Call To Worship January 28 2018
Expository Thoughts on the Gospel of Luke, J.C. Ryle – Luke 9:12-27
“We see, for another thing, in these verses — a striking emblem of Christ’s ability to supply the spiritual needs of mankind. The whole miracle is a picture. We see in it, as in a mirror — some of the most important truths of Christianity. It is, in fact — a great acted parable of the glorious Gospel.
What is that multitude which surrounded our Lord in the wilderness — poor and helpless, and destitute of food? It is a picture of mankind. We are a company of poor sinners, in the midst of a wicked world, without strength, or power to save ourselves — and severely in danger of perishing from spiritual famine.
Who is that gracious Teacher who had compassion on this starving multitude in the wilderness, and said to His disciples, ‘Give them something to eat!’ It is Jesus Himself, ever full of pity, ever kind, ever ready to show mercy — even to the unthankful and the evil. And He is not altered. He is just the same today as He was then. Exalted high in Heaven at the right hand of God — He looks down on the vast multitude of starving sinners, who cover the face of the earth. He still pities them, still cares for them, and still feels for their helplessness and need. He still says to His believing followers, “Behold this multitude — give them something to eat.”
What is that wonderful provision which Christ miraculously made for the famishing multitude before Him? It is a picture of the Gospel. As weak and contemptible as that Gospel appears to many — it contains ‘enough and to spare’ for the souls of all mankind. As poor and despicable as the story of a crucified Savior seems to the wise and prudent — it is the power of God unto salvation to every one who believes. (Romans 1:16.)
What are those disciples who received the loaves and fish from Christ’s hand, and carried them to the multitude, until all were filled? They are a figure of all faithful preachers and teachers of the Gospel. Their word is simple — and yet deeply important. They are appointed to set before men the provision that Christ has made for their souls. They are not commissioned to give anything of their own invention. All that they convey to men — must be from Christ’s hands. So long as they faithfully discharge this office — they may confidently expect their Master’s blessing. Many, no doubt, will always refuse to eat of the food that Christ has provided. But if ministers offer the bread of life to men faithfully — then the blood of those who are lost will not be required at their hands.
What are we doing ourselves? Have we discovered that this world is a wilderness, and that our souls must be fed with bread from Heaven — or die eternally? Happy are those who have learned this lesson, and have tasted by experience, that Christ crucified is the true bread of life!
The heart of man can never be satisfied with the things of this world. It is always empty, and hungry, and thirsty, and dissatisfied — until it comes to Christ. It is only those who hear Christ’s voice, and follow Him, and feed on Him by faith — who are ‘filled.'”