2072. Breakfast With Jesus

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No. 2072-35:109. A Sermon Delivered On Lord’s Day Morning, February 24, 1889, By C. H. Spurgeon, At The Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington.

Jesus says to them, “Come and dine.” And none of the disciples dared to ask him, “Who are you?” knowing that it was the Lord. {Joh 21:12}

Or, as we have it in the 1881 English Revised Version,

Jesus says to them, “Come and break your fast.” And none of the disciples dared to enquire of him, “Who are you?” knowing that it was the Lord. {ERV Joh 21:12}

1. The Lord Jesus is thoughtful of bodily needs. In his earlier days he fed multitudes of people, on two grand occasions, with bread and fish. And now that he has died and risen from the dead, and is in the body of his glory, he still thinks of the hungry bodies of men, and calls to the fishermen, “Children, have you had any food?” Finding that they had nothing, he makes a breakfast for them. “Come and break your fast” falls very condescendingly from his lips, and it proves to us how he cares for the temporal needs of the poor. Here is warrant for the servants of God endeavouring to feed the hungry crowd. We are not to buy them with so-called charities, for our Lord never did that. Loaves and fishes are a very poor spiritual bait, and catch none of the right kind of fish. The feeding must come because they need it, and for the love of God, and with no ulterior motive. Just as the Saviour fed the people, so, according to our ability, we may attempt to do, without fear that we shall be going beyond our legitimate sphere in it.

2. Our Lord and Saviour was particularly mindful in this case of the needs of his own people. These seven disciples were supplied by his care. If any of you are in needy and trying circumstances, note this fact, and be encouraged. He who said to the seven, “Come and break your fast,” will not forget you in the time of your need. On your part, now is the time for the exercise of faith; and on his part, now is the season for the display of his power. If you look to your fellow men, perhaps they may fail to help you: they are far too apt to give the cold shoulder to those who are not well-to-do; but if you look to him, you shall have your prayer answered.

   “In some way or other the Lord will provide.”

3. I cannot tell how, any more than I can tell you how our Lord lit that fire of coals, or how he procured the fish which was broiling on the fire; but there was the fire, and there was the fish; and so, in the Lord’s own way, even in the mount of the Lord, it shall be seen that the Lord will provide. “Trust in the Lord, and do good; so you shall dwell in the land, and truly you shall be fed.” He who taught you to say, “Give us today our daily bread” did not teach you an empty phrase. Oh you whose need presses so closely as even to make you acquainted with hunger, behold how Jesus pities you, and look to him to aid you; for he is the same now as he was by the lake of Galilee.

4. Go a step further. Since Jesus is so careful of the condition of his people that he will have their bodies fed, we may be sure that he will have their souls nourished. I said to myself, as I considered my return among you, “The first thing we will do when I get home shall be to feed the servants of God, so that they may be in good working order.” Our Lord began this third revelation of himself, not with prayer, but with provisions. Much had to be said and done; but they must have breakfast first. They were to be questioned, rebuked, instructed, commissioned, warned; but they must first be fed. The essential thing that morning was a fire of coals, and broiled fish and bread; for they must be put into good condition, and then they would be ready to hear what their Lord should say to them. Things that were of prime importance must still be kept back for a little while, until they could bear them and profit by them; and they could not do that while they were cold and hungry; hence fire and food. Now, if it was so with the body, how much more is it so with the soul? I want you, therefore, this morning, to ask the Lord to spread a table for you in the wilderness. May your song at this time be —

   The Lord’s my Shepherd, I’ll not want,
      He makes me down to lie
   In pastures green; he leadeth me
      The quiet waters by.

Many things call for your earnest attention; but it will be poor haste if you rush to work without refreshing the inner man. Pause for a while, and feast with your Lord, in order that you may be able to attend to your pressing duties. If you had a tree to fell, you would consider it no loss of time to sharpen your axe first. When the axe is sharp, then the tree will come down all the sooner: sharpen, therefore, the axe of your mind. This morning have nothing to do but to attend to the commissariat {a} of your soul. The Lord’s first miracle was at a wedding feast; and in the miracle now before us he provides a breakfast. His is no starveling gospel, he gives us all things richly to enjoy. Hear his cry, in the ancient Song of Songs: “Eat, oh friends; drink, yes, drink abundantly, oh beloved.” Dear child of God, believe, and do not doubt. Should a choice morsel come your way, partake of it with a believing confidence.

5. I. First, I shall invite you to SEE THE IMPORTANCE OF A FEAST WITH JESUS. Jesus says to you, “Come and break your fast”; and his words are never without the deepest meaning. See the importance of a meal with Jesus.

6. It was particularly necessary for these men, because they were in a needy condition. They were wet, cold, and hungry. A fire of coals was a fine centre for them, where they could dry their clothes, and warm their hands. The fish, fresh from the sea and from the fire, was most suitable for their hunger. Before them Jesus spreads the old food with which he always fed the people; food pleasant and easy to digest. Bread, with a relish of fish, was the constant menu of all our Lord’s feasts. Jesus does not like to see his servants wet, and cold, and hungry; and so he provides for the removal of these discomforts. Depend on it, what Jesus does not like to see is not good for us. It is not good for us to be unhappy. If, therefore, you feel, this morning, in your innermost souls, uncomfortable, and much out of sorts, your Lord does not wish you to be so. The thoughts of your own misery will hinder your thoughts of him, and prevent your rendering him good service. My Master tells me this morning to see to it that all hands are provided with good cheer. Therefore I gladly invite you to the fire of coals which is furnished by his glowing love. Cheerfully I set before you the holy food of sacred truth furnished by his Word; and so I would fulfil his command to me, “Feed my sheep.” It is important, dear child of God, that you should be happy; it is important that you should be in a flourishing spiritual condition within; therefore, come and break your fast with Jesus. Many a battle has been lost, because the soldiers were not in good fettle {shape} for the fight; let it not be so with you. You need stamina if you are to do hard and long work for Jesus and his truth; and there is no keeping up the stamina without heavenly food. It is important, considering the condition of many of you, that you should have a meal with Jesus at once.

7. Besides, they were weary with a night’s fruitless toil. As I told you in reading, it was “night” and “nothing” while Jesus was away. Have I not before me some servants of God who have not seen any results following their recent exertions? They have fished for men, but the nets have remained empty. It is dreary work, toiling all night and taking nothing. I know this, because I know still better the opposite of it. Oh, it is a blessed thing to have a successful season by the little river of retirement, when one is away from the great sea of the city! In my recent seclusion, it has seemed to me that the fish kept coming up to my line, and biting at my hook, though I had not purposely baited it for anyone. The Lord sent me people to receive a blessing, and they had a quiet word, and went on their way rejoicing. Alas! it is not always so. You may have a wide-spread net cast into the great sea, and no end of fishes all around you, and yet you may take nothing: that night’s work yielded nothing but splash and haul, disappointment and fatigue. If you are in that condition, you evidently need encouragement. Times of refreshing from the presence of the Lord will be your present need. The Saviour calls to you, “Come and have breakfast. Leave the boat, and the nets, and forget the night’s vain toil, and come and commune with me.” Weary worker, worried and weeping, cease your complaining, and now come to the fire and the food which Jesus provides for you.

8. You will remind me that, before the breakfast, the disciples had taken a great number of fish, and had counted them. Just so; and that is another reason for calling them to feast with Jesus. Catching fish is a fine business, but being fed is equally necessary. No fisherman can live on catching and counting. It is a very deceptive thing for a man to sustain his faith on the success of his labours. Our tendency in a revival is to rejoice over converts, and count them “a hundred and fifty-three.” It is not wrong to count your converts if Christ gives them to you: the awkward part of it is, that you are apt to count in with the fish a number of frogs — I mean a kind of convert whom Jesus never sent. You may, if you please, count every convert, and say, “a hundred and fifty-three”; but do not think that this will nourish your own soul. You cannot sustain the life of grace on the grace received by others. Believe me, you must in secret draw from the divine storehouse your personal supplies, or you will be famished. You will find it very hungry work if you try to live on catching and counting! You yourself must be watered, or your watering of others will dry up your soul. The most successful evangelist, if he attempts to live on his own work, will suck up the wind. If a teacher of children, or a conductor of young men’s classes, makes the food of his soul to be his success in the service of God, he will feed on ashes. Oh you who have had grand times in preaching or teaching, do not be content with these! Grace for your office is one thing; grace for yourselves is another. It is good to catch fish; but even that would be sorry work if you perished with hunger yourselves.

9. Again, dear friends, I think it was a very necessary thing that they should break their fast, for the Lord Jesus Christ was going to search their hearts. “When they had dined”: notice that, not until then, Jesus questioned Peter. When they had had breakfast, “Jesus says, ‘Simon, son of Jonas, do you love you me?’ ” “When they had had breakfast,” not before. He would not deal with Peter, or any of them, while they had empty stomachs. I ask you to feed well this morning, because you will have to be overhauled before long, and it will be good to have the heart to bear it. Truth will be preached to you another day which will blow quite through you, like a mighty wind — truth which will burn as an oven, and like a refiner’s fire. Get yourself in good order for cross-examination. Prepare your soul for the hour of trial, when the business of the hour will be to answer the question, “Simon, son of Jonas, do you love me?” Ah, dear friends! if heart-searching trials come upon us when we are lean and famished, they pull us down dreadfully, for we are out of condition; but the same measure of heart-searching administered to us when soundly nourished by communion with Christ, will do us good.

   Though cares like a wild deluge come,
      And storms of sorrow fall;
   When I have fed with Christ at home,
      My soul defies them all.

He who is right with God can bear to be questioned. He who is nourished and built up with heavenly food, can bear to examine the basis of his faith, and to test the foundations of his hope. Such a man can face the enquiry —

   Do I love the Lord or no?
   Am I his, or am I not?

So, therefore, because heart-searching times will come before long, I entreat you to comfort your souls with a morsel of bread.

10. Remember, also, that they were about to receive a commission: they were to be told to feed Christ’s lambs and sheep. But I think I hear you say, “That commission, like the examination, was directed to Peter.” I know it; but I am also sure that when the Lord said to Peter, “Do you love you me?” the question went home to them all. What the Lord said to Peter specifically, he was saying to them all, in truth. Have you never felt, when a word of warning has been addressed to your friend, that it was even more applicable to yourself than to him? An indirect admonition is, to some natures, more powerful than one personally directed. Nathanael, Thomas, James, John, and the others, were quite as truly addressed by the Saviour as “Simon, son of Jonas.” The arrow shot at Simon was not lost on the sons of Zebedee. Certainly, all of them were to feed the lambs, and be shepherds for the sheep; and the commission which was given distinctly to Peter, was meant for all the Lord’s servants. See, then, the necessity for breaking their fast. If they are to feed others, they must be fed themselves. “The farmer who labours must be the first partaker of the fruits.” He who waters others must be watered himself. “They made me the keeper of the vineyards; but I have not kept my own vineyard,” was a very sorrowful lament; and the Lord would not have his people imitate it. Jesus was going to give them a blessed work to do, and therefore he would put them into working order before he allotted it to them. Oh brothers and sisters, it may seem a very little thing for you to feed yourselves, but it is not so. I would have you strong yourselves, so that you may labour for others. You cannot be made a blessing to those around you until you are blest yourselves. Your usefulness largely depends on your personal joy: “The joy of the Lord is your strength.”

11. Once more, our Lord was going to give to one of them a warning, and by that one warning to hint at much the same inheritance of trials for the others. “Another shall gird you, and carry you where you do not wish to go.” Crucifixion awaited Peter, and a martyr’s death in some form awaited all those who were present, except John. The Master lets them know this; but he does not mention it until they have dined. Do not count on an easy journey between here and heaven. If you do, you will be mistaken; for “in the world you shall have tribulation.” If the Lord loves you, he will chasten you: it is the covenant mark. Do not marvel when you fall into various trials; but rather rejoice in this, that by this you have evidence that your Father has not forgotten you, but is still training you for his heaven. But while we give you that warning, we invite you to come and feed on heavenly bread, and refresh your souls with those spiritual luxuries by which men are made ready for labour and suffering. “Eat what is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness,” so that you may be prepared to do what is good, and delight yourself in sacrifice. It is no trifling matter, therefore, when I say to you, in the words of the Old Version, “Come and dine,” or in the more exact phrase of the Revision, “Come and break your fast.”

12. So much for the importance of the matter.

13. II. Secondly, I want you to SEE JESUS HIMSELF ACTING AS YOUR HOST. It was Jesus who cried to them, “Children, have you any food?” It was he who said, “Bring some of the fish which you have caught just now.” It is he who gives the invitation, “Come and break your fast.” Jesus is Master of the feast.

14. He condescends to the feast. Is it not wonderful that the Holy Lord should have communion with his faulty followers? Yet he will have breakfast with us — with us who doubted him, as Thomas did; with us who denied him, as Peter did; with us who forsook him and fled, as all the rest did. He, always sinless, was now without physical needs. He had risen from the dead, and he did not need to eat, yet he still had close communion with sinful man. On one occasion he ate a piece of a broiled fish and of a honeycomb; and I suppose that on this occasion he also ate with them; for one does not ask others to come and dine, and then himself refrain from eating. He communed with them by that bread and by that fish. It was wonderful condescension. But will the Lord still come and commune with us? Will he, “without whom was not anything made that was made,” have fellowship with a sinful mortal like me? Take comfort, you who are conscious of sin, from the fact that his last near companion here below was a thief, and the first who passed the pearly portal with him and entered into his kingdom, was that very same justly executed one. Come along with you, you child of God, conscious of your gross unworthiness; come, for he invites you now to feast with him. This shall be your nourishment, not only the food which he prepares for you, as his own company.

15. Notice, that Jesus, as the host, prepared the feast. We shall never know how that fire of coals was kindled: some speak confidently of it as the work of angels; but why introduce angels where they are not needed? They can kindle fires, doubtless, but so can the Saviour without their aid. There was the fire of coals, and there was the fish laid on it. Where did he get the fish? All kinds of idle speculations have been raised about his having bought it from a passing boat. There is no need of such inventions. Doubtless both fire and fish were the products of creative power. We have before us one of those miracles which were commonplaces to the Saviour. He spoke, and there was the fire and the fish laid on it, and a crisp cake hot from the coals. Dear friends, your soul can never feed except on what Jesus has prepared for you. His flesh is food indeed; but there is no other food for souls. He does not have to kindle a fire for your comfort, it is burning now: it has been kindled long ago. There was never a morsel of manna in the mouth of any child of God unless the Word of the Lord supplied it. There was never food yet for a true heart unless it came from him who is our life, and the food of our life. “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” they said of old: but that is exactly what he does. All that he gives to us of spiritual nourishment is of his own preparing.

16. What is equally wonderful to me is this, that, after the Lord had prepared it, he himself was the waiter at the feast. Read verse thirteen: “Jesus then comes, and takes bread, and gives it to them, and fish likewise.” When there are seven dining, a host might well be justified in saying, “Dear friends, you are welcome to all that is before you; please help yourselves.” But we cannot help ourselves: he who prepares the feast must also bring the food to us. “Jesus then comes, and takes bread, and gives it to them, and fish likewise.” Only one serving man, and that is the Lord himself! Oh Master, we know there is good spiritual food in your Word, but we are not able to appropriate it. Come, and yourself lay home the promise to the heart. You know what a way our Lord has of making us to lie down in green pastures: we do not even lie down by ourselves. He places the nourishing Word in the heart. Remember that passage in Hosea, which stands in the original, “Behold, I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak to her heart.” I can speak to your ear, but Jesus speaks to the heart. The Lord Jesus, by the work of the Holy Spirit, has a way of so conveying the heavenly food into us, that we receive and inwardly digest it, and it enters into the secret part of the soul, and is assimilated, and we are truly built up by it. I pray that the Holy Spirit may so work at this time. See your host. It is the Lord himself who lovingly condescends to commune with you, and in a wonderful way prepares the feast, and with boundless condescension himself helps you to it.

17. All the while he was doing this he showed himself. “This is now the third time that Jesus showed himself to his disciples.” The chapter opens by saying, “And he showed himself in this way.” When the Lord was handing out that bread he was showing himself, and they could see him in that act; and when he brought them the fish to eat, they saw him revealed as the very Christ. They saw more of him in giving the bread and the fish than they would have seen if he had stood still to be gazed at. Jesus feeding us is Jesus revealed. If he had stretched out his hand for them to examine the nail-prints, they would not have seen him so well as when that hand gave them food. Oh, if the Lord Jesus will come to you individually, as I pray he may, and bring you heavenly food this morning, you will see him — see him with eyes full of tears. Are there not times with you when divine truth comes home to you in such a sweet, comforting, nourishing way, that you have said, “It is the Lord; he is himself the sum and substance of his own blessed gospel. He has himself brought me into his banqueting house, and his banner over me is his own love?” A vision of Christ is the most filling thing in the world. If we may only see him in glory, that shall be the heaven of heaven. If I were the dying thief I would be happy to die with him side by side on the cross, and consider it bliss to be with him there. But what must it be to pass through the pearly gate with him, and to be with him in his kingdom, as that same dying thief was! This is your morning’s portion: do not miss it. “He showed himself.” Is it weeks since you have seen your Lord? Oh! then, heave a great sigh, and say, “Lord, show yourself to me.” Is it days since you have had actual fellowship with Jesus? Oh, that your heart might break for him now! Do not be satisfied to let this morning’s sitting break up without your having seen the Lord — every one of you who are his true disciples. Oh dear friends, you who hear about Christ, and just let it glide by, what are you worth? What kind of Christians are those who do not know the vitals of Christianity, the secret enjoyments of rapturous love? Outside in merely external religion everything is cold and dreary, and I do not wonder about people getting weary of it, and giving it up. The glory lies within the veil. We must see Jesus. Our home is the place where God reveals himself to his people. Little drops of religion are poor things. Oh, for Madame Guyon’s Spiritual Torrents! {b} Oh, that the sacred torrent would bear us away! That mighty river, not the River Kishon, but what if I call it Kidron? — the Kidron of his suffering love, which is a torrent indeed! Oh, to be borne along by the stream of free grace and dying love, until one is conscious of nearing the unfathomable depths of unsearchable love!

18. So much about our host. Mine is a poor talk. May God grant that, by the teaching of the Holy Spirit, you may get far beyond me, and see him, whom having not seen we love!

19. III. Now, SEE THE PROVISION. I have tried to beckon you into the feast, and I have also tried to point out our host. Now, attentively regard the provisions. There are two parts. First, there was what he had mysteriously prepared — the fish laid upon the coals; and, secondly, what he had graciously given; for he said, “Bring some the fish which you have caught just now.” It was the same kind of fish, no doubt; but it came in two ways.

20. First, let us notice the mysteriously prepared provision. See the fish which are broiling on the coals! Mysterious fish! Mysterious coals! Feed now with all your hearts upon the mystery of everlasting love. “I have loved you with an everlasting love.” Feed on the mystery of the covenant of grace, when, on your behalf, the blessed Son of God stood sponsor and surety before the great Father, and the Father covenanted for his Son’s sake to bless his chosen. Oh, the mystery of the eternal gift of the elect to Jesus, and the gift of Jesus to his elect! Before the world began all this was provided for our need. Can you not feed on this?

21. Think, next, of the kinship of Christ to you. He came to Bethlehem so that he might take our nature. He lay an infant on a woman’s breast; he was cradled as a child; he lived here as a suffering, way-worn man. Was that not a beautiful verse we sang just now, which began: —

   Jesus, our Kinsman and our God,
   Arrayed in majesty and blood
   Thou art our life, our souls in thee
   Possess a full felicity?

Yes, he is brother to you; of your nature, of your flesh, and of your bones; your Goel, {Redeemer} next of kin, sworn to redeem you, and even espoused to you. Jesus is brother to you who are in adversity. Feed on that.

22. Here is another fish of the kind found only in the sea of mysterious love — I point you to his effective atonement. He has finished his life-work for you, and poured out the price of your redemption, minting it from his own heart. He has washed you from your sins in his own blood. He has made you kings and priests to God. He has bought you with a price, so that you are not your own. The dying Christ bore your penalty: the living Christ has ensured your acceptance and your immortality. “Because I live,” he says, “you shall live also.” While he shows himself to you this morning, he gives you these ancient things to feed on. Come, feast on the love that had no beginning, the love that can know no end, nor change, nor measure. Remember your living and everlasting union with him. The union between you and the Ever-Blessed is inseparable. “Who shall separate us?” Come, here! I urge you, break your fast, you who are most weary, and worn, and sad! Do not sit back from the table, but eat to the full. My beloved, eat these fish laid on the coals — these mystical, marvellous things, in the preparation of which you have had no hand, but which Jesus previously has prepared for you.

23. But the feast was also made of what the Lord had graciously given, and they had drawn from the deep. The Lord has caused us to obtain many precious things by his own Spirit; and these we have made our own, taking them in our net and dragging them to shore. Let us feed on mercies experienced. Just now to myself these are very many — “a hundred and fifty-three.” I can scarcely count the favours the Lord has given me recently. My net is not broken, but I wonder that it is not; for the draught of benefits is so great: he daily loads me with benefits. I desire abundantly to utter the memory of his great goodness. Can you not do the same, and in the memory find a feast for love? “A hundred and fifty-three” — an odd number, but large: a number which, if you have been careful in your gratitude, may be very exact for all that — even the last three must not be forgotten.

   Streams of mercy never ceasing
   Call for songs of loudest praise.

“How precious, also, are your thoughts towards me, oh God!” The Lord has dealt well with his servants, according to his Word. Let us rejoice in his name as he has revealed it to us.

24. Do you not have a net full of answers to prayer? Some here present have received such blessings that they may be compared to great fishes. When we have many fishes we expect them to be small fry, but ours are all large fish. Oh, the great goodness of a great God to great sinners, in the times of their great need! Let us be satisfied with the Lord’s great goodness towards us when in trouble we have sought his face. “This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles.” “I sought the Lord, and he heard me.” Come, feed upon what you have already tasted and handled, both of his word and work. Rejoice in what you have seen him do in you and for you. Why, here are great fishes, a hundred and fifty-three.

25. The provision on the lone lake shore was more than enough for seven men, however hungry they might be. Was it not? They might eat as much as they liked without any fear of exhausting the supply; and after the meal, they would not only have left twelve baskets full, since there had been that at the former feast, but a superabundance for their brethren, or for any wanderers along the shore. Now, dear friends, try for a minute or two to meditate on the wonders of God’s truth and grace to you. Think of what he did in your conversion; what he has done in the time of temptation; how he has supplied your needs; and how he has given you enjoyments of his love. I was looking back through former volumes of my sermons, and I noticed how often a sermon occurs without a date on it. I know what that denotes. It means that I was ill, and in great pain. Two or three times in almost every year I have to hear the Lord preach to me in the chamber of sickness, and I am unable, therefore, to preach to you. These were bitter things at the time; but I bless the Lord for them all, and for raising me up again and again, and renewing my strength. He will not leave me now. Can you not also look over your diaries, and remember the lovingkindness of the Lord, and speak well of his name? All this will be to you a fire of coals and fish drawn from the deep sea.

26. I am almost finished. I do not know whether you have been fed; but I hope you have. I would again invite you in Wisdom’s name, saying, “Come, eat my bread, and drink the wine which I have prepared.”

27. IV. But, lastly, SEE HOW THE GUESTS BEHAVED THEMSELVES. I hope if you are fed well, you will behave in the same way. These guests of our Saviour, we find, “dared not ask him, ‘Who are you?’ knowing that it was the Lord.” Come, let us get close to our Lord.

28. When a soul draws near to Jesus, its words are few or none. Notice what the disciples said to the Master on this occasion. They only spoke one word, and that word was “No.” John spoke to Peter, but not to the Lord. All the time before breakfast, and all the time they were at breakfast, they never said anything to him but “No.” That one deep “No” betrayed the vacuum, the emptiness, the hunger: that was all they had to say. You, also, may say as much to your Lord as that: “Lord, I am nothing, a nobody; I have nothing; I can do nothing without you.” Not another word is recorded as coming from them. That devotion which must always show itself by shouting may be very genuine, but it is to be feared that it is superficial. Deep waters run silently. Great feeling is dumb: there is a frost of the mouth when there is a thaw of the soul. Words are often a wall between our spirit and the Great Spirit. I think I remember reading of George Fox sitting down, with a crowd of people all around him, for a long time, and never saying a word. They were all watching and waiting; and if it had been myself, I should have stood up very soon, and have said something, like a fool. But he was a wise man, and he sat still. It takes a very wise man to hold his tongue for so long. George Fox kept silence so that he might famish the people from words. A grand lesson for them, and one that might be useful for some of you. You must have words! Fine words! Wonderful words! A big mouthful of words is fine food for fools. Some preachers seem to think that saints can feed on their eloquence, but they need more substantial food. Could we not put things prettily if we were to try and throw out to you great bouquets of flowers? What would be the good of it? You need food; you need Christ; and if you could get Jesus himself, words would be an impertinence — your own words as well as mine.

29. Just as there were no words, so there could be no doubtful questions. Whenever a man gets away from communion with Christ, he begins to ask a host of questions. People who have no religion always have a selection of religious questions, varying from the stupidity of “Who was Cain’s wife?” onward to, “What will man become by evolution?” When a soul has drawn near to Jesus, and has been fed by him, it is no more troubled with doubts than a man at the equator is bitten by frost. “I believe in the Bible,” one said. “How can you do that?” sneered another. “Because I know the Author,” was the fit reply. If you are walking in the light with your Lord, questions and doubts are heard no more, but you adore in deep restfulness of soul, “knowing that it is the Lord.” How did the disciples know this? By reason? Well, the knowledge is not unreasonable; but we rise higher: we know Jesus by contact, by conversation, and by a consciousness — or shall I call it an omnipotently overpowering conviction? — which needs no supporting argument. When we fall at his feet in lowliest reverence of joyful love, we believe and are sure. We become doubt-proof. Just as an ironclad ship throws off the cannon ball which is hurled at it, so a love-clad heart defies all the suggestions of scepticism.

30. They ate the bread and fish that morning, I do not doubt, in silent self-humiliation. Peter looked with tears in his eyes at that fire of coals, remembering how he stood and warmed himself when he denied his Master. Thomas stood there, wondering that he should have dared to ask such proofs of a fact most clear. All of them felt that they could shrink into nothing in his divine presence, since they had behaved so badly.

31. Yet they were also silent for joy. Did you ever feel the bliss of dying to self? As you near the vanishing point of self, the glory of the Lord dawns on you with immeasurable splendour. To grow bigger, and bigger, and bigger, until you fill the halls of fame, and your name echoes all around the world, is the ambition of the vain, and it is an abomination. But to grow less and less, until the Lord God is all in all, is the joy of saints, and it is an offering of a sweet smell.

   The more thy glories strike mine eyes,
      The humbler I shall lie:
   Thus, while I sink, my joys shall rise
      Immeasurably high.

32. They were silent in wonder as they gazed on the risen One. He was a wonder to them all over — a world of beauties and of miracles. When he fed them, when he gave them the bread, when he gave them the fish, it was a melting season. They remembered how he washed their feet; but then he was in his state of humiliation; and they marvelled even more now that he was risen that he would still be among them “as one who serves.” They were dumb with surprise, and gratitude, and love.

33. I suppose they could not speak because they felt such deep, unutterable reverence for his majesty. They felt, with Jacob, “How dreadful is this place!” God was revealed in the flesh, and they beheld his glory; hence Peter speaks of himself as “a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed.” What could they do but, while they apprehended that glory, remain quiet, and inwardly adore? Quietism alone may engender evil; but the practice of occasional quietism affords healthy nourishment for the soul. A sitting silently at the feet of Jesus is of more worth than all the clatter of Martha’s dishes.

34. Communion with Christ will teach you a reverence which words cannot express. There is a very great weight of glory which would break the backs of all the words of all languages should we attempt to load them with it.

   Come, then, expressive silence,
   Muse his praise.

“Praise waits for you, oh God, in Zion: and to you the vow shall be performed.”

35. Brethren, have you been fed? Have you had breakfast with Jesus? If so, I am well content. But I would remind you that when you come here again, you must hear what your Lord has to say by way of question and command; for, “when they had dined,” solemn business began. It must not be with us as with Israel: “The people sat down to eat, and to drink, and rose up to play”; but we rise to work, and suffer, and to go far towards heaven in the strength of the food we have enjoyed.

36. Someone will ask, “Do you not have a word for the unconverted this morning?” Indeed, I have something better than words. When we set out the provisions of grace before the godly, we are really inviting poor hungry sinners. The sight of food is a fine creator of appetite. When the prodigal returned to his father, they brought out the best robe and put it on him, and they put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet; but when it came to the eating, what was done? The father did not say, “Bring out the fatted calf, and feed my son with it.” His words were: “Let us eat, and be merry.” Why, I thought he was caring most for his returning child. Yes, but he was faint, and sick at heart, and needed to have his appetite aroused. One sure way to induce another to eat is to eat yourself. If he stands there, and his sadness has taken away his appetite, you eat and are merry, and you will soon find that his mouth will begin to water, and he will be ready to eat with you. I do hope some people will feel an appetite coming to them this morning, and will cry, “I long to feed on heavenly bread, and to have my heart refreshed in the presence of the Lord Jesus.” Oh poor heart, believe in Jesus, and he is yours! Children of God, just as you can enjoy Christ, and show that enjoyment in your lives, you will be drawing others to your Lord, and so by your means I shall not have preached in vain to the unconverted.

37. Oh you who would gladly come to Jesus, look at the first chapter of this Gospel of John. The word is there, “Come and see”; while in this last chapter of John it is, “Come and dine.” Remember that the first thing to do is to “Come and see,” or look to Jesus. He says, “Look to me, and be saved, all the ends of the earth.” Look to Jesus, see him dying in your place to put away your guilt. Look with the appropriating glance of faith, trusting in him; and then before long you shall feed on him, to your heart’s delight. May the Lord send his blessing upon this word, for his name’s sake! Amen.

[Portion Of Scripture Read Before Sermon — Joh 21]
{See Spurgeon_Hymnal “The Lord’s Day — The Joyful Morn” 908}
{See Spurgeon_Hymnal “The Christian, Privileges, Communion with Jesus — Christ The Eternal Life” 820}
{See Spurgeon_Hymnal “Jesus Christ, Names and Titles — Jesus” 385}


{a} Commissariat: Any non-military department or organization for the supply of provisions. OED.
{b} Jeanne-Marie Bouvier de la Motte-Guyon (commonly known as Madame Guyon) (April 18, 1648-June 9, 1717) was a French mystic and one of the key advocates of Quietism, although she never called herself a Quietist. Quietism was considered heretical by the Roman Catholic Church, and she was imprisoned from 1695 to 1703 after publishing a book on the topic, A Short and Easy Method of Prayer. See Explorer "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeanne_Guyon"

Public Worship, The Lord’s Day
908 — The Joyful Morn <8.8.6.>
1 The festal morn, my God, has come,
   That calls me to thy honour’d dome,
      Thy presence to adore;
   My feet the summons shall attend,
   With willing steps thy courts ascend,
      And tread the hallow’d floor.
2 Hither from Judah’s utmost end,
   The heaven-protected tribes ascend,
      Their offerings hither bring:
   Here, eager to attest their joy,
   In hymns of praise their tongues employ,
      And hail th’ immortal King.
3 Be peace by each implored on thee,
   Oh Sion, while with bended knee,
      To Jacob’s God we pray;
   How blest, who calls himself thy friend!
   Success his labour shall attend,
      And safety guard his way.
4 Seat of my friends and brethren, hail!
   How can my tongue, oh Sion, fail,
      To bless thy loved abode?
   How cease the zeal that in me glows,
   Thy good to seek, whose walls enclose
      The mansions of my God!
                  James Merrick, 1765, a.


The Christian, Privileges, Communion with Jesus
820 — Christ The Eternal Life
1 Jesus, our Kinsman and our God,
   Array’d in majesty and blood,
   Thou art our life; our souls in thee
   Possess a full felicity.
2 All our immortal hopes are laid
   In thee, our Surety and our Head;
   Thy cross, thy cradle, and thy throne,
   Are big with glories yet unknown.
3 Oh, let my soul for ever lie
   Beneath the blessings of thine eye;
   ‘Tis heaven on earth, ‘tis heaven above,
   To see thy face, and taste thy love.
                        Isaac Watts, 1734.


Jesus Christ, Names and Titles
385 — Jesus
1 Jesus, I love thy charming name,
   ‘Tis music to mine ear;
   Fain would I sound it out so loud
   That earth and heaven should hear.
2 Yes, thou art precious to my soul,
   My transport and my trust:
   Jewels to thee are gaudy toys,
   And gold is sordid dust.
3 All my capacious powers can wish
   In thee doth richly meet;
   Nor to mine eyes is light so dear
   Nor friendship half so sweet.
4 Thy grace still dwells upon my heart,
   And sheds its fragrance there;
   The noblest balm of all its wounds,
   The cordial of its care.
5 I’ll speak the honours of thy name
   With my last labouring breath;
   Then speechless, clasp thee in my arms,
   The antidote of death.
                     Philip Doddridge, 1755.

Spurgeon Sermons

These sermons from Charles Spurgeon are a series that is for reference and not necessarily a position of Answers in Genesis. Spurgeon did not entirely agree with six days of creation and dives into subjects that are beyond the AiG focus (e.g., Calvinism vs. Arminianism, modes of baptism, and so on).

Terms of Use

Modernized Edition of Spurgeon’s Sermons. Copyright © 2010, Larry and Marion Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario, Canada. Used by Answers in Genesis by permission of the copyright owner. The modernized edition of the material published in these sermons may not be reproduced or distributed by any electronic means without express written permission of the copyright owner. A limited license is hereby granted for the non-commercial printing and distribution of the material in hard copy form, provided this is done without charge to the recipient and the copyright information remains intact. Any charge or cost for distribution of the material is expressly forbidden under the terms of this limited license and automatically voids such permission. You may not prepare, manufacture, copy, use, promote, distribute, or sell a derivative work of the copyrighted work without the express written permission of the copyright owner.

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