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in his favour. He obtained his petition. The desire of his heart was granted. His beloved son was restored to health. He did not apply in vain to Jesus for the exercise of His almighty power. And when he had obtained his earnest request, himself believed, and his whole house. He became an humble believer in the Lord Jesus Christ. Gratitude to the almighty, omnipresent, omniscient Saviour filled his heart; and he instructed his family or household in what He himself believed. He extolled to all around, the wonder-working power of the Lord Jesus, and acknowledged openly before the world the benefits which he had received from Him. Thus He proceeded from faith to faith, from a simple belief in the almighty power of Jesus to a constant reliance upon His goodness for the supply of all His need.
Such were the beneficial results of this visit of the nobleman of Capernaum to the Lord Jesus. May it prove an encouragement to us, to go and make known, in humble earnest prayer, our own wants, and those of our friends, to the same compassionate Saviour. He has a heart full of pity for the distresses of the children of He compassionates especially their spiritual distresses, those of their souls which He came upon earth to redeem; and He is both able and willing to relieve all who apply to Him earnestly, in humility and faith. It was trouble
that sent this nobleman to
Christ, and made
Those who are not
estate, do not usu
him urgent to obtain relief. troubled in mind, body, or ally think that they have any occasion to seek help from God. Of the ungodly it is said, They are not in trouble as other men, neither are they plagued like other men, therefore pride compasseth them about as a chain, violence covereth them as a garment. If a sense of our guilt make us unif sin be indeed our burden, we may be easy, assured that the Lord Jesus is as willing to attend to our case and give us relief, as He was to relieve the distresses of this nobleman. It is evident that He did not attend to him because of his rank or elevated station in society. For He put his faith to the trial, even more than He did that of some others. In this respect it is said of the Lord our God, that He regardeth not the rich more than the poor, for they are all the work of His hands. He does not accept the rich on account of their wealth, nor reject the poor on account of their poverty. The rich and the poor must be equally humbled at His feet as penitent sinners, and implore forgiveness in the way that He has appointed, or He will not accept their persons.
If then sin be our grief and burden, let us go and cast ourselves in the exercise of faith
42 Psalm lxxiii. 5, 6.
43 Job xxxiv. 19.
at the foot of our Redeemer's cross, and behold Him, who was suspended upon the accursed tree that He might bear the curse due to our sins, who was wounded for our transgressions, and bruised for our iniquities, that by His stripes we might be healed." Let us listen to His voice of mercy, which says, Thy sins are forgiven," sin no more.* 46 He will give to the humbled penitent pardon for the past, and grace for the future.
And let the believer in the Lord Jesus Christ pray earnestly, not for himself only, but also for others, for his household, for his relatives and friends, for all who are connected with him in life, that they may likewise obtain the blessings which He is exalted to bestow upon the sinful children of men. If we were more earnest for the spiritual welfare of those who are around us, we should be more blessed in our own souls. Here appears the benefit of intercession on behalf of others, as well as of ourselves. Enlargement of heart to the Lord Jesus Christ in all our concerns is pleasing to Him, whether it be with regard to ourselves, our immediate connexions, or to His church and people. He invites us to cast all our care, every cause of anxiety and uneasiness upon Him, under the assurance that He careth for us, and will with
44 Isaiah liii. 5. 45 Luke vii. 48.
46 John v. 14.
hold no good thing from those who walk humbly with Him, and uprightly" before Him. Did we fully believe the word that Jesus hath spoken, and rely upon Him for its fulfilment, we should find that the prayer of faith is assuredly heard, and that it receives an answer of peace. Let this be our encouragement to besiege the throne of grace with our humble and fervent supplications, in submission to the Divine will; being persuaded that as not one good thing hath failed hitherto, of all that the Lord our God hath promised; so none shall ever be ashamed who wait for Him. He will fulfil the desire of them that fear Him, He also will hear their cry, and will save them. Let us ask humbly, let us ask importunately for the blessings which we need both for ourselves and for others, and we may be assured that as we read of the people of God of old that their voice was heard, and their prayer came up to His holy dwelling-place, even unto heaven49 so we likewise shall obtain an answer of peace from the God of all grace to our humble and earnest supplications. It is only as we continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving, 50 praying for ourselves, and for all around us, that we can expect the blessing of God to rest upon us. This is the means which He has appointed for main
47 Ps. lxxxiv. 11. 49Ps. cxlv. 19. 492 Chron. xxx. 27. 50Coloss. iv. 2.
taining intercourse with Himself. Let us, believing His word, thus walk humbly with our God in prayer and praise, and He will order all things for us; He will bless us in our own souls, in our families, and in our connexions; He will guide us with His counsel through this life, and afterward receive us to glory, to rejoice in His salvation for evermore.
Now to God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost, Three Persons in One Jehovah, be ascribed all honour, glory, and praise, for evermore.