinner, Christ does not ask youwhether you love Him because He knows that you do not-yet you ask yourself this question again and again-"Do I love the Lordor no? Am I a lover of Jesus? I have heard His people say that they love Him, but do I love Him?" Now, this is a very properquestion for you to ask yourself after you have believed in Jesus-but you must have the root-grace of faith, first, beforeyou begin to look for its fruits. I hope that you will afterwards attain to that burning, fervent love that many advancedBelievers have to Jesus, but this is not the matter that concerns you just now. The question that Jesus puts to you now is,"Believe you that I am able to do this? Believe you that I can take your sins away and make you clean tonight? Believe youthat I can take away your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh? Believe you that I can turn you, a lion, into a lamb?Believe you that I can give you the Grace of repentance though you cannot repent without My aid? Do you believe that I amable to do all that needs to be done in order to save you?" This is the question Christ asks you now. I trust the time willcome when He will say to you, "Do you love Me?" and that you will be able truthfully to answer, "Lord, You know all things.You know that I love You."
There was another question which Christ did not put to the blind men. He did not say to them, "Have you feared whether youwould ever have your sight? Have you been frightened at the thought that you may have to grope about in darkness and povertyall your days? Have you been in such despair that you have almost feared that you would commit suicide unless your blindnesscould be cured?" No, Christ did not ask any such questions as these! His one enquiry was, "Believe you that I am able to dothis?" Friends tell us sometimes about the terrors they have experienced before they came to Christ by simple faith, but itwould be quite wrong on our part to conclude that such terrors are necessary! I believe that they are nevernecessary and thatthey are seldom useful-it certainly cannot be right to put them in the place of faith in Christ! Dear Friend, I wish thatyou would answer the Master's question and leave all other matters alone until He asks you about them. He does not questionyou concerning your fears and your terrors, the plowing and harrowing Law work of which some brethren are so fond of talkingabout. His first question is, "Believe you that I am able to do this?" Give Him an answer and may the Holy Spirit enable youto give the right reply, "Yes, Lord," even as the blind men did when Christ put a similar question to them! The vital matteris faith in Jesus. "Do you believe on the Son of God?" O Sinner, how glad and thankful I would be if I knew that you weresaying in your heart, "I do believe that Christ is both able and willing to save me. And I cast myself into His arms now."If you have really done that, you are saved, and now you know, feel, and rejoice in His power to save all those who come untoGod by Him! Trust in Jesus, for this is the vital sign by which we discern those who are chosen of the Father, regeneratedby the Holy Spirit and redeemed by the precious blood of Jesus! If you truly believe in Jesus, you are born of God-you neednot fear that you shall ever perish, but you may even now rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of Glory!
IV. I close with this fourth observation, that THIS QUESTION IS ONE WHICH WE MIGHT NATURALLY
HAVE CONCLUDED THAT JESUS WOULD ASK.
It was a vitally important question, and it was by no means an unreasonable one. If the blind men had not believed that Jesuswas "able to do this," they would not have asked Him to have mercy upon them. It would have been an imper-
tinence on their part, or something worse than that, if they had pleaded for mercy and yet had not believed that He was ableto grant it to them! I should not feel pleased if a blind man came to me and said, "Will you be so good as to open my eyes?"I should feel morally certain that he was mocking me, for he would know as well as I do that I have not the power to givesight to the blind! Now, dear Friends, some of you have been praying to the Lord to have mercy upon you-so you see that youhave committed yourselves just as these blind men had! You have not told anybody about it. Possibly it was behind the hedge,or up in the hayloft, or in that little bedroom of yours when no one but God could see you. Well then, how did you dare topray thus if you did not believe that the Lord could do for you what you asked of Him? You did not mean to insult Him, didyou? I think the very fact of your praying drives you to the conclusion that you do believe that He is "able to do this."If you do not, you must not pray anymore! "Oh," you say, "I cannot help praying." I am glad you cannot and I hope you neverwill cease praying, but if you go on praying, yet do not believe in Christ's power to save you, it is very much like a mockeryof the Savior, for how can you pray with any sort of justification unless you can truly say, "O Lord, I do believe that Youare able to save, and able to save even me"? I do not know whether the blind men at first fully believed in the Deity of Jesus,but I assume that all of us hold that He is "very God of very God." I hope none of you have been led astray by the false Doctrinethat Christ is a mere man. You believe that He is the Son of God, so what is more reasonable than that He should say to you,"Believe you that I am able to do this?" You must give up your belief that He is Divine or else you must believe that He isable to do this, that is, to save you! I have already shown you that Omnipotence is essential to Deity, so if you doubt thatChrist is Omnipotent, I do not see how you can believe that He is the Son of God. But inasmuch as you say that you do believethat He is the Son of God, and I have no reason to question your veracity, how can it be a question with you whether He isable to save you?
Besides, you know that Christ has saved a great many other people and this should encourage you to believe that He can saveyou. The blind men had probably heard of His miracles of mercy and so were stimulated to cry to Him on their own account.You have seen the change that Christ has worked in some of your relatives or friends-and this being the case, Christ certainlyhas the right to expect that you should believe that what He was able to do for them, He is also able to do for you! Yourcase is not by any means as peculiar as you imagine. It can easily be matched by others where Christ's power to save has beenabundantly proved. If you are a drunk, we can produce drunks who have been saved by Christ. If you are a swearer, we can showyou swearers who have been saved by Christ. If you are a harlot, we can bring harlots who have been washed in the preciousblood of Jesus and who are now living chaste and holy lives. If, on the other hand, you have led an outwardly moral life andcannot feel the deep conviction of sin that others have experienced-if you say, with Cowper-
"I hear, but seem to hear in vain, Insensible as steel. If anything is felt, 'tis only pain To find I cannot feel"-
we can find plenty of cases to match yours! Suppose you have a bad leg and you go to a doctor and say to him, "Doctor, yousee what is the matter with my leg, but I don't believe you can cure it." He would certainly not feel flattered by your doubtconcerning his skill, yet he might say to you, "Well, it so happens that I have had many cases exactly like yours, and inevery instance the remedies I have prescribed have been the means of producing a complete cure." If, after that, you stillpersist in saying that you do not believe the doctor can cure you, he would be fully justified in saying to you, "Then I thinkyour unbelief is very unreasonable. Here in my book I have the record of many cases almost identical with yours, and as Iwas able to cure them, I have no doubt that I can cure you if you will only commit yourself to my hands and do as I tell you."In a similar manner, I venture to say that there is not a case in this house-there is not a case in the whole world to whichthere has not been a very close parallel in which the power of Christ has already been displayed- and, therefore, He has theright to ask every unsaved soul, "Believe you that I am able to do this for you?"
My dear Hearer, I can most confidently assure you that He is "able to do this." I know the ways of unbelief, for I have walkedthere. But oh, happy, happy, happy day when I understood my Savior's Grace and power at least in some degree! When I saw that,although I was a sinner, He came to save sinners, and although I was black with sin, His precious blood was able to wash mewhiter than snow-and although I was naked, His righteousness supplied me with a robe in which I might even dare to appearbefore God, and although I was spiritually dead, His Holy Spirit was given to
quicken me and make me live forever-thus in Christ all my soul's needs were fully met-and desperate as my case had appearedto myself, I had proved as so many before me and since have also proved that, "with God all things are possible." May youcome to the same conclusion, dear Friend, and cast yourself now upon the naked promise of God made in Covenant with Christand ratified by His most precious blood! If He does not save you when you trust Him, this Bible is not true. If any soul cantruly trust Him and then be a castaway, I have no Gospel to preach to guilty sinners! But that can never be the case, forHe has Himself declared-oh that I could pronounce the words as He uttered them!-"Him that comes to Me I will in no wise castout." Come then, everyone of you, and prove the truth of His blessed promise and so you shall be saved-and He shall have theGlory forever and ever! Amen.
EXPOSITION BY C. H. SPURGEON: MATTHEW9:18-38.
Verse 18. While He spoke these things unto them, behold, there came a certain ruler and worshipped Him, saying, My daughteris even now dead: but come and lay Your hand upon her, and she shall live. This was grand faith on the ruler's part, believingthat the touch of Christ's hand would raise his dead daughter to life! We do not wonder that the Savior honored such faithas that at once!
19, 20. And Jesus arose, and followed him, andso didHis disciples. And, behold, a woman, which was diseased with an issueof blood twelve years, came behind Him and touched the hem of His garment This was while He was on the way to the ruler'shouse. Jesus Christ can work many miracles while He is on the way to work other miracles.
21. For she said within herself, If I may but touch His garment, I shall be whole. This also is wonderful faith-in this Chapterwe get among the
great Believers! The man believes that the touch of Jesus can raise the dead. The woman believes that the touch of His garmentwill make her whole!
22. But Jesus turned about, and when He saw her, He said, Daughter, be of good comfort; your faith has made you whole. Andthe woman was made whole from that hour. [See Sermon #3020, Volume 53-good cheer from grace received.] Christ never comesshort of our faith, but He often goes beyond
23. And when Jesus came into the ruler's house, and saw the minstrels and the people making a noise. These were hired menand women who were brought in to act as mourners
24. 25. He said unto them, Give place: for the maid is not dead, but sleeps. And they laughed Him to scorn. But when the peoplewere put out, He went in-There is a good deal that has to be "put out" before the Lord Jesus Christ will fully reveal Hispower to bless. He would have you put out your doubts, your fears, your wandering thoughts, your self-trust-in fact, everythingthat is contrary to His righteous rule. "When the people were put out, He went in"-
25-27. And took her by the hand, and the maid arose. And the fame hereof went abroad into all that land. And when Jesus departedfrom there, two blind men followed Him, crying, and saying, You Son of David, have mercy on us! See how busy our Lord was,and how ready for every application that was made to Him! And note how He adapted His power to every case that came beforeHim. First He heals an issue of blood. Then He raises the dead and now He is ready to open blind eyes! I wish the Lord mighthave such blessed business among us here-and He may have-for if you will cry to Him for your child, dead in trespasses andsins, He will make her live! If you will bring your blind eyes to Him, He will open them! And if you will come to Him witha disease that is sapping your very life, He will heal you! Give the Lord plenty of this holy work to do! Drawn wells, theysay, are sweetest-and a Savior who is constantly used is most enjoyed!
28. And when He was come into the house, the blind men came to Him: and Jesus said unto them, Believe you that I am able todo this?That is the question the Lord puts to any who are in soul-trouble. "'Believe you that I am able to do this?'-to forgiveyour sins once and for all-to give you a new Nature at this very moment-to make you, a sinner, into a saint-to save you, notmerely for the next few weeks, but to save you eternally so that you shall see My face in Glory with exceeding joy-'Believeyou that I am able to do this?'"
28, 29. They said unto Him, Yes, Lord. Then touched He their eyes, saying, according to your faith be it unto you. That iswhat Jesus says to every person here, "According to your faith be it unto you." If you believe Christ a little, He
will bless you a little, but if you believe Him up to the hilt, He will bless you to the fullest! Your faith shall never outrunthe manifestations of Divine Love. Believe you this? Then you shall see it! "According to your faith be it unto you."
30-32. And their eyes were opened and Jesus immediately charged them, saying, See that no man knows it But they, when theywere departed, spread abroad His fame in all that country. As they went out, behold, they brought to Him a dumb man possessedwith a devil. These miracles were worked so rapidly, and they concerned such different cases that as we read of them, we rejoiceto see how Christ was ready for anything and ready for everything! It did not matter what case was brought to Him, He wasnever taken aback. Here He is just as fully prepared to heal the dumb as just now He was to cure the blind!
33. And when the devil was cast out, the dumb spoke -There is nothing like going at once to the root of the matter. Christdid not heal the dumb man, and leave the devil in him, but He first cast the devil out and then, "the dumb spoke." And thisis His way of saving men. He renews them by His Spirit, He casts the devil out and then their despair goes, their prayerlessnessdisappears, their love of vice is killed! All evil is expelled when once the root of the evil is pulled up. "When the devilwas cast out, the dumb spoke"-
CURE-Read/download the entire sermon, free of charge, at http://www.spurgeongems.org.] Christ had worked such miracles asthe multitudes had
never before seen! And they might well marvel.
34, 35. But the Pharisees said, He casts out devils through the prince of the devils. And Jesus went about all the citiesand villages- What the Pharisees said was of such very small consequence that, for the time being, Christ vouchsafed themno answer but this, "Jesus went about all the cities and villages." In like manner, it will be your best plan not to replyto slander. There are some lies that smell so strongly of the Pit from which they come that everybody will recognize theirorigin and, therefore, you need not take the trouble to point out that they are lies. And the best reply to all scandal andslander is to go on with your work just as if you had never heard it. The Pharisees said that Christ cast out devils throughthe prince of the devils, and the very next sentence is, "And Jesus went about all the cities and villages"-
35- 36. Teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom, and healing every sickness and every diseaseamong the people. But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them-Yet Christ, while upon the earth inthe flesh, never saw such multitudes as are gathered in London today! He never saw such multitudes as make up this nation!There never passed before the eyes of the Redeemer such multitudes as are crowded together in China and India today! No, thepopulation of the world has wondrously increased since those days, so what must be the compassion of His heart when He seesthe multitudes that are living in the world today? "When He saw the multitudes He was moved"-in the original, this is a verystriking word-it signifies that He trembled with emotion, His inmost powers were moved, His heart was stirred "with compassionon them"-
36- 37. Because they fainted and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd. Then said He unto His disciples, Theharvest truly is plenteous, but the laborers are few. Not the preachers, but the laborersare few! Not the talkers, but thelaborers-the patient, plodding, resolute, disinterested, industrious toilers who really go in for winning souls for Christ-themen and women who do real work for God and do not play at Christian service as some do, making it a kind of amusement to goand do some little good now and then! It is these laborers who are few. You know the difference between a dock laborer, ora farm laborer, and the gentleman who takes a tool in his hand just for a pastime now and then.
38. Pray you therefore the Lord of the Harvest, that He will send forth laborers into His harvest [See Sermon #1127, Volume19-HARVEST MEN NEEDED.] It is earnest workers that we are to
pray God to thrust forth into His harvest, for still the harvest is plenteous and the laborers are few.
was never before seen in Israel.