Ezekiel 47:22, 23
And it shall come to pass, that you shall divide it by lot for an inheritance to you, and to the strangers that sojourn among you…
The introduction of this passage is an indication of the figurative and spiritual character of the whole prophetic utterance. The ideal community, the kingdom of Christ, was to be one that would attract those that were without and that should welcome all that came; it should be a welcome home to the "stranger;" there the ancient "people of God" should find their inheritance; and thither those who had been his wandering and distant children should resort. Thus we gain the idea of -
I. THE ATTRACTIVENESS OF THE KINGDOM. As the Gentiles are here imagined as crossing the Jordan to sojourn within the borders of Israel, so we are to expect that men will come from beyond the pale of the Christian Church to find a home within its gates.
1. It ought to be far more attractive than it has been made. The discord, the envy, the strife among its members; the lamentable inconsistencies in the lives of too many of its professors; and the grave unwisdom with which its teachers have propounded their theories as if they were of the essence and substance of its truth; these have been repelling enough.
2. Yet, on the other hand, the gospel of Christ has been a great attractive power.
(1) The repose which it offers to the human mind, presenting to it one Divine and holy Creator and Sustainer of all things and beings;
(2) the rest which it offers to the human heart, tendering to it full and immediate restoration to a Divine Father's love;
(3) the enlargement which it offers to human life, making it a sacred and noble thing even in obscurity and poverty;
(4) the high and glorious hope it holds out to the human soul, speaking of a heavenly future; - all this may well prove, as it does prove, attractive
(a) to those of other faiths which have no such doctrine to preach, no such glad tidings to convey;
(b) to those of no faith at all, and to whom this world proves to be insufficient for lasting joy.
II. THE WELCOME ON WHICH ALL COMERS MAY COUNT.
1. Christ welcomes them to his kingdom. There is no doubt at all as to the certainty or the cordiality of that welcome. Even the son that has gone into the very far country and done sad dishonor to the Father's Name is received back with every manifestation of parental joy (Luke 15.). Jesus Christ is not only the Approachable One, from whom no sincere seeker need shrink; he is the One that seeks, that comes to our own door, that stands and knocks and waits for entrance there (Revelation 3:20).
2. All his true disciples welcome them. There may be found communities bearing the Christian name, whose gates are too narrow to receive many a true follower of Christ; but all those in whom the Spirit of Jesus Christ is dwelling, and who do not misrepresent their Master, will gladly welcome every "stranger" that comes to "sojourn" or to settle in the kingdom; they will encourage him to enter; they will give him the right hand of fellowship, they will find him a post in the vineyard of the Lord; they will make him to know and feel that in entering "Israel" he has come to his true home, that he is "as the home-born." - C.
Parallel VersesKJV: And it shall come to pass, that ye shall divide it by lot for an inheritance unto you, and to the strangers that sojourn among you, which shall beget children among you: and they shall be unto you as born in the country among the children of Israel; they shall have inheritance with you among the tribes of Israel.
WEB: It shall happen, that you shall divide it by lot for an inheritance to you and to the aliens who live among you, who shall father children among you; and they shall be to you as the native-born among the children of Israel; they shall have inheritance with you among the tribes of Israel.