Page images
PDF
EPUB

despicable as instructors—as patterns for our study and imitation, for it has been said by the same authority—the authority of the Lord Jesus Christ himself-that “ of such is the kingdom of God'.”

1 Luke xviii. 16.

SERMON V.

THE MEANS OF OBTAINING FORGIVENESS

OF SINS.

Luke vii. 49.

And they that sat at meat with him began to say

within themselves, Who is this that forgiveth sins also ?

It is indeed a remarkable scene which the Evangelist has recorded in this passage, a scene exceeding interesting even to those who read, and full of edification to those who will study it. We have already listened to its perusal, let us now examine it more closely, that we may profit by the instruction with which it teems.

You will remember that the preceding portion of the chapter contains an account of some of our Saviour's most striking works. In the commencement of it, he restores a sick man to health by a word, without seeing him or coming near him. In the fourteenth verse, he stands by the bier of the widow's only son, he commands the dead body to arise—and the mother is no longer childless. Shortly after, the disciples of John come with the question, “ Art thou he that should come, or look we for another ?" And that they themselves might be able to answer it, “ many are cured of their infirmities, and plagues, and of evil spirits ; and unto many that were blind, sight is given." No wonder that the multitude began to perceive that “a great prophet had risen up among them, and that God at length had visited his people.”

Partaking perhaps somewhat in the general interest which had been excited concerning him,“ one of the Pharisees desired that he would eat with him." One of the Pharisees.

One of that per verse number, who had rejected the preaching of John, alleging on account of his austere severity that he “had a devil"--and who now observing the kindliness, and condescension, and familiarity of Jesus, found also in these opposite qualities an equal plea for unbelief, and exclaimed, “Behold a gluttonous man and a winebibber, the friend of publicans and sinners.” Even one of this sect was so far persuaded by what he had seen or heard, that “ he desired Jesus that he would eat with him.” Our Lord enters at once into the Pharisee's house, and sits, or rather lies down to meat.

But it was not the Pharisee alone who felt an interest in Jesus—many others had their attention fixed upon him; and among the rest, one who was heavy laden with a sense of sin, one whose spirit was wounded and contrite; who was sorrowing after that sort of mourning which most of all needs a comforter; and who must have heard of Jesus (as it should seem) binding up the broken-hearted, healing the troubled in mind, and passing by the righteous that he might “ call sinners to repentance'.” “ And behold a woman in the city which was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee's house, brought an alabaster box of ointment, and stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment."

* Matt. ix. 13.

Now mark, my brethren, in how very different a manner the Pharisee and his guest are affected by this spectacle. We have already observed that the marvellous works of Jesus must have produced something like conviction in the mind of the former, or the Galilæan, as others of his sect contemptuously termed him, would not now be a partaker of his meal. But he was only half convinced. He believed he scarce knew what, and whether Jesus were the Messiah, or Elias, or one of the prophets, he had never perhaps seriously asked himself, or taken any pains to examine. At all events, whatever may have been his persuasions,—the giving sight to the blind, and hearing to the

« EelmineJätka »