Luke 18* The parable of the importunate widow. (1-8) The Pharisee andthe publican. (9-14) Children brought to Christ. (15-17) Theruler hindered by his riches. (18-30) Christ foreshows hisdeath. (31-34) A blind man restored to sight. (35-43)1-8 All God's people are praying people. Here earneststeadiness in prayer for spiritual mercies is taught. Thewidow's earnestness prevailed even with the unjust judge: shemight fear lest it should set him more against her; but ourearnest prayer is pleasing to our God. Even to the end therewill still be ground for the same complaint of weakness offaith. 9-14 This parable was to convince some who trusted inthemselves that they were righteous, and despised others. Godsees with what disposition and design we come to him in holyordinances. What the Pharisee said, shows that he trusted tohimself that he was righteous. We may suppose he was free fromgross and scandalous sins. All this was very well andcommendable. Miserable is the condition of those who come shortof the righteousness of this Pharisee, yet he was not accepted;and why not? He went up to the temple to pray, but was full ofhimself and his own goodness; the favour and grace of God he didnot think worth asking. Let us beware of presenting prouddevotions to the Lord, and of despising others. The publican'saddress to God was full of humility, and of repentance for sin,and desire toward God. His prayer was short, but to the purpose;God be merciful to me a sinner. Blessed be God, that we havethis short prayer upon record, as an answered prayer; and thatwe are sure that he who prayed it, went to his house justified;for so shall we be, if we pray it, as he did, through JesusChrist. He owned himself a sinner by nature, by practice, guiltybefore God. He had no dependence but upon the mercy of God; uponthat alone he relied. And God's glory is to resist the proud,and give grace to the humble. Justification is of God in Christ;therefore the self-condemned, and not the self-righteous, arejustified before God. 15-17 None are too little, too young, to be brought to Christ,who knows how to show kindness to those not capable of doingservice to him. It is the mind of Christ, that little childrenshould be brought to him. The promise is to us, and to our seed;therefore He will bid them welcome to him with us. And we mustreceive his kingdom as children, not by purchase, and must callit our Father's gift. 18-30 Many have a great deal in them very commendable, yetperish for lack of some one thing; so this ruler could not bearChrist's terms, which would part between him and his estate.Many who are loth to leave Christ, yet do leave him. After along struggle between their convictions and their corruptions,their corruptions carry the day. They are very sorry that theycannot serve both; but if one must be quitted, it shall be theirGod, not their wordly gain. Their boasted obedience will befound mere outside show; the love of the world in some form orother lies at the root. Men are apt to speak too much of whatthey have left and lost, of what they have done and suffered forChrist, as Peter did. But we should rather be ashamed that therehas been any regret or difficulty in doing it. 31-34 The Spirit of Christ, in the Old Testament prophets,testified beforehand his sufferings, and the glory that shouldfollow, #1Pe 1:11|. The disciples' prejudices were so strong,that they would not understand these things literally. They wereso intent upon the prophecies which spake of Christ's glory,that they overlooked those which spake of his sufferings. Peoplerun into mistakes, because they read their Bibles by halves, andare only for the smooth things. We are as backward to learn theproper lessons from the sufferings, crucifixion, andresurrection of Christ, as the disciples were to what he toldthem as to those events; and for the same reason; self-love, anda desire of worldly objects, close our understandings. 35-43 This poor blind man sat by the wayside, begging. He wasnot only blind, but poor, the fitter emblem of the world ofmankind which Christ came to heal and save. The prayer of faith,guided by Christ's encouraging promises, and grounded on them,shall not be in vain. The grace of Christ ought to be thankfullyacknowledged, to the glory of God. It is for the glory of God ifwe follow Jesus, as those will do whose eyes are opened. We mustpraise God for his mercies to others, as well as for mercies toourselves. Would we rightly understand these things, we mustcome to Christ, like the blind man, earnestly beseeching him toopen our eyes, and to show us clearly the excellence of hisprecepts, and the value of his salvation.
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