Sermon 3529. More Room for More People
A SERMON PUBLISHED ON THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 14, 1916.
DELIVERED BY C. H. SPURGEON,
AT THE METROPOLITAN TABERNACLE, NEWINGTON.
"It is done as you have commanded, and still there is room." Luke 14:22.
How delightful it is to observe that the wrath of man becomes tributary to the Glory of God! See an illustration in the parableof the marriage supper. Those persons who were first bid would not come. In order to do the good man of the house a despite,they declined his invitation, they refused to grace his board. Instead of causing his honor to be tarnished, they were, againsttheir own will, the means of increasing his reputation! Had they come, it would only have been said that he made a great feastfor his good friends. As they did not avail themselves of his hospitality, he brought in the beggars from the streets andswept the hedges and the byways to find the poorest of the poor-to all of whom he gave a hearty welcome! So it became thecommon talk all over the land, and tens of thousands extolled the generosity of the host who had given such a sumptuous banquetto such strange guests. Let not the haughty, the arrogant, or the scornful of the children of men imagine that their paltryconceit can thwart God's Covenant purpose or bring discredit on the riches of His mercy! Oh, Sinner, if you reject a Savior,it shall be your own loss, not His! If you live and die without faith in Christ, upon your own head the fearful recompensewill fall! When the self-righteous reject Him, it only causes Jesus to say, "I came not to call the righteous, but sinnersto repentance." When the rich men and the rulers refuse the Gospel, then, "the poor have the Gospel preached to them." Whenthe wise and prudent put it aside, then it is graciously revealed unto babes! Thus God is glorified, though the temper ofmen is ever so turbulent. Let us, my Brothers and Sisters, always be patient of heart when we see the rage of men awakenedagainst the Gospel of Christ. They can do it no hurt! His purpose shall stand-He will do all His pleasure. The bit is in theirmouths, the hook is in their nostrils. Let them roar as they may, they cannot resist the force by which they are driven aschaff before the wind! He will surely perform His work and His name shall be glorious!
Not less delightful is it to observe how the anger of God, instead of venting itself in rashness, vindicates His goodness.In reading the parable to you just now, I noticed to you that because the man who made the feast was angry, he said, "Go outquickly into the highways and hedges, and bring in the blind, and the crippled and the lame to the supper." So kindly disposedwas he, that his very anger impelled him to an extraordinary deed of kindness! The Lord was angry with the Jews, and His Apostlesturned to the Gentiles. The natural branches of the olive were put away in His wrath-but what then? Why, He took us who wereof the wild olive and grafted us in who were heretofore wild and alien, so that even His anger towards Israel turned to thebenefit of the Gentiles-and we get reconciliation out of their rejection! May we not regard this as a rule of His government?When a congregation hears the Word and tramples it under foot, what marvel if God takes the candlestick out of the place inHis anger? But does He break the candlestick? No, He moves it to another place! Others get the benefit of the Light whichthose despised had it aforetime. Great God of Wonders, we bless You that even when Your anger burns, Your mercy brightly shines.Amidst the thunder and the storm, soft showers are rained in silver drops to make glad the earth!
Our text tells us that the servant said, "It is done as you have commanded, and still there is room."
I think I see here a satisfactory announcement-"It is done as You have commanded." A remarkable statement- "still there isroom." And an implied consummation-that the room will eventually be filled. First, then-
I. A DESIRABLE ANNOUNCEMENT.
He said, "It is done as you have commanded." Those who serve God best, have generally the least to say about it. When I hearpeople boast of their religious attainments, I am apt to seriously suspect their deficiencies. A boastful Christian I knewsomething of, when talking to an earnest man, met with very curt replies. "And pray" said the one, "have not you any Grace?" "Yes," said the other, "but I never had any to boast of." Disciples who are fullest of Divine Grace will
be slowest to vaunt. Humility befits a servant. "It is done," sounds better than, "I have done as you have commanded." Inlike manner the man who gained five pounds in one of the parables did not come and say, "Lord, I have gained five pounds"-hesaid, "Your pound has gained five pounds" That was the more delicate way to put it-not as an affectation of speech, but witha becoming modesty. So, too, with the Church of God, when she has done as Christ commands her, she will always feel desirousto wait upon Him as a humble servant, accounting this no more than her duty. Besides, the declaration appears to have beenmade in a waiting attitude, with an expectancy of having something more to do. "It is done as you have commanded, and stillthere is room," so that the servant seems to stand ready to do something more to fill the vacant places at the feast. Andthus we ought always to stand as Christians when we have done our best- waiting for fresh directions, never saying, "I havedone enough, and now I can retire from service." Rather let God be thanked for what we have been enabled to do, but, strengthenedand encouraged by success, let us resolve to do more and entreat Him to show us what still remains to be done, and what morewe can have the pleasure of doing! "Oh, my Lord, I have grown gray in Your service! Fulfill to me Your promise, 'You shallbring forth fruit in old age to show that the Lord is upright.' Do not put me away from your loved employ. Honor me with someother task. Delight my willing soul with some fresh command. Bid me do or suffer your will, but pass me not by, leave me notto be a laggard, not honored and uninterested in fulfilling my Lord's requests." So let the Church of God always feel thatshe has never come to the place where she can say, "Rest and be thankful." "Higher, higher, higher, higher," must still beher motto! If her missions have conquered one continent, they must invade another! If half the world has been converted, therewould be no rest to us till the other half were converted likewise. "It is done as You have commanded, and still there isroom-room for more work, because there is room for more guests at Your feast."
Did I not say that this was a desirable announcement? I am afraid these servants said what we would, some of us, hesitateto affirm. "It is done as You have commanded." Alas, how few churches could say this! And where the church might collectivelyaffirm it, many members of the church would shrink from professing individually to have done as the host commanded! For whatwas that your Lord enjoined? "Go out quickly." How little there has been of going out after sinners! We have been contentto preach to those who came to hear us! Of course, if the people will come to hear us in such numbers, and throng this Tabernacleso constantly, we have no reason to go away from them. But, alas, there are places of worship which I could indicate withoutdifficulty that are not filled, that never were filled, that never will be filled, where there are, probably, as many spidersas there are persons under ordinary circumstance where there are certainly more pews than sitters! And yet it does not seemto have ever occurred to the preacher that he should go out after the people! Small congregations will continue to worshipin places not one-fourth occupied, when they might go across to the theater or the music hall, or to some other large buildinginto which the people might come, and where they might be met with! It would be a strange thing for the supply of fish, ifour fishermen only sat at the window and caught what came beneath it-but never went forth to sea after the fish! There wouldbe little game, I guarantee you, upon his lordship's table if he sat at the drawing room window to shoot only that which camethere to be shot! But it does not come that way. The moors must be trod and the covers must be beaten! So if we are to havemany sinners saved, we must go out of our own quiet haunts and go forth into frequented places. We must preach in the street,or at the market, or on the village green! We must take the Word to the people, if they will not come to the Word. "Go out,go out," says the Savior. This is a word that should ring loudly in the ears of many Christians. You have almost heard enoughsermons-go out and teach yourself! While you have been eating the fat and drinking the sweet, multitudes are perishing forlack of the heavenly bread. Go out and break it to them! Oh, that there might come a holy impulse upon many here present tobegin some good work for Christ! Break up some soil up to now uncultivated! Make an eruption and an invasion into Satan'sterritory! There is no land that yields so well as that which is newly broken up. The virgin soil that has long been givenup to the forest, the brier and the thorn-let but the plow go through this and there shall be sevenfold harvests! No preachingis half as successful as that which carries the Gospel to the dissolute classes-those who have never been hardened by hearingand rejecting the tidings of mercy-those who, albeit they may have their faces stained with immorality, certainly have notany affectation in their manner! To these it comes like a new thing-it strikes them as sweet music and, hearing the joyfulsound, they full often turn to God and live! To this day is it true, as our Savior said in His day, that publicans and harlotsenter into the Kingdom of Heaven before Pharisees! This is a sphere of labor that remunerates the laborer. The lowest of thelow, when hearing the Word, often accept what the so-called respectable despise. Go out, therefore, go out!
Know this, likewise, that the matter is urgent, for the Master said, "go out quickly." Here, again, I am afraid we cannotsay we have done this. "Go out quickly"-go out in haste, go out with the utmost speed-go out as one who runs on an errand,anxious to fulfill his mission! Go out, not listlessly, as if you had to wait for an opportunity, but eagerly, knowing thatthis is the opportune time! Hurry yourself to have it done at once. Go out quickly. The world goes by steam, nowadays, whilethe Church still jogs on by the broad-wheeled wagon! I know some churches that crawl like a snail upon a small leaf, makingmuch ado to accomplish nothing! If half a dozen converts are added in 12 months, they think it is rather too many to be safe,and they are half afraid that they cannot be all genuine Christians! They would gladly "summer them and winter them," as theysay, and try them in half a dozen modes. In fact, it seems to them as if God never sent a new-born convert into their churchexcept for them to worry it-not for them to accept it as a blessing from Heaven and to train it, and nurse it-but to worryit! This will never do! We are to look after something more rapidly than the progress which these churches will ever make.Go out quickly! Men are dying. There is no time for us to be quibbling among ourselves! It behooves us to show our zeal ratherthan waste our energies. Men are perishing! We must preach the Gospel to them now-tell them that it is "now or never" withsome of them-make known to them a present Savior, and cry to them, "If God is God, serve Him! If Baal is God, serve him! Howlong will you decide between two opinions, for the Holy Spirit says, 'Today, if you will hear His voice'"? There needs tobe promptness, quickness, speed, eagerness after souls in the preachers of the Gospel. "Go out quickly."
And have we not failed in another point? "Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in the blind, andthe crippled, and the maimed, and compel them to come in." There are certain missions now established for which we have reasonto bless God greatly. There are works going on in London which are to the glory of Christendom. God speed them all! Such belovedfriends as Miss MacPherson, Dr. Bernardo, our brother Orsman and many others deserve our love and esteem, for they have giventhemselves up to work among the poorest of the poor and the lowest of the low, bearing a great deal which some of us mightshrink from, rejoicing to show their diligence among a people much neglected-and reaping a good harvest of comfort to themselvesin the salvation of souls! But, dear Friends, where there is one of such works, there ought to be 50-and with this populationof London, verging now upon four millions, when we have added all these works of faith and labors of love together, we mightwell say of them, "What are they among so many?" May God touch many of your hearts, my Brothers and Sisters, and make youfeel the soft touch of sympathy for the perishing, while you hear the Master's words spoken to you, "Go out yourselves quickly,and lay hold on the blind, and the crippled, and the maimed and bring them in to the supper" Yes, bring them to Jesus! Youcannot do it of yourself, but His Spirit dwells in you. Do not forget that! You are not an ordinary man. You are not an ordinarywoman. "Know you not that your bodies are the Temples of the Holy Spirit?" God dwells in you! And with God in you, what canyou not do? Have but faith in the indwelling Deity and attempt difficulties-no, attempt what some think impossibili-ties-andyou shall find that with God all things are possible! Weak as you are, yet, through His strength, you shall perform all things!I pray God for this Church, that she may not be found guilty at the coming of Christ of not having gone out after the poor.Encourage them to come to this house at all times, whenever you can. I do not know where we are to put any more, but thereis Thursday evening, and there is Monday evening, and there is room then. Oh, bring in whomever you can, for perhaps whenthe Gospel is preached, God may bless it to them. Let us not be deficient in this. In the next place we proposed to draw yourattention to-
II. A REMARKABLE STATEMENT.
They had fished up all the poor people in the city and they had brought in the four characters-the poor, the maimed, the lame,and the blind-and after that it was alleged "still there is room."
Well, well, that is a very encouraging piece of information for ungodly people here! For those who have not come to Jesus,this is welcome information! "Still there is room." Now we know there is still room for sinners, from several considerations.
We may infer it, to begin with, from the Doctrine of Election. God has chosen unto Himself a people. We are told that theirnumber is a number that no man can number. Well now, those who are saved are not so very many. They are a great many morethan some bigots would like to believe, but they are a great many fewer than some enthusiasts would imagine! I am sure Godhas not yet saved enough to accomplish the number that He has proposed to save, by a very long way. It is my own belief, asit is my earnest hope, that in all things Christ will have the preeminence. As in other things, so also in this, He will havemore souls than Satan, that He may have the preeminence over the old serpent. It does not look to me that there should likelybe at the last, more lost than saved. We cannot answer the question to a certainty, but
surely the Lord's mercy will triumph over human sin and God will get to Himself the victory! A good Divine used to say thathe hoped and thought that, at the last, there would be no more persons lost, in proportion, than there might be found of personsin prison, in any well-ordered State, in proportion to the number of those who were citizens at large. I only trust it maybe so. But the lines of God's election do not encompass a mere handful. There is a great and vast number chosen by Him-andthere is no such great and vast number gathered in yet. Therefore, we are persuaded that there is still room.
Next, the efficacy of the Atonement leads us to believe this. The Atonement that Christ offered on the Cross was no smallmatter. It was the sacrifice of Himself as an Infinite Being-as God and as Man-and I dare set no limit to it in its efficacy,itself considered. The death of so august a Person, in circumstances of such dishonor, amid agonies so inconceivable, musthave about it an amount of virtue utterly beyond all reckoning! Jesus Christ is to see of the travail of His soul and to besatisfied-and the travail of His soul does not mean the few Christian people that are now in the world or have been-and Hissatisfaction will not be consummated by the few millions that have up to now been saved. Why, it does not satisfy us yet,and our hearts are narrow compared with His! He will not be satisfied unless myriads are His. The jewels of His crown mustbe countless as the stars of Heaven by night, and as the sands upon the seashore by day! By that bottomless, fathomless Atonement,I believe that there still is and must be, room-
"Dear dying Lamb, Your precious blood
Shall never Lose its power,
Till all the ransomed Church of God
Is saved to sin no more."
The end has not been reached! The virtue of the blood has not been stayed. The ransomed Church has not been all gathered in.So there is still room!
Again, when I consider the greatness of the adorable Persons who entered into Covenant to devise the wondrous plan and accomplishthe mighty work of salvation, I feel persuaded that there is still room. Who is it that saves me? It is God who made Heavenand earth! He devised the magnificent purpose according to the good counsel of His will. Do you think that the Architect ofyonder heavens has designed a little Church for the display of His Glory? Do you think that He who spread the stars abroadin all their countless hosts to adorn His universe has limited the number, with causeless thrift, of brilliant diadems whoshall celebrate the everlasting song of His praise? We think not! It was Jesus who worked salvation and do you think thatsuch a Savior, of such unrivalled dignity, came to effect a petty salvation for a petty few whom you might count upon yourfingers? Incredible! Impossible! God forbid! And what shall I say of the Holy Spirit, whose majesty awes us, whose mysterybaffles us, whose mercy enlivens us-the Spirit of God who works in us that salvation which the Christ of God has worked forus-do you think that He has come to dwell on earth with any small or insignificant intent? What small sect will contributeto His satisfaction? No, Glory be to His name, He brought three thousand in on the Pentecostal day, and He will yet causenations to be born in a day, and the Church shall cry, "Who has begotten me these? These-from where did they come?" If I goto Gethsemane and see the bloody sweat, I expect a wondrous harvest from that matchless sowing! If I stand on Calvary andmark the flowing wounds, I expect a marvelous reward for those tremendous griefs! If we are not to be pitifully disappointed,there must be something greater yet in reserve than the world has ever seen! The history of Christendom is far more grandthan any chapter that has yet been written. There is room! There must be room for the feast of mercy-much room still to beoccupied! It is not yet half filled! Scant at present is the array of guests, compared with the complement of those who mustbe brought in!
"Still there is room." With a mysterious spiritual consciousness, with an eager, sympathetic anxiety, the Church feels andknows that there is room. The individual yearnings of our Lord's disciples attest it. Do I not myself daily feel as if therewere room-places that need peopling, as well as people that needed placing at the feast? Brothers, our Churches prove thatthe fresh converts introduced into their fellowship are like fresh blood poured into their veins. A Church cannot long behappy and healthy without recruiting, renewing, reviving-and we are always needing fresh workers with the dew of the morningupon their souls! We are needing preachers powerfully impressed with their own call to proclaim the Gospel. Many pulpits needthem! We need Evangelists-men who have just welcomed the news, the good news, the heavenly tidings, and hasten to tell itat the corners of the streets, to the passengers along our thoroughfares! Lovers of souls, seekers of souls, oh, how muchwe need them! Many a Sunday school needs teachers. Many a Ragged School needs self-denying assistants! Everywhere there isa need-a real need-for more helpers in the Church, for more laborers in the harvest! So there must be room to store the fruitsthey need to reap!
As the benches of the feast seem to groan for guests, so does the Church long after fresh access to her community. Were youhere sometimes at the Monday night Prayer Meeting, you would feel there was room! Some of our Brethren pray as if they hadroom in their hearts for hundreds and thousands that must be reclaimed! When the Church gets into the spirit of prayer, hercries and groans give proof of secret tears and private wrestling. Her earnest members, by the instant entreaties made toGod, prove that the Church feels that the guest chamber is not yet full. Her tent is not filled with children-she is cryingout, like Rachel of old-"Give me children or I die." She needs to see her converts multiplied, she longs to stretch forththe curtains of her habitations. There is-there must be room! Judging by my own experience, I say that the minister can generallyfeel when God is saving the souls of his hearers. The efforts and anxieties of his labor are accompanied with such pangs andthroes within his own soul that he is well content with the pain and travail for the joy he has in prospect! When last weekI had some conversation with the candidates for Church fellowship, my heart rejoiced as I found out how many of you had latelyfound the Savior. After being half-dubious whether a blessing had attended the sermons I recently preached, as I listenedto the stories of conversion that so many told me, it made my heart leap for joy! The fact was no tidings had come to me ofthe expectations I had fostered. There is an interval between the sowing time and the reaping time. But I am encouraged. Nodoubt there are more of you coming. All but decided now, you will be altogether decided soon. God is at work with you-He meansto bring you in, that His Grace may have honor. Well, those desires and prayers, those longings and hopes, those wishes andexpectations of the Church all show that she does not feel thorough satisfaction with present results-and certainly she feelsno misgiving as to the accommodation ready for all comers.
"Still there is room." Yes, God be praised, there is! That mother says, "Ah, that my child were brought in!" Blessed be God,there is room for him! And the father says, "Oh, that my sons were saved!" Well, there is room for them! There have been thousandswho have gone to Heaven of late, but still there is room! There are thousands who have come to Christ of late, but still thereis room! Prophets, Apostles, martyrs, confessors, saints have gone into Glory, but still there is room! In this Church hundredshave pressed in to know the Lord, but still there is room! There is room! There is room! And there is room for you! Blessedbe God for that! Oh, that you may occupy that room! My third point is this, that there is implied in the text-
III. A MOST BLESSED CONSUMMATION that the room will be filled.
It is an old saying of the natural philosopher that nature abhors a vacuum. It is true, I doubt not. But here is another axiom-Graceabhors a vacuum. The good man of the house could not bear to see a vacant seat at his table. All things were ready, but therewere empty places and he did not like it. The glory of the feast is to be found not merely in the provisions, but in the guests,so he must have the chairs occupied as well as the table covered. With reverence let it be said, the Glory of Christ liesnot only in His Sacrifice, but in the sinners that that Sacrifice saves! A king is no king who has not any subjects. A headis no head if it has not a body. And so Jesus Christ would be a King without subjects if there were none saved. He would bea Head without members-and that is a ghastly thought! He must have a people and, what is more, He must have all His people.In our natural bodies, if but a little finger is missing, the body is not perfect. So also in Christ-if all His members arenot saved, there would not be a perfect Christ! The Apostle tells us that the Church is the fullness of Christ. Hence if apart of the Church were lost, a part of Christ's fullness would be lost. Therefore He must cause all to come in the unityof the faith unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, for Grace abhors a vacuum! Whenat last the end shall come, and the dispensation of Grace shall be wound up, it will be seen that at the Table of Mercy herebelow, there was not a seat left empty! "All that the Father gives Me shall come to Me." "Whom He did foreknow, He also didpredestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son. And whom He did predestinate, them He also called." So it shall be.Satan shall not be able to point to a single empty place and say, "There should a certain soul have been seated. God appointedit, but I frustrated His purpose!" That cannot, shall not be! The wedding must and shall be furnished with guests!
In like manner the Table of Glory, like the Table of Grace, while the board is richly spread, the seats shall be amply filled.There at that Table, blessed be God, there is a place for me, and none of you can occupy it. It will be only occupied by himfor whom it was designed. If you believe in Christ, dear Friend, there is a place for you, a freehold, a vested right of whichyou cannot be deprived! There is a crown that will fit no other head than yours. There is a harp that will yield music tono other hands than yours. There is a mansion among the many, many mansions in our Father's House for your residence. Therewill be no mansions in Heaven at last untenanted. In some streets of London, "To let" is written on half the houses. Cheerlessis the lookout. But when at last the King shall bring His children Home, there will not be one pre-
pared mansion that has lost its prepared tenant! The reserved inheritance shall revert to the reserved people-the purchasedinheritance shall inherit the purchased possession! This gives me hope in preaching! It convinces me that I do not preachin vain. There must and there shall be some saved. God has declared it! God has made ready for it on earth and He has madeready in Heaven for it. Therefore, they shall be brought in! His preparation shall not be in vain. His wedding shall be furnishedwith guests. This certainty fortifies me against an apparent contingency. It inspires me with hope about some of you, my dearHearers, who look hesitant, that you, before long, will be resolute. If you come to God, there are preparations made to receive,to welcome you, to lodge you, to feed you, to supply all your needs. Do you desire to come? You shall not be cast away. Whyshould not you wear one of these crowns? Why should not you tenant one of those mansions? "Still there is room."
But who will help to fill that room? Who out of this dense throng of people will help to fill the vacant places at the GospelSupper? I cannot call you one by one, as I would like to, but I do call to you with all my heart, Come to Jesus! Should yousay, "How shall I come?" Well, it is not a motion of the body-it is a motion of the mind. "What sort of motion of the mind?"do you ask. It is trust-trust-simple conviction and unquestioning faith! If you commit your case to Him, He will be concernedfor you. Follow Christ-you shall have fellowship with Him. Your resolution will be evidence of your Redemption! Your pleawill procure a sense of His pardon! By your acquiescence you will learn that you are "accepted in the Beloved." May God inclineyou, by the mighty operation of His Spirit, to come to Jesus! So shall my prayers be answered! So shall your souls be blessedforever! Amen.
EXPOSITION BY C. H. SPURGEON: LUKE 8:41-56.
Verses 41, 42. And, behold, there came a man named Jairus, and he was a ruler of the synagogue: and he fell down at Jesus'feet, and besought Him that He would come into his house: For he had one only daughter, about twelve years of age, and shelay dying. But as He went the people thronged Him. Notice the word, "behold," for this was a wonder that a man so high inposition to come to Christ at all, especially one who was in an ecclesiastical position, for he "was a ruler of the synagogue."Usually those who had to do with the synagogue were great despisers of our Lord Jesus! God works great wonders, however, andsometimes the camel does go through the eye of the needle! This man's name was Jairus, a common Jewish name, and you willfind it was the name of one of the judges recorded in the Book of Judges. Note this man's humility, "He fell down at Jesus'feet." The greatest of men must humble themselves before they can obtain mercy. Jesus Christ is always ready to receive, toaccept and bless all those who fall down at His feet, but those who lift up themselves shall find Him to be their sure andswift enemy-and the day shall come when He shall abase them to the dust. "He besought Him that He would come into his house,for he had one only daughter, about twelve years of age, and she lay dying." She seems to have been not only the darling ofthe house, but of all the neighbors, too, for we find that all the neighbors came together to weep and to lament her. Youfind Matthew says that this daughter was already dead. It seems that some delay arose, so that the child died, but the father,with triumphant faith, still besought Him to come and raise her, even from the very jaws of death.
43, 44. And a woman having an issue of blood twelve years, which had spent all her living upon physicians, neither could behealed of any, came behind Him and touched the border of His garment: and immediately her issue of blood stopped. This diseaselaughs at the physicians, and whenever a cure has been effected it has always been a slow one. Hence the supernatural characterof this cure, "Immediately her issue of blood stopped." This is the glory of our blessed religion, that it heals sin-sicksouls at once and upon the spot! The moment a man believes in Jesus, his nature is changed! He becomes a new creature-in thatmoment all his sins are gone! In that same hour he becomes heir of God, and joint-heir with Christ. "Immediately."
45. And Jesus said, Who touched Me? When all denied, Peter and they that were with him said, Master, the multitude throngYou and press You, and do You ask, Who touchedMe?What impudence on their part! Doubtless there are many things we say of ourLord, and even to Him in prayer, that are very far from such words as He should have from His disciples. There were many whotouched Him out of curiosity, and doubtless some out of lack of respect to His Person came too close to Him, but there wasonly one who touched Him with the finger of faith, which was the only true touch!
46-48. And Jesus said, Somebody has touched Me, for I perceive that virtue has gone out of Me. And when the woman saw thatshe was not hid, she came trembling and, falling down before Him, she declared unto Him before all the
people for what cause she had touched Him, and how she was healed immediately. And He said unto her, Daughter, be of goodcomfort: your faith has made you whole; go in peace. Faith crowns Christ and, therefore, Christ takes the crown off His ownhead and puts it upon the head of faith. "Your faith has saved you." Christ's virtue would not have saved her without herfaith-and certainly her faith could not have saved her without Christ's virtue! We ought to note how vital faith is to truesalvation, and what a high degree of importance is attached to it. Let us, therefore, if we have some degree of faith, prayfor more, "Lord, increase our faith, for if a little of it may heal, what may not a great faith do?"
49. While He yet spoke, there came one from the ruler of the synagogue's house, saying to him, Your daughter is dead; troublenot the Master Be resigned, and say, "The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away," and expect not the blessing back again.Do as David did, who, while the child was yet alive, fasted and prayed, saying, "Perhaps God will spare him," but when hewas dead, fasted no more. Your daughter is dead-trouble not the Master." Ah, but this man knew that He who can stay the soulat the gates of death can also bring it back from the gates of death if He wills. He that can get it from the paw of the lioncan get it from the jaw of the bear! He can deliver His people at all times and at all seasons, and even Death is a conqueredfoe!
50. But when Jesus heard it, He answered him, saying, Fear not: believe only, and she shall be made whole. "Believe only."What a depth lies in those two words! Believe only! Ah, Lord, it ought to be the easiest thing in the world to believe You,for You are so truthful! You keep every promise to us, and yet sometimes when we are in the dark, and when circumstances gocontrary to us, it is hard to believe-but is it not the hardness in our own hearts? Believe only! Christian, what is yourtrouble this morning, what is your trial? Believe only, and let your humble faith cast your burdens upon your God! "Believeonly, and she shall be made whole."
51. 52. And when He came into the house, He allowed no man to go in except Peter, and James, and John, and the father andthe mother of the maiden. And all wept, and bewailed her: but He said, Weep not; she is not dead, but sleeps. They were sosure she was dead that they had actually hired the minstrels for her funeral-so Mark tells us-and the pipers and the womenthat made those strange, Oriental lamentations were there, ready to bury her.
53, 54. And they laughed Him to scorn, knowing that she was dead. And He put them out, and took her by the hand, and calledsaying, Little girl, arise.But Christ put them all out. They laughed Him to scorn and, therefore, He would not work the miraclein their presence. It is not meet to cast pearls before swine!
55. And her spirit came again, and she arose straightway: and He commanded to give her food.Do note here the word, "straightway."Just now we had the word, immediately, and now we have, straightway. It is one of the distinguishing features of the Gospel,both of Mark and of Luke, that both Evangelists use the word "eutheos," "straightway." Christ's miracles do not take a longtime to do-they are done straightway! If there is a distressed soul here, now, your salvation need not take months and years-itmay be done today, and in a moment you may be able to rejoice that your sins are forgiven, and that you are a child of God!"She arose straightway, and He commanded to give her food." There are no unnecessary miracles. It needed a miracle to giveher life, but food could sustain it and, therefore, there is no further miracle performed.
56. And her parents were astonished: but He charged them that they should tell no man what was done.But we know from anotherEvangelist that the same thereof went abroad everywhere and, indeed, the healing of a soul is not a thing to be kept secret-butwhen any are raised from the dead the world must know it!