And as they departed, Jesus began to say to the multitudes concerning John, What went you out into the wilderness to see?…
Based on the expression, "What went ye out for to see?" When we are going to an ordinance, we should consider our aim, and what we are going about. In every action we should reflect upon the principles and ends, the reasons that move us to any duty. The ends of the Lord's Supper are —
I. To BE A BADGE OF PROFESSION. Profession is a great matter for two reasons.
1. Cases may happen in which profession is like to cost us dear.
2. We are bound to a profession, not in word only, but in deed. He is not a professor whose life is not a hymn to God. What are the excellences of the Christian profession? Sure principles of trust, or commerce, between us and God, for mercies of daily providence, pardon, and life, excellent rewards, and holy precepts of purity and charity. Now if we transgress any of these, we dishonour our profession.
II. To BE A SEAL OF THE COVENANT. On our part an obligation to obedience; God bindeth Himself to be our God, and we bind ourselves to be His people.
III. TO BE A PLEDGE OF HEAVEN.
IV. TO BE A SIGN, MEANS, AND PLEDGE OF OUR COMMUNION WITH CHRIST.
V. TO BE A MEANS OF OUR SPIRITUAL GROWTH AND NOURISHMENT.
VI. To BE A MEMORIAL OF CHRIST'S DEATH. VII. TO BE A PLEDGE OF HIS COMING. If these be the ends of the sacrament, you see what need there is of preparation.
Parallel VersesKJV: And as they departed, Jesus began to say unto the multitudes concerning John, What went ye out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken with the wind?