3219. “He Blessed Him There”

by Charles H. Spurgeon on April 14, 2021
Share:

No. 3219-56:493. A Sermon Delivered On Lord’s Day Evening, By C. H. Spurgeon, At The Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington.

A Sermon Published On Thursday, October 13, 1910.

He blessed him there. {Ge 32:29}

1. Jacob had said to the angel, “Please tell me your name.” In answer to that enquiry, he was gently rebuked. The angel did not come to gratify Jacob’s curiosity, but he came as a messenger from God with a blessing: “and he blessed him there.” There are a great many things we should like to know when we read the Bible; but if we read it so as to find salvation, that will be much better than having our curiosity gratified. When we come to hear a sermon, too, we should like perhaps to find some fine passages, or to have some interesting anecdotes that we could carry away with us; but if, instead, the Lord’s messenger shall give us a blessing from God himself, it will be infinitely better. The disciples, after the resurrection, wanted to know from the Saviour something about the times and seasons, but he did not tell it to them. He said to them, “You shall receive power, after the Holy Spirit is come into you.” That was far better, far more valuable to them; and though for the time it might not please them so much, yet, for all practical purposes, it enriched them far more. Angels’ names we can afford to leave, but God’s blessing we must have, and we cannot do without it.

2. I. Let us just think, for a minute or two, WHAT THIS BLESSING WAS WHICH JACOB GAINED AS THE RESULT OF A NIGHT OF PRAYER.

3. I wonder whether anyone here has ever spent a night in prayer. Is there a man among us who has ever wrestled with the angel for so long? Alas! I am afraid to ask the question, and ask for an answer, lest I should only gain one through your silence. Brethren, it is not easy to spend a whole night in prayer. It has been well observed that it is easier to hear a sermon two hours long than to pray for an hour. The more spiritual the exercise, the sooner we tire. Joshua was not weary of fighting in the valley, but Moses’ hands began to grow weary with holding them up in prayer. Yet surely there have been necessities in our lives, as in that of Jacob, that a night of prayer would have been becoming. Surely we have been in as great straits and struggles as he was, and have needed the blessing of heaven as did that much-tried patriarch. Perhaps it would be good before long to try to accomplish this master-feat, and wait, from sunset to sunrise with God. The old knights, before they took a higher degree of knighthood, spent a night in some church, and were supposed to be in prayer. He who shall really spend a night in prayer shall win celestial blessings. He shall lie down a Jacob, but he shall rise up a prince. There is a distinct advance from Jacob to Israel, from being a supplanter to being a prince. Prayer gives an incalculable blessing, and this is the advance Jacob gained, an incomparable advance in spiritual things.

4. But besides that, he gained, as the blessing attending that night’s prayer, deliverance out of great peril. He thought that he and his family would have been slain by Esau, but the angel blessed him, and not a single lamb of all his flock was harmed, neither were the women and children put to the slightest fear. Prayer brought down heaven’s shield to cover Jacob in the hour of danger.

5. Again, he got what was even better under some aspects, reconciliation with his brother. He had done his brother grievous wrong, but his brother forgave him. I do not know, but I think a Christian man would almost sooner be exposed to peril than live under a sense of having committed an injustice. It is a great relief to your mind, when you have done so, to find it all set right again. To think, “I did that man a wrong, but it is gone and forgiven for ever,” is a blessing worth praying all night to obtain.

6. Happy was Jacob also to have the breach healed between himself and his brother, to meet him, and fall on his neck, and kiss him; to feel, that being so near akin, they should no longer be separated in heart. Are you separated from your brother? Has any root of bitterness sprung up to trouble you? Have the friendships of life been curdled by dislike? It would be good to have a night of prayer to get them back again, and again to serve side by side with your fellows. I take it to be a vast blessing for a Christian man to be delivered from the temptation to retaliate, to be saved from all hardness of heart and bitterness of spirit. The angel, when he gave Jacob that, blessed him indeed.

7. Besides all these blessings, in addition to having risen in rank before God, to having had his wrong amended, to having been forgiven by his brother, to being restored to friendship, I do not doubt that, from that night, a blessing rested on Jacob’s heart, and the dews of that night fertilized his soul for years to come. He was anointed with fresh oil from that moment; and as he rose, limping on his thigh, he was not merely a better man by title, but better by nature. He had been away in a far-off country with Laban, and much of the dew of his spirit had gone from him; but now that he had returned to Canaan, the angel sealed his return by giving him the blessings of the return.

8. Such were the blessings of Jacob, and I should not wonder if there is someone here who has said, “I know in a measure, personally, what those blessings are, and wish I enjoyed them to the full.” My prayer, beloved brothers and sisters, is that even tonight God may bless you. According to your necessity, may he prepare the blessing; but, oh, may he bless you indeed, and bless you here!

9. II. Now, secondly, let us enquire, WHAT WAS THE PLACE WHERE JACOB RECEIVED THIS CHOICE BLESSING?

10. And the answer comes, first, it was a place of very special trial. He had just gotten out of Laban’s clutches to fall in the way of Esau. He had fled from a lion, and now a bear met him, and he feared that his wives and children would be utterly destroyed by his revengeful brother. It was a fearful trial, and the mere fear of it must have left scars on his heart. Yet “He blessed him there.” Is this not a very usual circumstance with the people of God, that their severest trials are the times of their best mercies? I remind you how often this has been the case, and how true Cowper’s words have been,—

 

      The clouds ye so much dread

   Are big with mercy, and shall break

      In blessings on your head.

 

Believe that, for the present trial on which you are perhaps now entering, it shall be written, “He blessed him there, where he tried him.” He will bless you there, where he is trying you; in the waters, in the furnace when you are being refined again and again, and the hot coals are being heaped on you, he will bless you there. The disciples feared, we are told, as they entered into the cloud, but it was there that they saw the Saviour transfigured. And, often, we fear the cloud into which we enter when we are only passing into the secret place of the Most High, where, under the shadow of the Almighty, we shall have even more delightful visions of him.

11. If we were wise, we should begin to welcome trials. We should rather fear to be without them, for, up until now, what do we not owe to the furnace, to the rod, to the threshing flail? Scarcely has a mercy of any great spiritual value come to us at all except by the way of the cross. I am sure I may look at every choice blessing I have enjoyed as having come to me in rumbling wagons like the good things which came from Egypt to old father Jacob. We have been blessed in places of trial; let us not, therefore, dread to go to such places again, but go on our way towards heaven feeling that whatever difficulty we encounter shall only be another of the places in which God shall bless us. “He blessed him there.”

12. It was also a place of pleading. That is most noteworthy. “He blessed him there,” where he had spent a night in prayer; there, where he had a wrestling match with an unknown stranger; there, where he would not let the angel go; there, where he held him firmly until he gained the blessing. “He blessed him there.” If you are short of blessings, resort to the place of mighty prayer.

 

      Beyond thy utmost wants,

      His love and power can bless;

   To praying souls he always grants

      More than they can express.

 

All things are open to the man who knows how to pray persistently. “The kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force.” Notice that, Jacob’s wrestling was no child’s play. I have seen painters attempt to depict it, and only now and then have they caught the true idea; but one of them represents Jacob as trying most lustily to give his antagonist a back fall, and no doubt he did tax his strength to the utmost until, in the dead of night, he was faint, faint with the toil he had gone through.

13. Begging from God must be real work. It is said of begging that, it is the worst occupation in the world, but a man who is to make anything of prayer must throw his whole soul into it. Your prayers that have hardly life enough in them to live, your words that hang like icicles beneath your tongues, that are scarcely heard even by yourselves, how do you think that they will be heard by God? If there is not enough prayer in us to stir our own hearts, how can we expect that God should be moved by our entreaties? It was not so with Jacob: “He blessed him there”; he prevailed there, and if you want a blessing you must get it in that way. When you get to the state that you will take no denial, that you would sooner die than not be blessed, you shall get it.

14. Again, in addition to its being a place of trial and a place of pleading, it was a place of communion. Do you recognise it? Jacob called it “Peniel”—that is, “the face of God,” because there he had seen God face to face. Oh beloved, these are things to feel rather than to speak about! To see God! Blessed indeed are “the pure in heart” when they get this blessing fulfilled in their experience, and come so into union with Christ as to be able to look to God with an eye that is not blinded with fear. Oh to speak with God, pouring out our hearts before him, and to hear him speaking with us, the promise no longer lying like a dead letter on the page, but leaping out of the page, as though full of life, as though God had just spoken it and we were hearing it from his divine mouth! Do you know what this blessing means? Can you read Solomon’s Song through, and say, “I understand it”? Is it your experience that you have ever fed on the body and blood of Christ, having his very life in you? If you have, then you have seen God, and it will be said of you, “He blessed him there.” Brethren, we miss a thousand blessings because we are too busy to commune with God. We are here, there, and everywhere, except where we ought to be. We are running to this and to that, instead of sitting with Mary at the Master’s feet. He blessed Mary as she sat there, and there, too, he will be sure to bless us.

 

   Oh that I could for ever sit

   With Mary at the Master’s feet;

      Be this my happy choice:

   My only care, delight, and bliss,

   My joy, my heaven on earth, be this,

      To hear the Bridegroom’s voice.

 

15. But, once more, where Jacob got the blessing, it was a place of conscious weakness. The angel touched the sinew in the hollow of his thigh. While he got the blessing, he became lame too, and he might be well content to carry that lameness to his grave. I have often found that the place where I have seen most of my own insignificance, baseness, unbelief, and depravity has been the place where I have found a great blessing. Did you ever try to preach, and fail in the doing of it, and then found that God blessed you there? Have you ever tried to be earnest with the Sunday School children, and were earnest, too, but in your own judgment you made a fool of yourself? Have you not found that God blessed you there? Is it not often one of the greatest blessings that can occur to us to be made to think little of ourselves? May not God be enriching us most when he is emptying us, and preparing us for the largest possible blessing when he is making us to see the completeness of our destitution?

16. The most unpleasant places for us in life are often the places where the blessing comes most. “He blessed him there.” He took the rich man from his palace, and made him live in a cottage, but “he blessed him there.” He took the strong man from his vigour, and laid him on a sick-bed; but “he blessed him there.” He brought down the man of full assurance into a state of trembling and anxiety, but “he blessed him there.” He brought the man of busy usefulness down to be a patient sufferer, unable to stir hand or foot for the Lord he loved so well, but “he blessed him there.” He took the man of good reputation, and permitted his character to be evil spoken of, and his good name to be withered, but “he blessed him there.” It is often so. We halt with lameness, with shrinking of the sinew, the precious thing where our strength seemed to lie, but that may be the very way to a blessing which otherwise we should never have received.

17. I would then encourage each one of you to seek a blessing wherever you may be. I think most of you have been in the house of trial; seek to get a blessing there. The place of pleading, at any rate, is open to all of you; get a blessing there. The sacred place of communion, we may get the blessing that is always to be found there. And I suppose most of you have had your times of humbling, and of stripping, and getting very low; may you get a blessing there!

18. III. So I turn to notice very briefly that THERE ARE OTHER PLACES WHERE CHRISTIANS GET BLESSINGS besides the place where Jacob won his.

19. Beloved, there is a place (how shall I speak of it?) where the Lord has always blessed us. It is of old in eternity. God is so glad to bless his people that he began doing it early. “Early,” do I say? He began before time began. He has blessed us with all spiritual blessings in Christ Jesus according as he has chosen us in him before the foundation of the world. When the decree was given, when the covenant was established, when the election was determined, he blessed each one of us there, if indeed we are believers in Jesus.

 

   Sons we are through God’s election,

      Who in Jesus Christ believe;

   By eternal destination,

      Sovereign grace we here receive;

         Lord, thy mercy

      Does both grace and glory give.

 

20. I might point to a thousand places all down the line of history, and say that all of us who are in Christ were blessed there. But I will only linger at the cross, and say, “Where Jehovah was made a curse for us, and suffered in our place, he blessed us there. And at that open, empty tomb, from which escaped the living Saviour whom the bands of death could not hold, he blessed us there. He who died for our transgressions, rose again, for our justification, and by his resurrection he blessed us there. And when he stood on Olivet about to depart, and pronounced the blessing on his disciples, he blessed us there. And as he ascended up on high, leading captives captive, from his royal chariot he cast down lavishly with both his hands ten thousand gifts for the sons of men, which he had received even for the rebellious, so that the Lord God might dwell among them, he blessed us there. And up in heaven, where he sits until his work is done, he points to his wounds, and points to our names, and reminds the Father of his eternal love for us. He has blessed us there, for he has raised us up, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.”

21. But since there are places in your own experience, beloved, where he has blessed you, I would take some of you back in your history to the moment when you first knew the Lord. I often try to refresh your memories about that, and I do not think I can do it too often. Where was the place when, laden with woes and sins, you saw Jesus Christ, and looked to him, and at once were enlightened? Where was it? When was it? Twenty years ago, perhaps; with some of us, more than that; with others, only two or three years ago; with others of you, perhaps, it is only a week ago. Well, whenever it was, when he led you to see the Saviour, he blessed you there, as you never had experienced a blessing before. I should not wonder if the day is marked down in your diary, though there is little need it should be, for it is marked on the tablets of your memory, and you will never forget it. Oh blessed place, oh happy moment, when, Jesus first met me! He blessed me there. Well, since that time, have there not been other places where he has blessed you? I might mention every trial you have had, and say, “He blessed you there.”

22. I might mention every benefit you have received, and say, “He blessed you there.” But time would fail me. I will only remind you that, when you have been prompt to obey your Lord, and keep close to him, and have not permitted any cloud to come between you and him, he has blessed you there. If you have kept up that spirit of obedience, take care to still let your eyes be on him as the eyes of a handmaiden are on her mistress, for he will bless you there. And have you not found that, when you have been most empty, and had least self-reliance, he has blessed you there? When you have been very weak and little in your own esteem, and felt that you were nothing, and less than nothing, and ready to die, has he not blessed you there? When you have been kept low, without an ambitious thought, down on the very ground before him, and have been afraid to look up from a sense of unworthiness, has he not blessed you there? Oh, then, keep to the low places! There is no place so safe as the Valley of Humiliation.

 

   He that is down need fear no fall,

      He that is low, no pride.

 

He has blessed you there. It would be difficult for me to say where God has not blessed me. Wherever he has led me, wherever he has directed me, seeking his blessing I have found it, and therefore I will bear my witness to his faithfulness.

23. Well, eventually, when your time will come to die, he will bless you there. Before that time, you may be a sufferer, but he will bless you there. You may lose the dear husband who now is your strength, or the beloved wife, who now is your comfort, but he will bless you there. You may have to go to the grave with one child after another, and you yourself may be very weak, and scarcely have life left within you, but he will bless you there. What he has been he will be. If God could change, we might doubt; but since he never changes and is without a shadow of turning, let us look back through the many days since we first met him, and he met us. Remember that we have been upheld until now, and that he has helped us in every time of need, and then ask,—

 

   After so much mercy past,

   Will he let us sink at last?

 

What I am saying is very commonplace, and might suggest itself to anyone here; but, at the same time, when you get into trouble, it does not always suggest itself, and you need to be reminded of these simple principles. He blessed you there, and in such places he will bless you again.

24. One more word about that, and it is this. Has he not often blessed you in the house of prayer? Has he not blessed you in listening to the gospel? I know he has. Never, therefore, neglect the house of God. Has he not blessed you at the prayer meeting? Can you not say, “He blessed me there”? Well, then, let us see your face there as often as possible. Has he not blessed you at the communion table? Oh, if there is under heaven an ordinance that is Christ’s mirror, if there is under heaven a hand that can pull back the curtains, and roll up the lattices, and let us see the King in his beauty, it is the Lord’s supper. He has often blessed us there. Let those who despise the table of the Lord stay away; but those who have received the blessing will wish to be there often, and come again and again, saying, “Sirs, we would see Jesus.”

25. IV. We have seen what Jacob’s blessing was, where God blessed Jacob, we remember where he has blessed us, and now, in the last place, let me ask, IS THIS NOT ONE OF THE PLACES WHERE WE MAY EXPECT HIM TO BLESS US?

26. Is there a man here who never, to his own knowledge, had a blessing from God, and who is saying, “I wish God would bless me, even me also”? Are you willing, if God helps you, to give up all your sins? Would you wish to be free of them? Well, soul, if you desire that God will bless you now. For, if you wish to be rid of sin, God also wishes you to be rid of it, and so you and he are agreed. He will be sure to blot your sins out, and tread them under his feet, through his dear Son, Jesus Christ. Do you say that you want a blessing? I will ask another question of you. Are you willing to have Jesus Christ be your Saviour, not in part, but altogether? Will you let Christ be the first and the last? Will you take him, not to be a make-weight, {a} but a Saviour who can save you from head to foot, who can give his blood to cleanse you, his righteousness to cover you, himself to be all in all for you? Soul, if you will take a whole Christ, he waits to be received by you. Only trust him, and he is yours. “To as many as received him, he gave power to them to become the sons of God.”

27. There was a soul once that wanted Christ, and “he blessed him there!” There was a soul once that wanted to be rid of sin, and “he blessed him there.” There was a soul that said, “Lord, save or I perish,” and “he blessed him there.” There was another that said, “God be merciful to me a sinner,” and “he blessed him there!” There was one that cried to him, and he did not seem to hear, and at last she came in the crowd, and touched his garment’s hem, and he blessed her there. And there was another whom he called a dog. “Yet,” she said, “the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table,” and he blessed her there. Oh anxious, seeking, timid, trembling souls, trust in Jesus! Rest in Jesus, and he will bless you now, and you shall go on your way rejoicing.

28. It was with a young man {b} a day of seeking, and he entered a little sanctuary, and heard a sermon from the words “Look to me, and be saved.” He obeyed the Lord’s command, and “he blessed him there.” Soon after, he made a profession of his faith before many witnesses, declaring his consecration to the Lord, and “he blessed him there.” Immediately, he began to labour for the Lord in little rooms, among a few people, and “he blessed him there.” His opportunities enlarged, and by faith he ventured on daring things for the Lord’s sake, and “he blessed him there.” A household grew around him, and together with his loving wife he tried to train his children in the fear of the Lord, and “he blessed him there.” Then came sharp and frequent trial, and he was in pain and anguish, but the Lord “blessed him there.” This is that man’s experience all along, from the day of his conversion to this hour: uphill and down dale his path has been a varied one, but for every part of his pilgrimage he can praise the Lord, for “he blessed him there.”

29. There may, perhaps, be some Christians in trouble here. Brother, sister, I do not ask you what your trouble is, and I do not want to know; but there is a little text I would like to whisper to you, “Casting all your care on him, for he cares for you.” Will you not trust in him after that? If so, he will bless you there. Is your trouble concerning temporal need? Let me put this passage into your mouth as a sweet morsel, “Your Father knows what things you have need of before you ask him.” Suck that down and he will bless you there. Oh, what a blessing will come out of the marrow and fatness of that thought! Is there a poor Christian here who says, “I feel half-ashamed to go to the communion table; I am so unworthy”? You never were worthy, and never will be. Turn your eyes again to the cross. Look to the Saviour for worthiness. He will bless you there. “I feel so cold and chilly,” says another. Think of the Saviour’s love for poor, dead, cold sinners such as you are, and he will bless you there. If you are very cold, it is no use thinking of the cold in order to get hot; the best thing is to go to the fire. And if you feel dull and dead, do not try to get better by looking within, and examining yourself; flee away to Jesus Christ, and he will bless you there. Let all of us now say, “Dear Lord, meet us, show us your hands and your side,” and if we come to his throne in that spirit of desire, he will bless us there.

30. May the Lord be with us all, for Jesus’ sake. Amen.


{a} Make-weight: A person or thing of insignificant value thrown in to make up a deficiency or fill a gap. OED.
{b} In this paragraph, Mr. Spurgeon was evidently describing his own experience at his conversion and afterwards.

Exposition By C. H. Spurgeon {Mt 10:24-42}

Our Lord had been sending out his twelve disciples to preach the gospel of the kingdom, and to work miracles in his name. Having given them their commission, he warned them of the treatment they must expect to receive, and then fortified their minds against the persecutions they would have to endure.

24, 25. The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his Lord. It is enough for the disciple that he is as his master, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household?

The name, Beelzebub or Beelzebul, meaning the god of filth, or as some say, the god of flies, was applied by the Jews to the very worst of the evil spirits. They supposed that there were some demons worse than others, and the very head and master of them all they called Beelzebub, and now they applied this title to our Lord Jesus himself. Well then, if men should give us bad names and evil characters, need we marvel? Shall Christ be spit on and despised, and shall you and I be honoured and exalted? You have heard of Godfrey de Bouillon, the crusader, who entered Jerusalem in triumph, but who refused to have a golden crown put on his head because, he said, he never would be crowned with gold where Christ was crowned with thorns. So do you expect to be honoured in the world where your Lord was crucified?

26. Do not fear them therefore: for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hidden, that shall not be known.

“They will misrepresent you, slander you, and speak evil of you; but if your good name is covered up now, it shall be revealed one of these days, perhaps in this life; but if not in this life, certainly at the day of judgment, when the secrets of all hearts shall be made known.” It really is marvellous how, sometimes in this life, misrepresented men suddenly obtain a refutation of their slanders, and then it seems as if the world would serve them as the Greeks did their successful runners or wrestlers when they lifted them upon their shoulders, and carried them in triumph.

27. What I tell you in darkness, that speak in light: and what you hear in the ear, that preach on the house-tops. {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 2674, “Learning in Private What to Teach in Public” 2675}

This is what we are to preach, what Christ tells us; and this is how we are to get the matter of our discourses, be alone with Christ, let him talk to us in the darkness, in the tranquillity of the closet where we commune with him in prayer. Then this is the place where we are to preach, “on the house-tops.” We cannot literally do this here in this land on our slanting roofs; but, in the East, “the house-tops” were the most public places in the city, and all of them flat, so that anyone proclaiming anything from the house-tops would be sure of an audience, and especially at certain times of the day. Preach, then, you servants of God, in the most public places of the land. Wherever there are people to hear, let there not be any lack of tongues to speak for God.

28. And do not fear those who kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

A philosopher—Anaxarchus, I think it was,—was accustomed to say when a certain tyrant had threatened to kill him, “You cannot kill me; you may crush this body, but you cannot touch Anaxarchus.” So, do not fear those who cannot kill the soul; if that is safe, you are safe. Even Seneca frequently asserted that it was not in the power of any man to harm a good philosopher, “for,” he said “even death is gain for such a man”; and certainly it is so for the Christian. For him to die is indeed gain. But oh! fear that God who can destroy the soul, for then the body also is destroyed with a terrible and tremendous destruction: “fear him.”

29, 30. Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground apart from your Father’s will. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 187, “Providence” 180}

So, then, God takes more care of us than we take of ourselves. You never heard of a man who numbered the hairs of his head. Men number their sheep and their cattle, but the Christian is so precious in God’s esteem that he takes care of the lowliest parts of his body, and even numbers the hairs of his head.

31, 32. Do not fear therefore, you are of more value than many sparrows. Whoever therefore shall confess me before men, I will confess him also before my Father who is in heaven.

What a glorious promise this is! “I will confess him to have been bought with my blood; I will confess him to have been my faithful follower and friend; I will confess him to be my brother, and in doing so I will favour him with a share of my glory.” Have you confessed Christ before men? If you have trusted him as your Saviour, but have not publicly professed your faith in him, however sincere you may be, you are living in the neglect of a known duty, and you cannot expect to have this promise fulfilled for you if you do not keep the condition that is appended to it. Christ’s promise is to confess those who confess him. Be, then, affirmedly on the Lord’s side. “‘Come out from among them, and be separate,’ says the Lord.” Outside the camp the Saviour suffered, and outside the camp must his disciples follow him, bearing his reproach.

33. But whoever shall deny me before men, I will also deny him before my Father who is in heaven.

Not to confess Christ is practically to deny him; not to follow him is to go away from him; not to be with him is to be against him. Looking at this matter of confessing Christ in that light, there is reason for solemn self-examination by all who regard themselves as his disciples.

34. Do not think that I am come to send peace on the earth: I did not come to send peace, but a sword.

Do not misunderstand the Saviour’s words. Christ usually spoke in a very plain manner, and plainness is not always compatible with guardedness. Christ did come to make peace, this is the ultimate purpose of his mission; but for the present, Christ did not come to make peace. Wherever Christianity comes, it causes a quarrel, because the light must always quarrel with the darkness, and sin can never be friendly with righteousness. It is not possible that honesty should live in peace with theft; it cannot be that there should be harmony between God’s servants and the servants of the devil. In this sense, then, understand our Saviour’s words.

35, 36. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And a man’s foes shall be those of his own household.

This is always the case, and I suppose will be to the end of the chapter. Whenever true religion comes into a man’s heart and life, those who are without the grace of God, however near and dear they may be to him, will be sure to oppose him.

37-39. He who loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he who loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And he who does not take his cross, and follows after me, is not worthy of me. He who finds his life shall lose it: and he who loses his life for my sake shall find it.

In the days of the martyrs, Richard Denton {c} was brought before the judges, and through fear of the flames he recanted, and denied the faith. He went home, and before the year was ended his own house caught fire, and he was miserably consumed in it, having had to suffer quite as much pain as he would have had to endure for Christ’s sake but having no consolation in it. He found his life, yet he lost it. Now, in a higher degree, all who, to save themselves, shun the cross of Christ, only run into the fire to escape from the sparks. They shall suffer more than they would otherwise have done; but whoever is willing to give up everything for Christ shall learn that no man is ever really a loser by Christ in the long run. Sooner or later, if not in this life, certainly in the next, the Lord will abundantly make up for every man all that he has ever suffered for his sake.

Now comes a very delightful passage:—

40. He who receives you receives me, and he who receives me receives him who sent me.

When, therefore, you are kind to the poor, when you help the people of God in their difficulties and necessities, you are really helping Christ in the person of his poor but faithful followers.

41. He who receives a prophet in the name of a prophet—

That is, not as a gentleman, nor merely as a man, nor as a talented individual, but as a prophet of God,—

41. Shall receive a prophet’s reward; and he who receives a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward.

Just the same reward which God gives to prophets and righteous men, he will give to those who receive them in the name of a prophet or of a righteous man. A prophet’s reward must be something great, and such shall be the reward of those who generously receive the servants of God.

42. And whoever shall give a drink to one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, truly I say to you, he shall by no means lose his reward.

There have been times, even in our own country when to give “a cup of cold water” has been to run the risk of suffering death. In the dark days of persecution, some who were called heretics were driven out into the fields in the depths of winter to perish by the cold, the king’s subjects being forbidden, on pain of death, to give them anything either to eat or to drink. Now, in such a case as that, giving “a cup of cold water” would mean far more than if you or I simply gave a cup of water to someone who happened to be thirsty; but our Lord Jesus Christ here promises to reward any who, for his servants’ sake, will dare to risk any consequences that may fall on themselves.


{a} Richard Denton: a blacksmith, residing in Cambridgeshire, was a professor of religion, and the means of converting the martyr, William Woolsey. When told by that man that he wondered why he did not follow him into prison, Denton replied, that he could not burn for the cause of Christ. Not long after, his house being on fire, he ran in to save some of his goods, and was burned to death.

C. H. Spurgeon’s Useful Books at Reduced Prices.

The Salt-Cellars. Being a Collection of Proverbs, together with Homely Notes on them. By C. H. Spurgeon. “These three things go to the making of a proverb: Shortness, Sense, and Salt.” In 2 vols., cloth gilt, published at 3s. 6d. each, Offered at 2s. 6d. each; Morocco, 7s. 6d. each.

“For many years I have published a Sheet Almanac, intended to be hung up in workshops and kitchens. This has been known as ‘John Ploughman’s Almanac,’ and has had a large sale. It has promoted temperance, thrift, kindness to animals, and a regard for religion, among working people. The placing of a proverb for every day for twenty years has cost me great labour, and I feel that I cannot afford to lose the large collection of sentences which I have brought together; yet lost they would be, if left to die with the ephemeral sheet. Hence these two volumes. They do not profess to be a complete collection of proverbs, but only a few out of many thousands.”—Extract from Preface.

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

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

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

Learn more

  • Customer Service 800.778.3390