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never forget it; and therefore he afterwards left it on record, that he and his brethren were eye witnesses of the majesty of our Lord Jesus Christ, who received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to Him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. It appears then that Divine power, and honour, and glory, belong to our Lord Jesus Christ. He had it before the world was; He manifested it when He was upon earth; He possesses it now. Let us give unto the Lord the glory due unto His name, let us worship the Lord with holy worship. It is for this purpose that His glory is made known to us, that we may be humbled in His presence, and may glorify and praise His holy name. On the occasion before us, His glory was manifested by the display of His goodness, by the benefits which He conferred. He is still the glorious and bounteous Giver of all good to His waiting people. They who cast themselves and their concerns upon Him, who commit themselves into His hands, and place themselves at His disposal, for the promotion of His glory, will find that His blessing rests upon them. Here our blessed Saviour changed water into wine, by His almighty power, without even speaking a word. In like manner He can make the most
52 2 Peter i 16, 17.
53 Psalm xxix. 2.
common occurrences of life to become the source
For it is said,
of the greatest blessings. He can and does thus change apparent evils into real benefits to His believing people; so that they are rendered happy in circumstances which are causes of murmuring and complaint to others. He can make poverty a blessing. He does so. Hath not God chosen the poor of this world, rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which He hath promised to them that love Him?5 He makes them poor in spirit, and then He declares, Blessed be ye poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.55 Who would not be poor, if this blessing were restricted to poverty? So likewise sickness and death are made blessings by His grace. He said of the sickness of His friend Lazarus, This sickness is for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby.56 How often does He cause sickness to answer this end, and enable His people to glorify Him in death? His own glory is the end of all His dispensations. The heavenly hosts worship Him, saying, Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory, and honour, and power, for Thou hast created all things, and for Thy pleasure they are, and were created.57 It becomes us who partake of His benefits thus to worship and give Him thanks; and to glorify Him in our body, and in our spirit, which are
54 James ii. 5. 55 Luke vi. 20. 56 John xi. 4. 57 Rev. iv. 11.
God's. 58 By means of this miraculous display of the power of the Lord Jesus, we learn that
Secondly, The faith of His disciples was confirmed. His disciples believed on Him. They had shown their confidence and belief in Him when, in obedience to His command, they became His followers; when they said one to another, We have found the Messias; We have found Him of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets did write.59 But now when they saw His almighty power displayed in the working of a miracle of so kind and beneficent, and wondrous a description, their faith in Him was confirmed; they were assured that He was really the Person whom they had supposed Him to be. They were therefore led to put their trust in Him with a fuller and more entire reliance upon His mighty power. This is written for our sakes. The wonder-working power of the Lord Jesus is recorded for our benefit; that we may be led, like His disciples here mentioned, to believe in Him; to put our trust in Him for the blessings which He came into the world to bestow upon His believing people. The way in which the glory of God is most promoted in the world is, by the faith of His people being fixed upon Him. Him. We cannot glorify Christ so much in any other way, as by believing in Him.
58 1 Corinthians vi. 20.
59 John i. 41, 45.
And those who do put their trust in Him will ever find a blessedness to be enjoyed in the knowledge and love of Him which cannot be derived from any other source. In relying on His atonement, we have peace with God; seeing that He hath put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself;60 and therefore the God of heaven declares of them that believe in His beloved Son, I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities I will remember no more.61 In His righteousness, we have access with confidence to the throne of grace, by the faith of Him. In His intercession, we have an assurance of our acceptance there. These are benefits of the value of which the disciples of Jesus, at the time here spoken of, were not fully aware; but they became acquainted with them afterwards to the comfort and rejoicing of their souls. The blessedness derived from Christ by believing in His name, may be illustrated by the conversion of water into wine; or of that which is cold and comfortless, into what is cheering, comforting, and invigorating. Let us seek to obtain these blessings from Him by faith, to His glory, and our consolation and salvation.
60 Hebrews ix. 26. 61 Hebrews viii. 12. 62 Ephesians iii. 12.
THIRD SUNDAY AFTER EPIPHANY.
THE HEALING OF THE LEPER, AND OF THE
Matthew viii. 13.
AND JESUS SAID UNTO THE CENTURION, Go THY WAY; AND AS THOU HAST BELIEVED, SO BE IT DONE UNTO THEE. AND HIS SERVANT WAS HEALED IN THE SELF SAME HOUR.
In the Gospel for this day we have an account of two of our Lord's miracles; the first which are recorded by the Evangelist St. Matthew. He had mentioned before, that Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness, and all manner of disease