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Free Books » Bonar, Horatius » Light & Truth: The Gospels

Chapter 5 - Matthew 4:23 - Jesus in Season and Out of Season Light & Truth: The Gospels by Bonar, Horatius




Jesus In Season And Out Of Season.


     "And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness, and all manner of disease, among the people."-Matthew 4:23.



     It is Christ himself that comes before us here; Christ in his life and doings here below; Christ as the God-man, the sent of God, the revealer of the Father; Christ as the sinner's friend and helper. By looking at Him as He was on earth, we learn what He is now in heaven; our faith gets a soil in which to root it self; a foundation on which to rest. We see Him on earth full of grace and truth; in heaven the same; just such an one as a sinner can approach, and trust, and love; just such an one as possesses all that a sinner needs. Mark these three things here (1.) Jesus the teacher; (2.) Jesus the preacher; (3.) Jesus the healer.

     I. Jesus the Teacher. He is the great giver of instruction to the sons of men; for He is the word and the wisdom; He is the lesson as well as the teacher. "Who teacheth like Him" who says, "Learn of me." They who come to Him He calls "disciples,"-men who enter his school, and come to Him for instruction. As such He receives them and deals with them; for He has "compassion on the ignorant." Not in one thing, but in all things does He teach. He teaches the inner man, for He has access to the spirits of men. He speaks to ear, and heart, and conscience. There is no teaching like his for completeness, for efficacy, and for the molding of the whole man. He speaks, and we hear. We speak, and He hears. He comes to us; we go to Him. And in this blessed interchange between the scholar and the Master, the great work of enlightenment, renovation, expansion, consolation takes place. Of all teachers, He is the wisest and most learned, as well as the most patient, loving, and painstaking. He openeth our ears to hear and our eyes to see. As He did in Galilee in the days of his flesh, so does He now over all the earth, though at the Father's right hand.

     II. The Preacher. That is, He is the herald, the proclaimer of news from God. He is specially noted here as the herald of one thing, that is, "the gospel of the kingdom,"-the good news about the kingdom. What had He to proclaim in this respect?

     (1.) That there was a kingdom. Not merely a state of blessedness or safety; not merely pardon and salvation; but a kingdom; with all its royalty, and glory, and grandeur. "There is a kingdom" is his message.

     (2.) That the gate of this kingdom is open. Once closed, now thrown wide open; once fenced with the flaming sword, now unguarded and unfenced.

     (3.) That this gate has been thrown open by God. It has not been man that has accomplished it: God has done it, with his own hand and power,-and all in love.

     (4.) That God has thrown it open in righteousness. It has not been forced open, nor merely opened because of importunity or pity, but righteously. Righteousness closed it, righteousness has opened it. Righteous entrance for unrighteous men! This was his message; this is ours.

     (5.) That the entrance is free. No payment of any kind. The poorest, neediest, unfittest, most unqualified may enter at once. It is for such! Not for the good, but for the bad!

     (6.) That it is nigh. The kingdom of God has come nigh unto you, was his message. Its gate is at our gate. There is but a step from the one to the other.

     These were glad tidings! And they came from Him who knew them well; who knew the kingdom; who had a right to speak of it; for He was its King. He has come to earth seeking to fill that kingdom of his; to obtain kings for it; fellow-kings along with himself. This is our proclamation still. A kingdom! A kingdom! Heavenly, holy, glorious, blessed! An open gate! Messengers sent out to entreat and compel men to come in! Oh enter in! Oh become kings; heirs of a throne!

     III. Jesus the healer. He has come to an hospital, a city of the plague, a world where all are sick and dying; both in soul and body. Heavenly skill is his; nay, divine. Medicine is his; love to the sick is in his heart, and the balm of Gilead in his hand. He healed "all manner of sickness, and all manner of disease among the people." He did so in fulfillment of his divine errand. He did so to manifest his divine fullness and skill. He did so to shew his power and willingness to heal worse diseases. He did so to attract and invite the spiritually sick,-the blind, the deaf, the lame, the leprous, the palsied,-all that are sick, whatever the nature of their disease. He is the great healer still! And we come to Him for health. He is the tree of life, both in leaf and fruit. He beckons us to his shade and healing. Wilt thou he made whole? is his question to each. He wants to be made use of by us. He entreats as a favor that we employ Him as our physician, and that we apply for his medicines. We need not specify them,-indeed, we cannot,-He knows what they are, as He knows what our sickness is. There is not one sick soul here that He is unwilling to heal. Oh, apply;-apply at once!