But he went out, and began to publish it much, and to blaze abroad the matter, so that Jesus could no more openly enter into the city…
Seeking rest and health last week, I seated myself for a little while near a very rustic church which stands embowered in a wood, and as I sat there I moralized upon the various paths which led up to the church porch. Each trackway through the grass came from a different quarter, but they all led to one point. As I stood there this reflection crossed me: even thus men come to Christ from all quarters of the compass, but if indeed saved, they all come to Him. There is a path yonder which rises from a little valley. The little church stands on the hillside, there is a brook at the bottom, and worshippers who come from the public road must cross the rustic bridge and then ascend the hill. Such comers rise at every step they take. Full many burdened ones come to Christ from the deep places of self-abasement; they know their sinfulness and feel it; their self-consciousness has almost driven them to despair; they are down very low, and every step they take to Christ is a step upwards. They have a little hope as they look to Him, and then a little more, till it comes to a humble trust; then from a feeble, trembling trust it rises to a simple faith, and so they advance till when they stand near to Jesus they even reach to the full assurance of faith. Thus from soul distress and self-despair they come to the Lord Jesus, and He receives them graciously. Through the churchyard there was another path, and it ran uphill from where I stood, and therefore everyone who came that way descended to the church door. These may represent the people who think much of themselves; they have been brought up in morality and lived in respectability in the town of Legality; they have never turned aside to the greaser vices, but are among the models of behaviour. Every step these good people take towards Christ is downward; they think less of themselves and still less; regret leads to repentance, repentance to bitter grief, and grief leads to self abhorrence, till they come down to the level where Jesus meets with sinners, by owning that they are nothing, and that Christ is all. The two paths which I have mentioned were supplemented by a third, which led through a thick and tangled wood: a narrow way wound between the oak trees and the dense underwood, and I noticed that it led over a boggy place, through which stepping stones had been carefully placed for the traveller, that he might not sink in the mire. Many a seeker has found his way to Jesus by a similar path. Dark with ignorance, and briary with evil questionings, the path winds and twists about, and leads through the Slough of Despond, wherein a man had need pick his steps very carefully, or he may sink in despair. Those whom grace leads arrive at rest in Christ, but it is through the wood and through the slough. Once more, I remarked another path, which came in from the farmer's fields, through lands where the plough and the sickle are busy, each in its season; so that those who come from that quarter to worship come across the place of toil, and may fitly represent those who are full of earnestness and effort, but have as much need of Jesus as any. They do not know yet the way of salvation, but they follow after righteousness by the law, and strive to enter in at the strait gate in their own strength. But if they ever come to Christ they will have to leave those fields and the plough and sickle of their own strength, and submit to receive Jesus as their all.
(C. H. Spurgeon.).
Parallel VersesKJV: But he went out, and began to publish it much, and to blaze abroad the matter, insomuch that Jesus could no more openly enter into the city, but was without in desert places: and they came to him from every quarter.
WEB: But he went out, and began to proclaim it much, and to spread about the matter, so that Jesus could no more openly enter into a city, but was outside in desert places: and they came to him from everywhere.