the Week of Proper 19 / Ordinary 24
Charles Spurgeon's "Morning & Evening"
“Judge not according to the appearance.”
Our Lord’s relatives did not yet understand him. Any trembling faith in his commission which they possessed, was exercised selfishly in wishing to see him become a man of influence, in whose honours they might share. Meanwhile he was bringing down upon his own head enmity and abuse for honestly rebuking the sins of the times. So wide a difference was there between the Lord Jesus and his nearest kindred. He lived for others, and they, until they became renewed in heart, sought only themselves.
By whom is chiefly meant the rulers. The people were so much in fear of these great ones, that they spoke with bated breath in reference to the object of their enmity.
His doctrine was not from himself, it was authorised by the Father, who had sent him.
How plaintive are these words! The loving heart of Jesus was wounded at their ingratitude and wanton malice.
Excellent advice, which we should all do well to follow. We ought not to allow ourselves to be swayed by prejudice and influenced by superficial appearances. Good men and good things are often despised. Truth and holiness have had to run the gauntlet of mankind. All is not gold that glitters, and there is much true gold which never glitters at all. May we be taught by the Holy Spirit to abhor that which is evil, and cleave only to that which is good and true. On the Saviour’s side may we always be found.
Faithful amid unfaithfulness,
‘Mid darkness only light,
Thou didst thy Father’s name confess,
And in his will delight.
Unmov’d by threats or flatt’ring wiles,
Or suffering, shame, and loss:
Thy path uncheer’d by earthly smiles,
Led only to the cross.
Give us thy meek and lowly mind;
We would obedient be;
And all our rest and pleasure find
In learning, Lord, of thee.
“If any man thirst, let him come unto Me, and drink.”
John 7:25 , John 7:26
There were various opinions and conjectures. All those who had come up to the feast were interested in him. Jesus always creates a stir; men cannot remain indifferent, but must take one side or the other in reference to him. The dauntless manner in which our Lord faced the crowd led many to ask whether, after all, the rulers were not afraid of him.
There was a vague notion current among the Jews that the origin of the Messiah would be veiled in mystery a notion in which there was a large amount of truth, hence their knowledge of the family at Nazareth was a stumbling-block in the way of their receiving the claims of Jesus.
Well might they make the inquiry. If men will not have Christ for a Saviour, what sort of a Saviour would they have?
John 7:33 , John 7:34
They need not be in a hurry to put him away, for he would soon be gone.
There was such a large-heartedness about his teaching that it was adapted for all mankind, and a sense of this may have caused much of the irritated feeling of the Jews towards him.
Jesus kept in the background till the fitting moment, and then he came boldly forward to deliver one of the freest and fullest gospel discourses upon record. On a day when no servile work might be done, and consequently no water could be drawn, he freely proclaimed his salvation. His grace is free, it is effectual in its operation, and its results are abiding, elevating, purifying, and saving. Faith receives the grace of God, and the soul lives. Without money and without price the boon of eternal life is bestowed. Let us bless that dear Redeemer who at this moment still cries aloud, “If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.”
The Saviour calls, let every ear
Attend the heavenly sound;
Ye doubting souls, dismiss your fear,
Hope smiles reviving round.
For every thirsty, longing heart,
Here streams of bounty flow,
And life and health and bliss impart,
To banish mortal woe.
Ye sinners, come; ‘tis mercy’s voice,
The gracious call obey;
Mercy invites to heavenly joys;
And can you yet delay?
Dear Saviour, draw reluctant hearts,
To thee let sinners fly,
And take the bliss thy love imparts,
And drink, and never die.