“The conduct of this suffering Jewess may well put to shame many a strong and healthy professing Christian. How many in the full enjoyment of bodily vigor, allow the most frivolous excuses to keep them away from the house of God! How many are constantly spending the whole Sunday in idleness, pleasure-seeking, or business, and scoffing and sneering at those who ‘keep the Sabbath holy!’…How many find religious services a weariness while they attend them, and feel relieved when they are over! How few know anything of David’s spirit, when he said, ‘I was glad when they said to me, Let us go into the house of the Lord.’ ‘How lovely are your tabernacles, O Lord of Hosts!’ (Psalm 122:1; Psalm 84:1.)
Now what is the explanation of all this?…The most have no heart for God’s service. They have no delight in God’s presence or God’s day. ‘The carnal mind is enmity against God.’ The moment a man’s heart is converted, these pretended difficulties about attending public worship vanish away. The new heart finds no trouble in keeping the Sabbath holy. Where there is a will there is always a way.
Let us never forget that our feelings about Sundays are sure tests of the state of our souls. The man who can find no pleasure in giving God one day in the week, is manifestly unfit for heaven. Heaven itself is nothing but an eternal Sabbath. If we cannot enjoy a few hours in God’s service once a week in this world, it is plain that we could not enjoy an eternity in His service in the world to come. Happy are those who walk in the steps of her of whom we read today! They shall find Christ and a blessing while they live, and Christ and glory when they die.”
(J.C. Ryle, Luke: Expository Thoughts on the Gospels, vol. 2, [Banner of Truth, 2012], pg. 89-90)
“Let us never forget this great truth. The world around us is full of sorrow. Sickness, and pain, and infirmity, and poverty, and labor, and trouble, abound on every side. From one end of the world to the other, the history of families is full of lamentation, and weeping, and mourning, and woe. And whence does it all come? Sin is the fountain and root to which all must be traced. There would neither have been tears, nor tares, nor illness, nor deaths, nor funerals in the earth, if there had been no sin. We must bear this state of things patiently. We cannot alter it. We may thank God that there is a remedy in the Gospel, and that this present life is not all. But in the meantime, let us lay the blame at the right door. Let us lay the blame on sin.
How much we ought to hate sin! Instead of loving it, cleaving to it, dallying with it, excusing it, playing with it, we ought to hate it with a deadly hatred. Sin is the great murderer, and thief, and pestilence, and nuisance of this world. Let us make no peace with it. Let us wage a ceaseless warfare against it. It is “the abominable thing which God hates.” Happy is he who is of one mind with God, and can say, I “abhor that which is evil.” (Rom. 12:9.)”
(J.C. Ryle, Luke: Expository Thoughts on the Gospels, vol. 1, [Banner of Truth, 2012], pg. 160-161.)
“We should notice, finally, in these verses, the advantage of being connected with godly families. We need no clearer proof of this than the case of the centurion’s servant. We see him cared for in sickness. We see him restored to health through his master’s intercession. We see him brought under Christ’s notice through his master’s faith. Who can tell but the issue of the whole history, was the conversion and salvation of the man’s soul? It was a happy day for that servant, when he first took service in such a household! Well would it be for the Church, if the benefits of connection with the “household of faith,” were more frequently remembered by professing Christians. Often, far too often, a Christian parent will hastily place his son in a position where his soul can get no good, for the sake of mere worldly advantage. Often, far too often, a Christian servant will seek a new place where religion is not valued, for the sake of a little more wages. These things ought not so to be. In all our moves, our first thought should be the interest of our souls. In all our settlements, our chief desire should be to be connected with godly people. In all our purposes and planning, for ourselves or our children, one question should ever be uppermost in our minds–”What shall it profit to gain the whole world, and lose our own souls?” Good situations, as they are called, are often godless situations, and ruin to all eternity those who take them.”
(J.C. Ryle, Expository Thoughts on Luke, vol. 1, [Banner of Truth, 2012], pg. 157.)
“It is good for us all to mark well this case of Capernaum. We are all too apt to suppose that it needs nothing but the powerful preaching of the Gospel to convert people’s souls, and that if the Gospel is only brought into a place everybody must believe. We forget the amazing power of unbelief, and the depth of man’s enmity against God. We forget that the Capernaites heard the most faultless preaching, and saw it confirmed by the most surprising miracles, and yet remained dead in trespasses and sins. We need reminding that the same Gospel which is the savor of life to some, is the savor of death to others, and that the same fire which softens the wax will also harden the clay. Nothing, in fact, seems to harden man’s heart so much, as to hear the Gospel regularly, and yet deliberately prefer the service of sin and the world. Never was there a people so highly favored as the people of Capernaum, and never was there a people who appear to have become so hard. Let us beware of walking in their steps.”
(J.C. Ryle, Expository Thoughts on Mark, (Banner of Truth, 2012), pg. 22)