Lord's Day Evening Meditations October
Luke 18: 35-19:10
The gospels contain the story of the Lord Jesus
as a Man down here. As we read the gospels we are given to see
Him as a Man; we can listen to Him speaking; we can observe His
ways. It is a high and holy privilege to see and to hear the Person
of the Son of God on the pages of this book. There is no better
or higher Person to occupy our minds or our time this evening.
This is one of the wonders of the Word of God, that it presents
to us the Son of God.
Here we have two men who came in contact with the
Lord Jesus. I'm not sure about the blind man, but probably for
him as well as Zacchæus it was the first time. The Lord was on
His way to Jerusalem where in a few days He would be hung up on
the cross. If they had missed that opportunity they wouldn't have
had another one. The blind man didn't know this, and Zacchæus
didn't either, but we know it now. That is the way that it is
for us - the Lord Jesus is going by tonight, and it could be the
last time. We don't know when the last time will be, but there
will be a last time. The reason for the delay is that there are
still more to be called in to be saved. The Holy Spirit is down
here gathering a bride for the Son of God. When the last one is
in, the door will be closed, and the Lord will come to take His
people home to Himself. The time of the assembly's presence on
earth will have ended and there will be a drastic change in conditions
on earth - the time of judgment will begin. These two men had
their last opportunity. What a clear warning for those who do
not know the Lord today!
That blind man is a picture of deep misery: blindness,
poverty, hunger, hopelessness. Zacchæus presents a very different
picture with his wealth and high position. Society has arranged
itself into different levels, and here we have a range that goes
from the lowest to the highest. Everyone, in all the different
social conditions and standards, is included in this picture.
And there is one way in which both these men were alike: they
were both without Christ. We would think that Zacchæus with all
his wealth would be a happy man. Well, we can see that he felt
there was something missing; he had an emptiness inside that his
money couldn't satisfy. Years ago a brother used to visit a rich
men's club in Montreal to bring the gospel to the men there. One
man told him once, "Stanley, I think that you feel sorry
for us poor rich men." Doesn't that reveal something?
In the end of chapter 16 of Luke we again see two
men: Lazarus, a beggar, and a rich man. They both died, and then
who was rich? The beggar, the believer, became rich in heaven,
and the rich man became the beggar in hell, begging for mercy.
In this life, the poor man is usually the better off because he
at least can realize his need. The rich man has all that this
world can give him and so he feels self-satisfied and does not
realize his need of the Saviour. He thinks that he is alright,
even without Christ, but is he? Years ago, in London, England,
social conditions were much like we see here; there were no social
programs, and there was much poverty and suffering. A believer
found a widow, dying on an attic floor.
In the heart of London city,
Midst the dwellings of the poor,
These bright, golden words were uttered,
"I have Christ, what want I more."
By a lonely dying widow
Stretched upon a garret floor,
Having not one earthly comfort,
"I have Christ, what want I more."
He who heard them went to fetch her
Something from this world's great store.
It was needless; died she saying,
"I have Christ, what want I more."
Can you say, "I have Christ, what want I
more?" People stand in line, waiting to buy lottery tickets,
hoping to win millions. Let them win their millions; that is still
nothing compared to having Christ, and everything in Him. Last
weekend three readings were taken up with the subject of the blessings
of belonging to Christ, yet we hardly touched it. Zacchæus felt
his need, felt that there was something missing, and if you don't
have Christ, you have something missing also, the most important
thing of all.
When the blind man heard the crowd going by and
asked what it meant, he was told "that Jesus of Nazareth
passeth by." The name "Jesus of Nazareth"
was one of reproach. But the blind man didn't use that name; he
cried, "Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy on me!"
He gave Him his name of glory and authority. I don't know how
he knew that, but we know that he had faith, and faith makes us
understand many things. Another thing that the blind man knew
was his need. Do you know your need? The Lord
Waits to be gracious, to pardon and heal
All who their sin and their wretchedness feel.
Have you cried out to the Lord, "Have
mercy on me"? Many feel that they are good enough,
and so they don't need the Lord. Well, that is sad, "for
the Son of Man is come to seek and to save that which was lost."
The story of these two men illustrates a very real
difficulty in the gospel. When the blind man started to call on
the Lord, "They … rebuked him." Probably,
in plain language, they told him to shut up. When Zacchæus wanted
to see the Lord, he couldn't because he was too short to see over
the crowd. When a person begins to sense his need and wants to
turn to the Lord, you can be sure that Satan will be right there
to put up every possible hindrance. There is family, there are
friends, there is work, there is lack of time, etc., etc. These
two men didn't let anything stop them from coming to the Lord
Jesus. Look at Luke 13:24. "Strive to enter in at the
strait (narrow) gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter
in, and shall not be able." Does that mean that being
saved is a difficult thing that requires time and effort? No,
because it is only a step into the door; salvation is free and
can be yours in a moment. It is not stepping in the door that
is difficult; it is getting to it. As we said, Satan will do everything
to hinder you from taking the matter of your soul's salvation
seriously. If his other hindrances don't work, then he says, "There's
no hurry; you have lots of time. Later will be good enough,"
and if you listen to that you will find yourself among those who
are trying to get in after the door is closed - forever too late!
Follow the example of this blind man and of Zacchæus. They were
determined, and they got the blessing.
"And Jesus stood." It is wonderful
to see the Lord of glory, the Creator, the Almighty, stop at the
cry of a poor, blind beggar. He is still the same all-glorious,
all-powerful Saviour and He is waiting to hear and to answer the
feeblest cry of the feeblest sinner who feels his need. And when
the blind man's eyes were opened, who do you think was the first
person he saw? Why, it would be the Person of Christ standing
there before him! What an Object for the first sight of his eyes!
Dear friend, if you haven't seen the Lord, you are still blind,
still lost in your sins. The Lord's words were, "Receive
thy sight: thy faith hath saved thee." By this we know
that he didn't only get sight for his eyes, he was saved as well.
Then what did he do? Did he say, "Thank you,
Lord," and go home? No. "He received his sight,
and followed Him, glorifying God." When the
Lord saves our souls, it isn't only to save us from hell, or to
take us to heaven. He wants companions who will follow Him. He
called His disciples, and He calls us: "Follow Me."
When He chose His twelve disciples, it was not only to have them
serve and preach; it was also "that they should be with
Him." Mark 3:14. He wanted companions, and He wants
our companionship also, to walk in communion with Him daily, as
well as to serve Him to the glory of God.
As to Zacchæus, he was saved that day, and we know
that he was a changed man from that day onward. Both these men
had their hearts and their lives changed the day they met the
Lord. Have you met Him yet? If not you are lost, but as someone
has said, "A seeking sinner and a seeking Saviour don't
take long to meet." S.L.