Carried By Four
Charles H. Spurgeon
You have this same narrative in the ninth chapter of Matthew, and in the second chapter of Mark. What is three times recorded by inspired pens must be regarded as trebly important and well worthy of our earnest consideration. Observe the instructive fact that our Savior retired and spent a special time in prayer when He saw unusual crowds assembling. He withdrew into the wilderness to hold communion with His Father, and, as a consequence, to come forth clothed with an abundance of healing and saving power. Not but that in Himself as God He always had that power without measure; but for our sakes He did it, that we might learn that the power of God will only rest upon us in proportion as we draw near to God. Neglect of private prayer is the locust which devours the strength of the church.
When our Lord left His retirement He found the crowd around Him exceeding great, and it was as motley as it was great. For while here were many sincere believers, there were still more skeptical observers; some were anxious to receive His healing power, others equally desirous to find occasion against Him. So in all congregations, however the preacher may be clothed with his Master's spirit and his Master's might, there will be a mixed gathering; there will come together your Pharisees and doctors of the law, your sharp critics ready to pick holes, your cold-blooded cavilers searching for faults. At the same time, chosen of God and drawn by His grace, there will be present some devout believers who rejoice in the power that is revealed among humans, and earnest seekers who wish to feel in themselves the healing energy. It seems to have been a rule with our Savior to supply each hearer with food after his kind. The Pharisees soon found the matters to cavil at for which they were looking; the Savior so worded His expressions that they caught at them eagerly, and charged Him with blasphemy. The enmity of their hearts was thus th ...
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