2593. A Welcome For Jesus

by on

No. 2593-44:505. A Sermon Delivered On Lord’s Day Evening, June 17, 1883, By C. H. Spurgeon, At The Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington.

A Sermon Intended For Reading On Lord’s Day, October 23, 1898.

And it came to pass, that, when Jesus had returned, the people gladly received him: for they were all waiting for him. {Lu 8:40}

1. The 1881 English Revised Version is, in some places, though not in many, better than the Authorized Version. Our text is one of the few times in which there is an improvement: “And as Jesus returned, the multitude welcomed him; for they were all waiting for him.”

2. We have already noted, in our reading, that our Lord had gone where he was not welcomed. He went across the Sea of Galilee to the country of the Gadarenes, and there he had a very poor reception, and was even entreated by the people to depart out of their region. Yet, although Jesus knew beforehand the treatment he would receive there, he went. He did not stay there for long, but he remained long enough to accomplish a grand purpose of grace. When he landed on that inhospitable shore, a poor creature, held in captivity by a legion of demons, was set free; and, that done, the Master yielded to the unwise, ungracious, unkind request of the Gadarenes, and went his way back across the sea.

3. The Lord Jesus Christ may still come to a family that does not want him, does not wish to have him. A man of God may pass that way, and spend the night. The gospel itself may be carried to people in a certain quarter, and they may hear it, though they have no wish to do so. Well, if this is your feeling, my hearers, do not be burdened with what you consider the great calamity of Christ coming near to you, do not be disturbed by the fear that you will be forced to be saved against your will. The Lord Jesus Christ will not stay where he is not wanted; just as he told his disciples, when they were persecuted in one city, to flee to another, so he does himself. If he is not received here, he will go away elsewhere. Yet I trust that, at least, he will not leave your family, — that he will not leave your ungodly neighbourhood, — until he has won from it some trophy of his grace, — until he has taken “one from a city, and two from a family,” to “bring you to Zion.” He still delights to gather to himself unruly ones whom he will tame, unclothed ones whom he will robe in the garments of righteousness, and demon-possessed ones whom he will cause to sit at his feet, as the demoniac from Gadara did when he was restored to his right mind. I have seen this happen again and again, and it has been a blessed thing for those whom Christ has rescued and saved; and he has gone away, at the request of those who did not wish for him, yet he has not gone until he has left behind him a witness to his power, who has continued, after his departure, to tell what the Lord has done for him. So, a tree has been planted, which Satan could not uproot; and a light has been lit, which all the powers of darkness could not blow out. Yet, alas! there are still some who do not want Christ, and who treat him so badly that he goes away from them, as he returned from the region of Gadara.

4. But now look at the other side of the narrative, and learn from it that, while some will not receive Christ, there are others who are anxious that he should come to them. When Jesus sailed in a boat, and crossed over to the other side of the sea, “the multitude welcomed him; for they were all waiting for him.” Minister of Christ, servant of the Lord, if you are rejected in one place, you shall be received in another. If, today, you have to shake off the dust of your feet against impenitent hearers, it may be that, tomorrow, you shall find some whose hearts the Lord has opened, who will gladly receive your message, and who will come to Christ, and find salvation in him. What a mercy it is that all ground is not stony ground! There is some “honest and good ground” yet. It is not everywhere that the door is shut, so that God’s servants cannot enter; but, in many places, an abundant entrance is made by the power of the Holy Spirit, and God’s servants are able to step in. Wherever Christ is welcomed, there we may expect to see his power displayed. As we read the chapter, we saw that it was so in this case. The people waited; the people welcomed; and then Christ used his power until the people wondered. If we are at this time waiting for Christ, and if we now welcome Christ, we shall, eventually, become a wondering assembly, marvelling at what the grace of God has done among us.

5. I am going to divide my subject in this way. First, here is a beautiful sight: “They were all waiting for him.” Secondly, here is a most certain arrival: “Jesus returned.” The people were all waiting for him, so he came to them. And, thirdly, here is a hearty welcome: “The multitude welcomed him; for they were all waiting for him.”

6. I. First, then, here is A BEAUTIFUL SIGHT: “They were all waiting for him.” I shall try to show you this beautiful sight in four pictures.

7. I think that it is a very beautiful sight, first, to see a waiting assembly, when all the people have come together — not to hear fine music, or merely to listen to the voice of a man, but anxious to meet with God, desirous to feel the power of Jesus Christ. Happy is the preacher who has to address such an audience! Happy is the audience that has been brought into such a condition! “They were all waiting for him.” Just for a minute or two, look at our ordinary congregations, and see if our text is true concerning them. Alas! the people are not all waiting for Jesus, for they have not all assembled at the hour of worship. A few come in time, and take their seats; but it is not so with others. I am not speaking of you, my hearers, for I exempt you from this description. You would not get in if you came late, so you do not generally attempt it; but you know how it is ordinarily in many places. Here they come, — detachment of late comers, stamping up the aisle, interrupting the first prayer. Others come straggling in all through the reading of the Scriptures. God’s Word seems so contemptible in their esteem that they tramp up the aisle as if it were some unimportant book that was being read. Then comes the singing, and some join in it heartily; but others do not even know what hymn it is, for they have only just arrived; and I have known some friends, in certain places, come so late that the minister had almost finished his sermon, and they were just in time to go home with the congregation. This ought not to be the case anywhere, and is not the case where all are waiting for Jesus. I like the thought of the good woman who said that she never went to a service late, for it was part of her religion not to disturb the worship of other people; I wish many more agreed with her. Oh, how much loss of spirituality, how much loss of blessing, has come by that straggling in one by one, instead of all being assembled, waiting for the Saviour with such due respect for his holy name that they would not think of being late! He who goes to see an earthly king is surely punctual; he would sooner wait an hour in the ante-room than keep the monarch waiting for a moment. But what shall I say about those who seem as if it were a painful operation to join in the worship of God, and so postpone that operation to the last possible moment? That was a beautiful night in the house of Cornelius the centurion, when he had brought in all his relatives and close friends before Peter arrived, so that he could say to the apostle, “Now therefore we are all here present before God, to hear all things that are commanded you by God.” They were all there; all ready; all waiting; all prepared to hear, and all glad to hear. The more of such congregations there are, the more will the Spirit of God work, the more numerous will be the converts, and the more will Christ’s kingdom spread among men. I say all this because I know that there are many people from other places who are worshipping with us, and I know also from observation how many there are who look at the house of God as a place into which they may stray at any time they please. Let it not be so with you, dear friends, wherever you worship; but let it be said of you whenever Christ comes to the congregation, “They are all waiting for him.”

8. A second picture, even more beautiful, is to see a church waiting for the Lord Jesus Christ, — a prayerful congregation met together to seek a revival of religion through the more visible presence of the Lord Jesus Christ in their midst. I wish that all the members of churches that are in a declining state would say to themselves, “This state of things will never do; we cannot endure this dulness and deadness.” Or, if the whole church will not say it, it would be a great mercy if a dozen or so of faithful men and women would meet together, and say, “We cannot bear to have these Sabbath services and week-night meetings without any converts; month after month passing, and no additions to the church, no power apparently with the Word.” I would not wish them to meet together to censure, to criticize, or to pour out their common complaints, but I would have them gather distinctly to wait on the Lord in prayer, pleading his promise, “Lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the world.” I think I see such an assembly as that, all earnestly pleading with the Lord, all surrounding the mercy seat, laying hold of strong arguments from the Word, and pleading them before God. I watch them as they have separated, and gone home; they are still praying, and they will meet together again at the first opportunity; and, with more tears and greater urgency, they will present the same earnest cry, “Return to us, oh Lord Jesus! ‘Return, we beseech you, oh God of hosts: look down from heaven, and behold, and visit this vine; and the vineyard which your right hand has planted, and the branch that you made strong for yourself.’ Oh Shepherd of Israel, the drought has been long, the pastures are dry, the very earth is parched; we entreat you to fill the clouds with rain, and water us with grace, and make our barrenness to depart, and the desert to rejoice and blossom as the rose.” In imagination, I see these people coming together week after week, — frequently pleading alone, and then pleading in company, making the mercy seat at the family altar to echo the same cry; and then, after they have prayed, they are all waiting, men and women and children, saying, “When will Jesus come?” They are hoping that there will be better preaching, and that their fellow church members and especially that they themselves may be more spiritual; they are looking around the congregation to see whether there are any signs of converts or anxious souls; they are all on the alert, expecting an answer to their prayers, and therefore waiting for that answer, and ready, as soon as God sends the fruit, to gather it from the tree, and store it up. Ah, brothers and sisters, we shall see greater things than these if we once get into that blessed condition, so that it can be said of us, “They were all waiting for him.” If we have such prayer meetings as that tomorrow, — which is our day of special prayer in connection with the College Conference, — what a day of prayer it will be, — all with one accord in one place crying for the blessing! We might expect to have another Pentecost to make our hearts leap within us with gratitude and praise to God. “They were all waiting for him,” — oh, what a lovely sight, — lovely in the eyes of angels, and of the angels’ Master, to see his people all waiting for him!

9. Now for the third beautiful picture; and that is, a seeking sinner waiting for Christ in confession and prayer. He is upstairs in the quiet of his own room; no one but God sees him, for he has taken care to shut the door. He is kneeling at his bedside; he says little, but he weeps much. He cannot utter many words, but his heart is breaking with his longing desire after Christ. He confesses his unworthiness; he knows that, if Jesus of Nazareth passes by, and lets him still remain in darkness, he deserves it. He bows his head low before the Lord, and cries, “I have sinned.” After a while, he begins to plead the promise, “You have said, ‘Whoever comes to me I will in no wise cast out.’ Lord, I come to you; I am waiting for you; come to me!” Note his struggling faith. He says, “Lord, teach me how to believe, and let me know what it is to trust you! I would gladly do so; I hope I do. ‘Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!’ ” Still more fervently he cries, “Lord, give me rest! Lord, come and take away the burden of my sin! Lord, I beseech you, shine on me! Now, for weeks, I have cried to you; when will you come to me? Lord, these many months I have bowed at the foot of your cross, and I have tried to look up; but, as yet, I see no light. Possibly, it is my ignorance that hides you from my eyes; maybe, it is my unbelief; perhaps, it is some sin I am still harbouring. If so, Lord, —

    The dearest idol I have known,
       Whate’er that idol be,
    Help me to tear it from thy throne,
       And worship only thee.”

10. I said it was a beautiful sight that I was going to describe to you, and so it is; yet there are in such a scene sighs, and groans, and tears, and sobs; and men who love the pleasures of the world flee from it. But angels stand gazing, with their finger on their lips; and when, at last, they break the silence, the holy ones whisper to each other, “Behold, he prays”; and then their next word is, “Let us be up and away to tell the bright spirits before the throne, for this man who prays is not far from the kingdom; and we must tell them to rejoice with us over one sinner who repents.” Oh, that there may be many such among us! These will be precious gems in the crown of King Jesus. While many a boastful professor shall be passed by, this humble seeker, who is waiting for Christ, shall have his name recorded on the tablets of the Redeemer’s heart.

11. Now one more picture, that of a departing saint, longing for home, — such a picture as you will make, I hope, dear friend, eventually, — such a picture as I hope to make when my turn shall come. The battle is fought, and the victory is won for ever. The man is propped up in his bed with pillows, for life is fast ebbing away, and strength is failing him. You can hear him say, in short broken sentences, “I have waited …… I have waited …… I have waited for your salvation, oh Lord! ‘I wait for the Lord, my soul waits; and on his Word do I hope.’ Why are his chariots so long in coming?” His friends step very softly across the room; it is so quiet and still that you can hear the clock tick. He is waiting, — waiting for his Lord; while in his innermost soul he is singing, —

    My heart is with him on his throne,
       And ill can brook delay;
    Each moment listening for the voice,
       “Rise up, and come away.”

He has closed his eyes; he is gone. It is all over in this world; he has entered into his rest. So Jesus comes to those who wait for him.

12. I would begin to wait for him now, dear brother, while still in health and strength. Wait and watch for the glorious appearing of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, which is the joy and hope of his whole Church. Wait and watch for the rended heaven, for the descent on Olivet on that day when he, who was seen to go up into heaven, shall so come in the same way as he went up into heaven. And if you fall asleep before that wish of yours shall be fulfilled, yet this shall be your joy, — that you were among those who watched and waited for your Lord, and you shall enter into his joy.

13. So I have set before you the picture in four panels which my mind’s eye sees in the last words of our text: “They were all waiting for him.”

14. II. Now let us turn to the second point, A MOST CERTAIN ARRIVAL: “Jesus returned.” Men never wait in vain for Christ; if they are truly waiting for him, he will come to them. How do we know this?

15. Well, we infer it, first, from the fact that his Spirit is there already. Brethren, are you waiting for Christ? Who but the blessed Spirit of God made you wait? There was a time when you would have been like the Gadarenes, and would have asked him to depart from you; but now those longings, those pinings, those faintings, those swoonings, are all proofs of his Spirit’s work within you. Where his Spirit is, there Christ will surely be; indeed, he is there by his Spirit. He never set a soul hungering without intending to feed it with the Bread of life. He never made a spirit thirst without meaning to fill it with the Water of life. Be sure that, if you are waiting for him, he will come to you, for his Spirit is already with you.

16. Next, we know that he will come, because his heart is there. If ever there is a heart that wants Christ, Christ wants that heart. If you have only one grain of desire towards Christ, Christ has a mountain of desire towards you. There never was a sinner yet who wanted Christ before Christ wanted him; and if there is one who is waiting for Christ, he is there already. I tell you, my waiting brother or sister, Christ looks at you with the deepest sympathy. He knows all your desires; he even finds music in your groans; he bottles up your tears, for he sees beauty in every sorrowful drop that distils from your eyes. Be of good courage; for, if you desire him, he also desires you; and where Christ’s heart is, he himself will be before long. If his Spirit is working within you, and his heart is already with you, he will surely come to you.

17. I know also that he will come, because his work is there. I expect to find you, tomorrow morning, dear brother, where your work is. My sisters, I expect to find you in the house where your work is. Where, then, is Christ’s work but in longing, anxious, breaking hearts? What does Christ do? According to the psalmist, besides all his other work, he does two things: “He counts the number of the stars; he calls them all by their names.” And, wonder of wonders, at the same moment, “he heals the broken in heart, and binds up their wounds.” Our Lord Jesus is just as much at home in binding up wounds as he is in guiding stars; these two works are equally pleasing to him; indeed, the latter is the better work of the two. So then, if you are waiting for him, he will surely come to you, for his business lies your way, he has work to do in you.

18. This is not all. He has given us his promise that he will come. “Those who seek me early shall find me.” That is a promise which refers to the young, but it refers to the old, too; if they are seeking him with such earnest longing that they seek him early in the morning, or seek him at once, they shall surely find him: “for everyone who asks receives; and he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks it shall be opened.” These are our Lord’s own words, so he will not let you wait for him in vain, you may depend on that. His promise tells you so.

19. Besides that, there is an experience which many of us have had, which we would like to tell you for your encouragement. It is Christ’s custom to come to waiting souls. I can speak for many brothers and sisters here, as well as for myself, when I say that “I sought the Lord, and he heard me.” “This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him.” I was so foolish when I was seeking the Saviour that, for a long time, I said to myself, “The Lord Jesus will hear my brother; he will hear my sister; he will be gracious to my father and my mother, but not to me.” The devil said, “Your name is not on the roll of Christ’s redeemed ones.” How did he know? He had never read it. How could I tell? I had never seen it. When any man says to me, “Suppose I am not elect,” I usually answer, “Suppose you are; and suppose both you and I stop supposing, and go to work on certainty instead of supposition. Is that not a wise thing to do? Now, Christ has said, ‘Whoever comes to me I will in no wise cast out.’ Will not the wisest thing for us to do be to go and see whether he will cast us out?” And, dear friends, if he does cast any one of you out, I should like you to let me know about it, for I have gone up and down the land, these many years, telling everyone that Christ never did cast a sinner out, and I do not wish to say what is not true. If he does cast out one who comes to him, I shall have to amend my testimony; at least, I shall have to stay at home, and hold my tongue, if you can tell me, assuredly, that you went to Christ, and he cast you out. Sirs, I tell you that there is not, even among the damned in hell, a single one who dares to say that he sought the Lord, and the Lord would not be found by him. There never shall be one among the lost spirits, who shall dare to say, “I trusted in Christ, and he did not save me. I sought him, but he would not look at me.” It cannot be so; come along with you, then, please, and end all questions and supposings by humbly casting yourself down at Jesus’ feet; and trusting in him, you shall not die, but shall live for ever and ever.

20. So I have spoken on a most certain arrival, — Christ will come to those who wait for him.

21. III. Now, lastly, those who have waited for Christ are sure to give him A HEARTY WELCOME when he does come. I know that for certain, because many things will lead them to do so.

22. First, their fears; you know that, at the time mentioned in our text, the people came down to the shore of the Sea of Galilee, and waited, and watched, and looked everywhere for Christ. He was gone; he who had fed them was gone; he who had healed their sick was gone. They said to each other, “Which way did he go?” And the answer was, “He sailed across the sea, and there was a storm at night, and he has not come back.” They may have said, “Perhaps he never will come back”; and some of the Galileans may have sadly added, “Alas! we did not treat him well when he was here; we did not honour and reverence him as we ought to have done; and now, possibly, we shall never see him again.” Among them was that poor woman with the issue of blood, and she would say, “Ah! if he does not come back, then I cannot be healed. I do not have a penny left to spend on another doctor; and if I had, I should probably only get worse instead of better.” There was Jairus also, the ruler of the synagogue; and he was asking, “Where is the great Prophet? Do you think he will come back? My dear little girl, my only daughter, is getting worse and worse; I fear she is dying. Oh that he were back, for he might heal her! If he does not return soon, she will be dead before he comes; and then what shall I do?” Then there was the poor paralysed man, who had four friends who promised that they would get him to Christ somehow or other; even if they had to pull the roof off the house, they intended to take him to Jesus. As he lay there, he seemed to say, “Ah, me! I have my bearers willing to carry me into his presence, but perhaps he never will come back, perhaps he has gone away altogether.” Now, whenever that fear comes into a man’s mind, through long waiting for Jesus, until he says, “Perhaps he will not come; perhaps he will never smile on me; perhaps he will never hear my prayer”; — when Jesus does appear, how gladly he is welcomed! From many a heart and lip goes up the cry, “He comes! He comes! ‘Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’ ” Among the waiting ones who are sure to welcome Christ when he comes, are those who have been troubled by fears concerning his absence.

23. Then, besides, their hopes made them welcome him when he came. The poor woman with the issue of blood said, “If he comes, perhaps I may be healed; so I hope he will return.” And Jairus cried, “Oh, if he will only come in time, my dear child may yet be spared to me!” And the poor paralytic said, “If he will only come, — if I may only hear the music of his footfall, and listen to the charm of that dear voice, and look into those loving eyes, I may yet be restored”; so, when Jesus did return, the hopes of those who had been waiting for him caused their hearts to dance within them, and made them give him such a hearty welcome. Ten thousand million welcomes are due to the Saviour who creates such bright hopes within our spirits. Oh, if he comes to you, my friend, how welcome he will be! How gladly will you receive him! If any of you have no fears and no hopes concerning Christ, may God have mercy on you! But such as have the fears and the hopes of which I have been speaking will be sure to welcome the coming Christ.

24. In addition to hopes and fears, there were many other things that made these people welcome Jesus. For example, their prayers. When a man has long prayed for Christ, he will at last say, with the psalmist, “My soul waits for the Lord more than those who watch for the morning: I say, more than those who watch for the morning.” And this kind of prayer creates within the spirit such a thirst that, when the fresh waters of Christ’s presence flow, then the man welcomes him with unbounded joy.

25. And their faith, too, helped them to welcome Christ when he returned. When a man is truly trusting Christ, and yet has no true sense of his presence; — when a man is really reposing on Christ, and yet does not, at the time, feel the comfort of full assurance, — when at last Christ comes to him, and fully reveals himself in all his preciousness and beauty, how heartily does such a man welcome his Lord and Saviour!

26. And their love, also, helped these people to welcome Christ; and oh my soul, what joy it is for you to get into Christ’s company now that you have learned to love him! My brothers, this is our heaven below, is it not? In all the vehemence of our love, which burns like coals of juniper, the presence of Christ is most welcome to us. Oh, for only one glimpse of his eyes, for he has ravished our heart! Oh, to only hear the tinkling of the bells on our High Priest’s garments, though the sound is soft and low! Oh, to listen to only one word of his! If he will only whisper, “You are mine,” it will lift our heart up almost to heaven itself, and fill it with a foretaste of the bliss of glory. I know that it is so with you, beloved. In proportion as you trust him, and love him, will be the heartiness with which you will welcome him when he comes to you.

27. In closing my discourse, let me say that, if we are prepared to welcome Christ like this, he is sure to come to us. There never was a man yet who stood waiting to welcome Jesus, but Jesus was already on the way to him. Shall I tell you how you may sooner bring him to you than by any other means in all the world? Expose your wounds and sores before him, unveil your poverty and wretchedness before him, and challenge his promise to heal and save just such sinners as you are. Never try, in order to attract Christ to you, to make yourself appear better than you are; that is a poor policy, and is sure to fail. If I were a wounded soldier on the battle-field, I think that I should try to appear quite as bad as I really was, so that the surgeon might attend to me at once. Certainly, it would be very foolish for a man, who is sick, almost to death, to say to the doctor, “Leave me alone for a while; I can wait a little longer.” No, rather let him cry, “Oh sir, I must be attended to at once, or I fear that it may be too late! I am so sick that, unless I am speedily cared for, death will claim me for its own.” Well, now, act in this way with regard to Christ. Go to him, poor sinner; tell him how bad you have been; you cannot aggravate or exaggerate your sin. Just lay it all open before him, and say, “My Lord, my sins are the mouths that shall plead with your love; my misery is the eloquence that shall entreat your mercy. I will die if you do not in pity look on me, and forgive me. I have no other hope but in you; I cast myself on you, lost or saved, I will trust in you. At the foot of the cross I will perish, if I must perish anywhere.” Ring the bells of heaven, for that soul is saved! Glory to God in the highest! On earth there is peace between that soul and its Maker, for it is trusting in the Redeemer, and no one ever perishes who trusts in him. So may the Lord bless you, dear friends, for Christ’s sake! Amen.

 {See Spurgeon_Hymnal “The Christian, Privileges, Communion with Jesus — Christ Is All” 792}
 {See Spurgeon_Hymnal “The Christian, Privileges, Communion with Jesus — ‘When Wilt Thou Come?’ ” 766}
 {See Spurgeon_Hymnal “The Christian, Desires After Holiness — Longing To Love Christ” 646}

Exposition By C. H. Spurgeon {Lu 8:26-56}

26, 27. And they arrived at the country of the Gadarenes, which is opposite Galilee. And when he went out to land, there met him out of the city a certain man, who had demons for long time, and wore no clothes, neither lived in any house, but in the tombs.

To what a frightful state of wretchedness this poor creature was reduced by Satanic power! Yet he is only a picture of the state of mind into which many are brought through sin. They seem as if they could not live with their fellow men; they have grown so mad through sin, so utterly beyond restraint, that they can scarcely be tolerated in ordinary society. Yet, just as Christ healed this man, so he is equal to the cure of the worst case of spiritual and moral disease that may be brought before him.

28. When he saw Jesus, he cried out, and fell down before him, and with a loud voice said, “What have I to do with you, Jesus, you Son of God most high? I beseech you, do not torment me.”

See the devil can make men pray against themselves; and this is what they do in common profane swearing when they imprecate all kinds of curses on their eyes and limbs. Ah, me! To what mischief and folly and misery can Satan drive his willing dupes!

29. (For he had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. For it had often caught him: and he was kept bound with chains and in fetters; and he broke the bonds, and was driven by the devil into the wilderness.)

We have often seen such cases, — young men who have been rescued from a course of vice, and who have been for a time helped towards virtue; but they have broken loose again. There was no holding them in; they had not learned self-restraint, and no one else could restrain them.

30, 31. And Jesus asked him, saying, “What is your name?” And he said, “Legion”: because many demons were entered into him. And they besought him that he would not command them to go out into the deep.

So, you see, dear friends, that demons can pray: “They besought him that he would not command them to go out into the deep”; that is, to their place of torment in hell. They would sooner go to the bottom of the sea than go to their own dreadful home; and, if we are half as wise as demons are, we shall dread beyond all things to be driven there. May God grant that no soul among us may ever lift up his eyes in torment, and find himself in that awful deep!

32, 33. And there was there a herd of many swine feeding on the mountain: and they besought him that he would permit them to enter into them. And he permitted them. Then the demons went out of the man, and entered into the swine: and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the lake, and were drowned.

Our proverb says, “They run hard whom the devil drives”; and when once he begins to drive men or swine, there is no end to their running until they are drowned in the deep. Woe to that man, then, who yields himself up to the tyrant master! Oh, seek the grace that will enable you to fling him off, never to come under his dread sway again! Better still, pray the blessed Prince of Peace to cast out the black prince of hell, and himself to rule over your spirit, soul, and body.

34. When those who fed them saw what was done, they fled, and went and told it in the city and in the country.

Sometimes, Christ accomplished cures which were scarcely mentioned; but here, — and I only remember a second miracle at all like it, — that of the withering of the barren fig tree, — he performed a miracle of judgment, and it caused a great stir and much talk. I have heard of bells at sea, that only ring out in the roughest storms. Here is one that was heard when softer tones would not have been heeded: “They fled, and went and told it in the city and in the country.”

35. Then they went out to see what was done; and came to Jesus, and found the man, out of whom the demons were departed, sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed, and in his right mind: and they were afraid.

There was some clothing work done that day. I do not know who provided the clothes; but here was some real practical Christianity exhibited, not only by the Master in healing the demoniac, but by the friends who found clothing for this poor man. You do well, my sisters, who help to clothe the poor. May God grant that all of them may not only be clothed, but also be led to sit at the feet of Jesus!

36, 37. They also who saw it told them by what means he who was possessed by the demons was healed. Then the whole multitude of the country of the Gadarenes all around besought him to depart from them;

Surely, this legion of demons must have had the same effect on them as on the poor man when Christ first came to him. These foolish people took up the same cry as the poor demoniac: “The whole multitude besought him to depart from them.” Christ sometimes hears this kind of prayer. There is many a man who has entreated that his conscience might not be troubled any more, and it never has been troubled again. But what an awful prayer for any people to pray! “The whole multitude of the country of the Gadarenes all around besought him to depart from them.”

37-39. For they were taken with great fear: and he went up into the boat, and returned back again. Now the man out of whom the demons were departed besought him that he might be with him: but Jesus sent him away, saying, “Return to your own house, and show what great things God has done for you.” And he went his way, and proclaimed throughout the whole city what great things Jesus had done for him.

Sometimes, it is better to be spreading the good news of the gospel than to be sitting at Jesus’ feet. It is best when we can do both; but, sometimes, the practical duty of serving our fellow men must take the first place. Happy are those who do this work, telling to others what God has done for them!

40-46. And it came to pass, that, when Jesus had returned, the people received him gladly: for they were all waiting for him. 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 only had one daughter, about twelve years of age, and she lay dying. But as he went the people thronged him. And a woman having an issue of blood for twelve years, who had spent all her living on physicians, neither could be healed by any, came behind him, and touched the hem of his garment: and immediately her issue of blood was stopped. And Jesus said, “Who touched me?” When all denied, Peter and those who were with him said, “Master, the multitude throngs you and presses you, and you say, ‘Who touched me?’ ” And Jesus said, “Someone has touched me; for I perceive that power is gone out of me.”

Here we are tonight, dear friends, a great crowd; and what multitudes of professed worshippers of God there are in many places! They seem to throng the Saviour; but, ah, how few really do touch him so as to derive healing power from him! This humble, simple touch of faith is something above and beyond all the pressure of professed zeal and ardour. This touch Christ recognises at once, but all the pressing and the squeezing of the crowd goes for nothing.

47. And when the woman saw that she was not hidden, she came trembling, and falling down before him, she declared to him before all the people why she had touched him, and how she was healed immediately.

Here is a second confessor. First, there was a man healed; now, here is a woman healed. Both genders may now hear from them what Christ can do. If they will not believe, oh, then, their unbelief is sad indeed!

48, 49. And he said to her, “Daughter, be of good comfort: your faith has made you well; go in peace.” While he was still speaking, one comes from the ruler of the synagogue’s house, saying to him, “Your daughter is dead; do not trouble the Master.”

As if such a supplicant really did trouble him! Still, if you have been praying for a long time, and your case appears to be hopeless, despair will whisper, “Do not trouble the Master.” But Christ is never troubled by our prayer; it is our lack of prayer that troubles him. Even after the worst has come to the worst, we shall never trouble him if we continue our prayers. But if, on any account, we cease from them, then indeed his heart is grieved.

50. But when Jesus heard it, he answered him, saying, “Do not fear: only believe, and she shall be made well.”

“If she is actually dead, she shall be raised to life again.”

51. And when he came into the house, he allowed no man to go in, except Peter, and James, and John, and the father and the mother of the maiden.

For Christ does not make a parade of his miracles. He loves to do his work quietly; and those who make a great noise must watch that they do not get put out when Christ is about to work a cure.

52-55. And everyone wept, and bewailed her: but he said, “Do not weep, she is not dead, but sleeps.” And they laughed him to scorn, knowing that she was dead. And he put them all out, and took her by the hand, and called, saying, “Maid, arise.” And her spirit came again, and she arose immediately: and he commanded to give her food.

Young saints need feeding as soon as they are converted. The conversion may be by miracle, but they will need to be fed by ordinary means. Be ready, dear people of God, with your milk for those who are only newly born: “He commanded to give her food.”

56. And her parents were astonished: but he charged them that they should tell no man what was done.

For Jesus did not wish, at least at that time, to have the story of his miracles blazed abroad. Of him the prophet had long before written: “He shall not cry, nor lift up, nor cause his voice to be heard in the street. He shall not break a bruised reed, and he shall not quench the smoking flax.”

New Book By Mrs. C. H. Spurgeon,

Uniform with A Carillon of Bells.

Just published. Cloth, gilt. Price 1s. 6d.

“A Cluster of Camphire”;

Or, Words of Cheer and Comfort for Sick and Sorrowful Souls.

London: Passmore and Alabaster, Paternoster Buildings; and from all Booksellers.

The Christian, Privileges, Communion with Jesus
792 — Christ Is All
1 Comparer with Christ, in all beside
      No comeliness I see;
   The one thing needful, dearest Lord,
      Is to be one with thee.
2 The sense of thy expiring love
      Into my soul convey:
   Thyself bestow; for thee alone
      I absolutely pray.
3 Less than thyself will not suffice,
      My comfort to restore:
   More than thyself I cannot crave,
      And thou canst give no more.
4 Loved of my god, for him again
      With love intense I burn:
   Chosen of thee e’er time began,
      I choose thee in return.
5 Whate’er consists not with thy love,
      Oh teach me to resign:
   I’m rich to all the intents of bliss,
      If thou, oh God, art mine.
                  Augustus M. Toplady, 1772.

The Christian, Privileges, Communion with Jesus
766 — “When Wilt Thou Come?”
1 When wilt thou come unto me, Lord?
      Oh come, my Lord most dear!
   Come near, come nearer, nearer still,
      I’m blest when thou art near.
2 When wilt thou come unto me, Lord?
      I languish for the sight;
   Ten thousand suns when thou art hid,
      Are shades instead of light.
3 When wilt thou come unto me, Lord?
      Until thou dost appear,
   I count each moment for a day,
      Each minute for a year.
4 There’s no such thing as pleasure here,
      My Jesus is my all;
   As thou dost shine or disappear,
      My pleasures rise or fall.
5 Come, spread thy savour on my frame,
      No sweetness is so sweet;
   Till I get up to sing thy name,
      Where all thy singers meet.
                     Thomas Shepherd, 1692.

The Christian, Desires After Holiness
646 — Longing To Love Christ
1 I thirst, thou wounded Lamb of God,
   To wash me in thy cleansing blood;
   To dwell within thy wounds: then pain
   Is sweet, and life or death is gain.
2 Take my poor heart, and let it be
   For ever closed to all but thee!
   Seal thou my breast, and let me wear
   That pledge of love for ever there.
3 How blest are they who still abide
   Close shelter’d in thy bleeding side!
   Who life and strength from thence derive,
   And by thee move, and in thee live.
4 What are our works but sin and death,
   Till thou thy quickening Spirit breathe?
   Thou givest the power thy grace to move:
   Oh wondrous grace! Oh boundless love!
5 How can it be, thou heavenly King,
   That thou shouldest us to glory bring?
   Make slaves the partners of thy throne,
   Deck’d with a never fading crown.
6 Hence our hearts melt, our eyes o’erflow;
   Our words are lost; nor will we know,
   Nor will we think of aught beside,
   “My Lord, my Love, is crucified.”
7 Ah, Lord! enlarge our scanty thought,
   To know the wonders thou hast wrought;
   Unloose our stammering tongues, to tell
   Thy love immense, unsearchable.
8 First born of many brethren thou!
   To thee, lo! all our souls we bow:
   To thee, our hearts and hands we give;
   Thine may we die; thine may we live.
            Count Zinzendorf, Anna and
            John Nitschmann, 1737;
               tr. by John Wesley, 1740.

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.

Spurgeon Sermon Updates

Email me when new sermons are posted:

Privacy Policy

Answers in Genesis is an apologetics ministry, dedicated to helping Christians defend their faith and proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Learn more

  • Customer Service 800.778.3390