Matthew 9:12
Why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners? The speakers were Pharisees; they were not guests, they were only watchers. Such feasts are very open and free, and persons are allowed to come in, and even to take part in the conversation, who do not share in the food. An Eastern traveller says, "In the room where we were received, besides the divan on which we sat, there were seats all round the walls. Many came in and took their place on those side-seats, uninvited and unchallenged. They spoke to those at table on business, or the news of the day, and our host spoke freely to them." These Pharisees were very particular about the company they kept, and especially about the persons with whom they ate. They represent the mischievous influence of class-feeling. They do more than that. They represent the loss of power which all men must suffer who make themselves, their feelings, their preferences, the first consideration.

I. OUR LORD DID SOT CHOOSE HIS ASSOCIATES BECAUSE HE LIKED THEM. That may be a proper ground on which to select our private friends. It is not proper for one who has the trust of power which he is to use. Whether he likes it or not, that man must find the sphere in which he can best use his powers. No man ever did really noble work in the world until he learned to put his likes on one side, and just do his duty. But such a man is almost sure to find that a new set of likes grows up round his duty. The refined person does not like rough and rude associations. And the folk that Christ companied with could not have been very pleasing to him. The elegancies and proprieties and gentlenesses of refined society would have suited him better; and we can quite imagine the circle he would have preferred.

II. OUR LORD CHOSE HIS ASSOCIATES IN ORDER TO DO THEM GOOD. He chose them as a teacher chooses his class, he seeks those who need his teaching. As a doctor chooses his patients, he seeks those who need healing. As a Saviour chooses his subjects, he seeks sinners, who need delivering from their sins. Mrs. Fry, for her own sake, would have sought and enjoyed cultivated society. Mrs. Fry, with a conscious power of ministry, sought out the miserable and degraded prisoners. According to our trust we must choose our associates. If we were here on earth only to enjoy, we might properly prefer luxurious Pharisees; but seeing we are here to stand with Christ, and serve, we had better, with him, find out the "publicans and sinners." - R.T.







They that be whole need not a physician.
I. WHO NEGLECT THE HEAVENLY PHYSICIAN?

1. Those who depend for salvation upon their own good lives.

2. Those who depend for salvation upon their religious duties.

3. Those who depend for salvation upon their correct notions.

II. THOSE WHO VALUE THE HEAVENLY PHYSICIAN — "They that are sick." A general invitation to this Physician. Reasons why some of you are still uncured. How will His medicine affect you? Think of His love.

(C. Clayton, M. A.)

I. THERE IS A MORAL DISEASE IN THE HEART AND CHARACTER OF MAN,

1. Depraved mental appetite.

2. The faculty of moral vision is impaired.

3. Moral stupor and lethargic disposition of mind.

4. Feverish excitement of disposition.

5. Moral weakness and want of activity.

II. THE PECULIAR CHARACTERISTICS BY WHICH THIS MORAL DISEASE IS DISTINGUISHED.

1. Universal in extent.

2. Disastrous in results.

3. Incurable by anything less than Divine energy.

III. THE REMEDY PROPOSED.

1. Universally adapted.

2. Absolutely free.

3. Infallably efficacious.

(The Pulpit.)

I. WE ARE ALL SICK. Many are our ailments. Sin the great malady. We need a Physician. The world has no medicines.

II. WHAT A PHYSICIAN HE IS.

1. He is appointed of God (Isaiah 61:1).

2. He is adapted for it. Understands all cases. Neglects none.

III. THE REMEDY. He makes use of many means of recovery.

1. Sometimes he makes use of the affections as a means of restoring health. How many have to trace that recovery to loss of a dear object!

2. Sometimes He makes use of a reproving conscience.

3. The main remedy is His own precious blood:

(1)it is no small mercy to feel our spiritual malady;

(2)the remedy must be received or our soul's sickness cannot be healed;

(3)beware of false, superficial healing;

(4)beware of losing the healing;

(5)take heed of expecting a more perfect cure than scripture warrants;

(6)admire the costliness of the remedy, its freeness, universality, and, above all, the Giver.

(J. H. Evans, M. A.)

I. THAT SIN IS THE DISEASE OF THE SOUL.

1. Sickness destroys our power of action.

2. It deprives a man of rest.

3. It frequently occasions delirium.

4. It deforms the body.

5. It is the forerunner of death.

II. THAT JESUS CHRIST IS THE GREAT PHYSICIAN.

III. THAT MEN ARE GENERALLY TOO INSENSIBLE OF THEIR SINS TO APPLY TO CHRIST.

IV. THOSE WHO KNOW THEIR TRUE CONDITION ARE VERY DESIROUS OF HIS HELP,

(G. Burder.)

I. A DEFENCE, complete and unanswerable. Christ did not come despising the people, but as a Healer of the sick.

II. A DIRECTION to His followers.

1. Christianity is remedial.

2. Christianity is hopeful.

(D. Fraser, D. D.)

A physician once told us that he kept himself in health by going to see patients. Whenever he discontinued this, and insisted on patients coming to him, or when he tried to go out of practice altogether, he fell into lethargy, and lost both physical and mental power; but so soon as he resumed active efforts to heal others, his own healthy returned. Let servants and handmaids of Christ take the hint. He who desires sound, strong, spiritual life and health in himself should go and try to heal others, showing patience, sympathy, and hopefulness. This is to walk as Christ walked.

(D. Fraser, D. D.)

There are none of the sons of men who are really whole. The whole and sick in contrast are these:

1. He that is whole has never had a clear affecting sight and sense of sin; but he that is sick is fully convicted, and deeply sensible of it.

2. They that are whole are generally easy and serene, and unapprehensive of danger; but the sick soul is alarmed and anxious, and can't be easy till it perceives some appearances of recovery.

3. They that are whole are unwilling to apply to a physician, or to follow his prescriptions; but to the sick a physician is welcome, and they will submit to his directions, however self-denying.

(S. Davies, M. A.)

Properly we have amongst ourselves now special studies of special cases. One man undertakes the brain, another the heart, another the blood, it may be, another the bones and joints. This is right, amongst ourselves; for probably hardly any one man has the time, even if he had the capacity, to master with sufficient adequateness all the details and necessities of our wondrous bodily frame. But Jesus Christ said to the leper, "Be thou clean," to the man sick of the palsy, grievously tormented, "I will come and heal him." When he went into Peter's house and saw his wife's mother laid and sick of the fever, he touched her hand and the fever left her, he put out the fire with his touch. He is no specialist, he has not a necromancer's power over any one department of human life or human suffering. His healing was fundamental and all-inclusive. He made the well-head pure, and the flowing stream was as pure as the fountain whence it flowed. It is so in spiritual matters. There is not in the Church a doctor who cures lying, and another who makes a special study of drunkenness, and a third who is gifted with peculiar ability in dealing with persons of felonious disposition. There is one Mediator between God and man: he makes the heart right, and then all the accidental local diseases, with all their train of ever-varying symptoms, are cleansed and utterly expelled.

(J. Parker, D. D.)

I once went with a friend who wanted to see a great physician. But there were ever so many other people waiting to see him, and they went in by turns one by one, and we had to wait a whole hour before our turn came. The physician could not attend to more than one person at a time. But if all you dear children were to pray to the Saviour this evening at the same moment, and tell Him all your wants, He could listen to you all at the same time, and help each of you according to your need.

(W. Harris.)

If your little sister was taken very ill and you were sent for the doctor, you would run with all your speed; yet when you came to his house he might be just gone out, and your sister might die before he came home. But this is never the case with Jesus. Whenever you call upon Him, you will find Him. He is always where people can find Him directly they want Him, and you know he can heal people without coming to them in His bodily presence.

(W. Harris.)

Sometimes people are in a very dangerous state, and yet they do not feel pain. In a sad railway accident which happened some time ago, a young lady was taken out of one of the carriages, and she said she was not hurt at all, she felt no pain. She stood up and tried to walk and then fell back dead. She had received a very serious injury, and yet she did not feel it at the moment. So it was with these Pharisees, they had a sin within their hearts which would ruin them if it was not taken away. That sin was pride. This sin is so dangerous, because it keeps people from feeling how sinful they are, and so keeps them from coming to Jesus Christ to be healed.

(W. Harris.)

I. SIN IS THE SICKNESS OF THE SOUL. It is the disease of the soul that makes the sinner a sick man.

1. Sickness brings pain and torment to the body, so does sin to the soul.

2. Sickness takes away the beauty of the body. Sin spoils the beauty of the soul.

3. Diseases are death's carols which are sent; before it to bind the prisoner. Sin tends to spiritual and eternal deeds, and will bring it on if it be not cured,

II. WHAT IS IN SIN THAT SICKENS THE SOUL?

1. The guilt of it. the obligation to punishment.

2. The stain. It brings a blot with it, that defiles the soul.

3. The reigning power of it. Sin keeps its throne. It commands and receives obedience.

4. The indwelling power of it.

III. WHAT ARE THE PROPERTIES OF SOUL SICKNESS?

1. It is spiritual. They are the most dangerous disorders that affect the vital parts.

2. It is an universal sickness, spreading itself through the whole man. All the faculties of the soul are injured and disordered by it. It darkens the mind, wounds the conscience, pollutes the heart, disorders the affections, and weakens the memory for good.

3. It is an infectious sickness.

4. It is hereditary, natural to us. We are born with it.

5. It is a growing disease.

6. It is mortal disease.

IV. Is SIN THE SICKNESS OF YOUR SOUL?

1. GO quickly to the Physician for the cure of the disease of the soul which you labour under, Delay no longer.

2. Time is flying. No medicine will cure that wound, no argument will persuade it to return. Yesterday has taken its eternal farewell. The candle burnt to the snuff will not light again. Your only time is the present.

3. Death is approaching. If death take us away raider the power of that sickness, there is no cure for it hereafter, if.

4. Make frequent application to Christ. Such people as can take little food at once, had need to take it frequently, Alas! the few addresses which we make to the throne of grace, look like as we thought ourselves whole, little needing the Physician.

(Thomas Boston.)

Three things concur to the care of the soul.

I. THE BLOOD OF CHRIST.

II. The SPIRIT OF CHRIST.

III. THE WORD OF CHRIST.

1. "He sent His word and healed them."

2. The waters of the sanctuary are healing waters.

(Thomas Boston.)

Why does He undertake and perform the cure of souls?

I. BECAUSE HE HAS HIS FATHER'S COMMISSION FOR THAT EFFECT.

II. BECAUSE OF HIS LOVE AND PITY TO MEN. Love provided the remedy and applies it also.

III. BECAUSE HE HATH BEEN AT VAST EXPENSE TO PREPARE THE REMEDY AND MEDICINE FOR THEIR SOULS.

IV. FOR HIS OWN GLORY.

1. The glory of the Mediator is highly exalted by His curing sick souls.

2. The glory of God is displayed in the cure.

3. Had the sick been left to be swallowed up by death, justice would have been exalted, but now justice, mercy, grace, and truth, are all glorified in their salvation through Christ.

(Thomas Boston.)

Come to Him for the cure of your spiritual diseases.

I. You HAVE NEED OF HIM. Let necessity drive you to Him. The less you see your need, the more need you have of Him. Some diseases are very common among us.

1. Blindness of the eyes of the mind.

2. Spiritual dumbness.

3. Hardness of heart.

4. Falling evil of backsliding.

5. Pride and self-conceit.

6. Decay of grace.

II. CHRIST IS SKILFUL.

1. He knows what will suit your disease.

2. He is successful. Seine diseases are the reproach of medicine; none can baffle Him.

III. HE CURES FREELY.

1. Other physicians are enriched by their patients, but He enricheth His making them heirs of glory.

2. He is the only physician.

3. Either you must die or come to film.

(Thomas Boston.)

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