Luke 22:41-53

                                                         May 2, 2021



The sinner may live as carelessly as he pleases, but he must answer for it at

the judgment-seat of Christ.


Nowadays the world wants decided men. Everywhere it seems to be imagined that you

may believe what you like, or believe nothing; and do as you like, or do nothing,

and the result will be all the same both to the unbeliever and the man of

faith. But it is not so. It is time for the out-and-out servant of the Lord to

put down his foot and say, “I have believed therefore have I spoken. I am a

Christian, and while I leave you to your individual liberty I mean to have

mine, and I mean to exercise that liberty by being openly and

unquestionably on the side of Christ, and on the side of that which is pure,

and sober, and right, and true, and good.”



                                    Poverty at the Gate of Wealth (16:19-20)


Here is a picture which we recognize in England in this nineteenth century

quite as readily as it would be recognized in Judaea in the days of our

Lord (same here in the USA in the twenty-first century - CY - 2021);

it is that of poverty and wealth in very close association. It is not

only a picture to look upon but a problem to solve, and one of much

urgency as well as great difficulty.



rich man of the parable could not enter his house without seeing Lazarus

lying in rags and sores at his gate, so are we unable to pass our days

without being impressed with the fact that “the poor [even the very poor]

we have with us,” and indeed all around us. Lazarus lies at our gate. Not

only have we the professional beggar, who has adopted “begging” as his

means of livelihood, but we have the whole army of the unfortunate, who

have been incapacitated by some means, and who cannot “work that they

may eat;” and we have also another large and equally pitiable multitude of

the ill-paid, who cannot earn enough by the honest industry in which they

are employed to sustain themselves and their families. And so it comes to

pass that in England today, side by side with competence, with wealth,

with inestimable affluence, is poverty walking in rags, lying in loneliness,

shivering with cold and hunger, working without reward that is worthy of

the name. It is a sad sight in a Christian land; and it is not sad alone, it is

alarming; for such extremes are full of evil and of peril.  (In modern days

in America it is too easy to fall into pushing drugs and the sex trade, in

order to compensate.  CY - 2021)



LIFE. For who can doubt:


Ø      The dangers attending great wealth? It leads to luxury, and luxury



o        sloth,

o        indulgence,

o        a false standard of the worth and purpose of life,

o        a proud heart, and a haughty bearing.


In circumstances where there is no necessity for energetic and patient labor,

and where there is every opportunity of enjoyment, many evil weeds grow

fast (Does this not describe the Welfare State in America of the last half

century?  CY - 2021), and there the best flowers that grow in the garden

of the Lord too  often languish. Or who can doubt:


Ø      The perils of extreme poverty? These lead down by a straight and steep

path to servility, to craftiness and cunning, to falsehood, to dishonesty, to

envy and hatred. And who can fail to see:


Ø      The evil influence on the State of these two extremes? Here there can be

no true brotherhood, no proper association and co-operation; here is

separation from one another, a division as great as that which is interposed

by the high mountain range or the broad sea; nay, greater than that! Many

English people see more and know more of the inhabitants of Switzerland

than they see and know of the denizens of the streets of another part of

their own parish. It is the uninteresting and objectionable poor at their gate

who are the “strangers.”


  • ONE MITIGATING FEATURE. This juxtaposition of poverty and

wealth provides an opportunity for the exercise of sincere benevolence and

of the highest Christian wisdom. To the Christian heart there is a plaintive

plea which cannot be unheard or disregarded, even though Lazarus be kept

out of sight and hearing by judicious arrangements. And to the honest

patriot there is an inviting and urgent problem to which, far more than to

the questions of fortifications and armaments, he will give earnest heed,

viz. how to bring about an approachment, an intermingling, of all classes

and conditions of men, a better distribution of the great resources of the



  • THE TRUE HOPE OF ADJUSTMENT. Whither shall we look for a

better distribution of the riches of the land?


Ø      Almsgiving can only touch the fringe of the difficulty.

Ø      Economic changes may have a valuable part to play in the matter; but

we are not yet agreed as to the best course to take.

Ø      Beneficent legislation will certainly bring its large contribution; it can do

two things: it can:


o       educate the whole nation, and so provide every citizen with

      necessary weapons for the battle of life; and it can

o       do much to remove temptation from the path of the weak.

      But it is:


Ø      Spiritual renewal which must prove the main source of social

reconstruction. Change the character, and you will change the

condition of men. And the one force which will effect this is


made known by the holy lives and in the loving words of the

                        disciples of Jesus Christ.



                                    “The poor ye have with you always.”


Matthew 26:11-13

Mark 14:3-9 and story with it.

John 12:8    



Did you know that had man been faithful to God that under the Mosaic covenant

poverty would have been eliminated!   Story behind that.  Allow me to reminisce.


Seek and ye shall find.



                        The Poor and the Gospel (Luke 4:18)


A most significant fact that the first work of the Messiah should be His

preaching the gospel to the poor.” What is the significance of it?



earth is the hardest; it is often one of unremitting toil; often one of severe

privation, almost destitute comfort and enjoyment; often one of serious

and hard oppression, in which the strong will of another robs of all liberty

of action. The past is sad, the present gloomy, the future dark. There are

no pleasures in recollection, and there is no relief in hope. How precious,

how necessary, to these are the joys which earth cannot give and cannot

steal — the treasures which enrich the heart, the hopes which reach beyond

the grave!



“How hardly do they that have riches enter the kingdom of

 heaven!”  (Matthew 19:23) -Their time is occupied, their minds are

filled, with pursuits and pleasures which are on an earthly plane, and

things higher and worthier are hidden from view. The

poor, though they have indeed their own temptations and their own

errors and failings, are yet more likely to see the Divine hand

beckoning to them, and to hear the heavenly voice calling them to

wisdom and service and eternal joy. And, as a fact, they do. The

common people still hear Christ gladly (Mark 12:37), while the wealthy

and the strong and the famous are sitting at the feet of “the world,” to

            learn its wisdom and to seek its favor.



      OFFERED. It was, in fact, a very great thing to say, “To the

poor the gospel is preached.” It was one of the “watermarks” of

Christianity that our Master made His appeal, not, as philosophy and

theology had done before him, and as science in our day is doing, to human

learning and influence, but to the unlettered and the lowly, to the multitude

and the millions among men, to the common human heart. Other systems

had tried to reach the lower levels by affecting the heights of society first.

(In America through The Great Society and the welfare state.  CY - 2020)

The gospel of Jesus Christ “moves upward from below.” It teaches,

cleanses, raises the people; and so it purifies and exalts the nation. This is

the Divine method, and must be ours. It is for the Church of Christ to

follow its Divine Master, to see that the signs of truth are about its

handiwork, and amongst them this leading sign, that “to the poor the

gospel is preached.” If this feature should be absent, it will be time for the

Church to be considering where it stands — how near to or remote from

its Master.



                                                Spiritual Blindness (ch. 4:18)


II Corinthians 4:4-6


Ephesians 6:10-18



 “The recovering of sight to the blind.” We think of:


·         THE BADNESS OF BLINDNESS, and its degrees. “It must be very

bad to be blind,” we say; probably we but faintly realize what it means.


Ø      It is bad to be physically blind — to look on no scenery, to read no

book, to behold no countenance, to recognize no love in a human face,

to grope our way in the thick darkness.


Ø      It is worse to be mentally blind — to see, and not to see; to open

the eyes on the beauty and wonder and glory of the universe and to

recognize nothing beautiful, wonderful, glorious, there; to be as lonely

in a library as in a cell!  (One of the prayers that Ms. Augusta prays

is her thanksgiving to God for “waking in the morning and to have

 a portion of health and to be in her right mind!”  - CY – 2012)


o       It is worse still to be morally blind — blind of soul, so that a man can

see nothing degraded in drunkenness, nothing shameful in vice, nothing

revolting in obscenity and profanity, nothing repelling in selfishness; so

that a man can see nothing noble in generosity, nothing beautiful in

beneficence, nothing regal in righteousness and duty, nothing sacred

in human love.


Ø      It is worst of all to be SPIRITUALLY BLIND  — worst, because that is

      the root and source of all the others; blindness of spirit, A DARKNESS

in which the soul fails to see:


o       the Highest of all beings,

o       the loftiest of all truths,

o       the greatest of all facts;


a darkness in which  the soul fails to recognize the essential truth that

in God we “live, and move, and have our being” (Acts 17:28), and

that to Him  we are responsible for all we are and have; in which it is

blind to  our sorrowful state of guilt and condemnation in the sight of

God. It is spiritual insensibility that is the most deplorable — the

fact that men don’t know that they don’t see; that they suppose

themselves to know everything when they know nothing; that they

are not aware what a world of truth and blessedness is around

them AND IS ACESSIBLE UNTO THEM!   If they would but





is the best feature in physical is the worst in spiritual blindness. Under the

merciful principle of accommodation, the blind became not only

submissive, but contented and even cheerful in the darkness in which they

dwell. They are able not only to speak of it, but to feel about it that it is

the shadow of God’s wing.” That is a very happy thing; but that is the

very worst feature of spiritual blindness. It is spiritual insensibility that is

the most deplorablethe fact that men don’t know that they don’t see;

that they suppose themselves to know everything when they know nothing;

that they are not aware what a world of truth and blessedness is around

them and is accessible to them. Who shall reveal this to them?



does He make us see that to which, but for Him, we should have remained



Ø      By making quite plain and certain that which would have remained

shadowy and uncertain. Many truths of vital importance men would, in

His absence, have speculated upon and discussed, but they would not

have known them. Coming to us from God, the great Teacher has

turned these uncertainties into living and sustaining truth. He tells

us authoritatively and decisively that God is the one Divine Spirit,

the righteous Ruler of all, the Father of souls:


o       condemning them in their sin,

o       pitying them in their estrangement,

o       inviting them to return;


that God has determined that when we die we shall live again, shall

come forth to a resurrection of condemnation or of life.


Ø      By bringing the truth close home to the eye of the soul. When our Lord

lived on earth He did this Himself in His own Person; e.g. in the cases

of the woman of Samaria, the rich young ruler, Nicodemus, He brought

the truth of the kingdom home to the heart and the conscience. Those

lips are closed to us now; Christ speaks not now as He spoke then. But

His Spirit is with us still, speaking through His Word and through His

faithful servants, and through his providence.


Ø      By more fully enlightening the minds of those who go in faith to seek

and to serve Him. Unto all seeking and trusting souls He manifests His

truth in ever-enlarging fullness; them He leads “into all the truth”

(John 16:13) they need to know; and to them it becomes gloriously

true that the Spirit of the Lord has anointed Him, their Savior, for

the recovering of sight to the blind.”




Ø      Spiritual renewal which must prove the main source of social

reconstruction. Change the character, and you will change the

condition of men. And the one force which will effect this is


made known by the holy lives and in the loving words of the

                        disciples of Jesus Christ.





                                                            Job 21:26


The “great leveler” should not only humble pride, but also teach us more

human brotherhood. If we are brothers’ in death, should we not be

brothers also in life? The deepest facts of life are common to all men. Our

differences of state and rank only affect what is superficial.



“We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.” 

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. made this statement in his speech in St. Louis,

Missouri in late March 1964.



                                                Vain Comfort (Job 21:34)


The three bungling comforters are wasting their efforts, because they are

not speaking the truth. Their misapprehension and misrepresentation vitiate

all their good intentions.




Ø      By mixing with them. Job’s friends took the first step. They traveled

from their remote homes across the desert and came to see him. We can

only help the miserable if we first go among them and see them with our

own eyes. Much philanthropy fails by reason of distance and separation.

We cannot know people till we are with them. Christ came down from

heaven and lived among men.


Ø      By freedom from prejudice. Job’s friends came with fixed notions. They

only looked at Job through their colored spectacles. We can never

understand people till we throw aside all our preconceived notions about

them and look at them as they are.


Ø      By sympathy. This must be insisted on over and over again. The lack of

it was the chief cause of the failure of Job’s friends. The presence of it is

the first essential for understanding people.




Ø      In regard to the sufferer. It is useless to ignore his sufferings, or to try to

reason him into the belief that they do not exist. The attempt to help will

be spoiled if we argue that what he knows to be undeserved is really his

due. Any view that does not regard him as he is spoils all efforts to



Ø      In regard to the remedy. It is worse than useless to offer wrong

remedies. The trite commonplaces of consolation are only irritants. Some

of them are known to be false in fact. Others have not the ring of

sincerity about them when repeated by the comforting friend. However

true they have been once, they have ceased to bear any meaning that

people believe in.





Ø      In thought. We cannot console others with dogmas that we do not

believe in ourselves. If we have no faith in Christ we cannot use the

Name of Christ to heal the wounds of others. Unless we look forward

to a future life it is vain for us to talk about the “many mansions” when

we are trying to console others. There is a foolish notion that we should

talk up to the maximum of orthodoxy, even though we do not live and

think up to it. But this notion is only an excuse for cant (hypocritical

insincerity), and nothing  is more vexing to the sufferer than to be

treated with cant. Let us sayonly what we believe.


Ø      In fact. Delusions cannot afford permanent consolations, They may

soothe pain and alarm for the moment; but they cannot endure, and when

the mistake of them is discovered the result will be a deeper despair than

ever. If, however, we could succeed in lulling all distress on earth by

means of a false hope, the consolation itself would be a most terrible

calamity.  The soul needs TRUTH more than comfort. It is better to

hear the painful truth now than AT THE GREAT JUDGMENT!  But

there is another truth, one which gives real consolation — the truth of

the gospel of Christ.




                        The Law of Spiritual Increase (19:26)


Here we have one of those paradoxes of Jesus Christ into the heart of

which many have failed to find their way. Why, it is asked, should one who

has have more? will he not have too much? Why should he who has but

little lose the little he has? will he not be still worse off than ever? Where is

the wisdom, where the righteousness of this course? This criticism arises

from a pure misunderstanding of Christ’s meaning. We shall see what He

meant if we consider:


·         THE VIEW CHRIST TOOK OF POSSESSION. When may a man be

said to have anything? When he has legal documents to prove that it

belongs to him? Or when it is securely locked up in a box or buried in the

earth? Not at all. It is when he is using it, when he is turning it to account,

when he is making it answer the purpose for which it exists. If a man lets

an object rust in disuse, remain unemployed, he has it not, virtually and

practically. It is not his at all; it does him no good, renders him no service,

is to him as if it were not; he has it not, in truth. This accords perfectly with

Christ’s usage in Matthew 25. There the men who put out their talents had

them; the man who hid his latent had it not. He who does not make use of

that which is at his command only seemeth to have” (or thinketh he has) it

(ch. 8:18). It is use that really constitutes possession. This is not a

mere fancy or conceit; it is the language of truth, it is the verdict of

experience. The miser does not really possess his gold; it answers to him

none of the ends which make it the valuable thing it is. He might as well

own as many counters. He seems to have (thinks he has) money, but in

truth he has it not. It is thus with men of great intellectual capacity which

they do not employ; their faculties, unused, are of no value to themselves

or to others; they might as well be non-existent. According to the wise and

true usage of the great Teacher, we have the things we use; those we use

not we have not. Now we can understand:



a mere action done on one particular occasion; there is nothing exceptional

or arbitrary about it. It is a Divine method invariably adopted; a Divine

principle running through the whole economy; a Divine law with

illustrations on every hand. It affects us at every turn of our life, in every

part of our nature. It applies to us considered:


Ø      Physically. The muscle that is used is developed; that which is neglected

shrinks (atrophes), and in time becomes wholly powerless. To him that has

is given; from him that hath not is taken away.


Ø      Mentally. The boy who cultivates his intellectual capacities becomes

mentally strong; every acquisition of knowledge is an increase of power;

the more he knows the better he can learn: to him that has is given. But the

boy who does not study, but wastes his youth in idleness, not only does not

acquire knowledge; he loses the faculty of acquisition: from him that has

not is taken away that (capacity) which he has.


Ø      Spiritually.


o        Spiritual perception. The little child can readily understand the

elements of the Christian faith, and, apprehending them, go on to

master “the deep things of God.” (I Corinthians 2:10) But the aged

man who has learned nothing of Divine truth through a long life of

godlessness, is quite unteachable; he is dull of apprehension: from

him has been taken away, etc.; his faculties have become shriveled.


o        Christian work. Every one has a certain capacity for usefulness; and he

is bound to put it out at once; if he waits until his capacity has grown

into a power, he will find that not only will he not gain the skill he is

waiting for, but he will lose the capacity he now has. But if, on the

other hand, he uses what he has, the exercise of his humblest talent

will bring increase, and he will soon acquire the strength and facility

he is eager to possess. What, therefore, we wish to be able to do —

teach, preach, pray, etc. — we must set about doing; every intelligent,

devout effort to do good means not only a little good done, but a little

power gained. What we do poorly today we shall do fairly well

tomorrow; be ourselves today, we shall surpass ourselves tomorrow.

Aptitude comes with effort and exercise: to him that has is given.


o        Spiritual sensibility. The little child is open to impression, and, if he

yields to the truth he knows, THAT TRUTH WILL ALWAYS BE

EFFECTIVE (thus the importance of early parental religious

teaching, Sunday School [in the Old Days in America, reinforcement

in school what was taught at home and at church], never would the

summer of discontent of  2020 have happened in America,

nor could it have happened.  It would not have entered into minds

to act so!  Only violations of Christ’s teaching could produce something

like that to happen. It would be interesting to see the percentages of

rioters that did not have religious training, and who did or did not

take advantage of opporunities when the had them in public schools,

and ended up working, {being used}, not for our Heavenly Father,

but for the likes of George Soros and other Satan induced project-

managers. CY - 2021) but if he rejects it his heart becomes hardened,

and he becomes increasingly unresponsive: from him that has not, etc.

Thus God’s holy Law girdles us on every side; we cannot step outside

it. It is determining our character and our destiny. We must act upon it,

must turn it to good account. We must see to it that we really have

what we seem to have, that we are using the talent, the opportunity,

that is at our command. Then to us will be given — here, on the earth,

in the shape of increased faculty and multiplied usefulness; there, in

                                    the heavens, in the way of a far broader sphere of celestial service.



                                    Oppressing the Poor (Job 20:19-20)


This is a sin most frequently referred to in the Bible, a common wrong

against which the prophets of Israel continually protested with vehement

indignation. Christ, usually mild and gentle, spoke in great anger of this

wickedness (Matthew 23:14). St. James denounced it as not unknown

among Christians (James 5:4).


  • THE SIN.


Ø      Its various forms. It is not always seen in the bare and open fashion of

primitive times. The sheikh exacts more than is due from his tribe, the

                        Eastern landowner grinds down his



                                    The Short Triumphing of the Wicked (v. 5)


Zophar’s superficial view has truth in it as far as it goes. He is a man of the

world, and he has kept his eyes open. What he has seen has been no

illusion. It is not enough to explain the deeper mysteries of Job’s

experience. Yet it has an obvious truth in it.




Ø      This is seen in experience. Even Zophar, who finds it not exactly in

accordance with his ideas of providence, still cannot but admit that it

exists. A swindler fattens on the spoils of the robbery of widows and

orphans. A Napoleon dominates Europe.


Ø      It is important to recognize the fact. We must make our theories accord

with our experience and observation of the world. It is useless to comfort

ourselves in the seclusion of our private meditation with an easy

optimism, if this will not fit in with the events of everyday life. If we

are not prepared to expect the triumph of the wicked, the sight of it

will strike us with a shock of dismay.


Ø      The triumphing of the wicked does present a difficulty. It is contrary to

our notion of justice. No doubt the narrow, conventional notion of the

three friends was founded on a genuine sense of right and fitness. If

there is to be no future judgment, and if this temporal state is typical

of the whole course of life, here is an instance of gross injustice.

We must therefore face it, and inquire what it means.


·         THIS TRIUMPH IS SHORT. Zophar’s explanation is that the triumph

will soon pass away, and will give place to overthrow and ruin.


Ø      This is seen on earth. As a rule, the swindler does not die rich. He

usually outlives his gains. Great wickedness generally disappoints its

owner. Napoleon finishing his career as an exile at St. Helena is typical of

the most frequent end of a very bad course. But this is by no means a

universal principle. The whole of a bad man’s life may be externally

prosperous, right on to death.


Ø      This will be seen after death. We must extend our contemplation of the

course of the wicked man. He dies, leaving wealth, pleasure, power,

triumph, behind him. None of these can accompany him through the

dark doors of death. He has laid up no treasures in the unseen world.

There he is certainly beggared, and he has good ground for expecting

the infliction of well-merited punishment. His short earthly life, but

a moment when compared to eternity, is over, and with it all his

triumphing has ceased.




Ø      It is fallacious because its brevity is hidden. The foolish man who

glories in it does not see how swiftly it is slipping away from him. A

triumph which must soon give place to shame is not worth much to its



Ø      It is fallacious because it gives no solid satisfaction. The wicked glee of

triumphing in sin is quite superficial. Often its very excitement is only a

result of restless discordant passions. It wears a bold front, but it covers

a weary spirit. If there is a spark of conscience left there must be a

haunting fear — like the mummy at the Egyptian feast — that spoils

the pleasure.





Ø      This is solid. It begins with victory over sin and self, our greatest



Ø      It is assured. It is brought about by the work of Christ; it is just

       sharing in His victory; and Christ must triumph.


Ø      It is eternal. On earth there may be shame and humiliation, but in heaven

Christians are called to the joy of victory — to be “more than

conquerors through Him that loved us!” (Romans 8:37)., the baron

enslaves and robs his serfs, and we denounce the manifest wrong. But

is not the same evil to be seen in the more decorous injustice of modern

Western civilization?  The great body of working men is now emancipated

from the tyranny of past ages, and is able to assert itself and claim its

rights. But below this powerful class is a mass of unskilled workers,

the helpless men and women who crowd the lower quarters of great

cities — the really poor. When advantage is taken of the poverty of

these miserable people to grind them down, they are being robbed.

With us the sweating system takes the place of the old territorial



Ø      Its invariable wickedness. Is the modern commercial oppression one

whit less guilty than the old lordly tyranny? The evil is more disguised

with us; it is more difficult to bring it home to its authors; our

complicated civilization hushes it up — yet the cruelty and wickedness

are as real as ever.



  • THE PUNISHMENT. The writers of the Bible who denounced the sin

of oppressing the poor continually threatened punishment to the guilty



Ø      Direct loss. Zophar contemplates the actual loss of ill-gotten gains. This

may happen in the present life. It will certainly occur at death. The

oppressor can take none of the profits of his cruelty out of the world

with him.


Ø      Disappointment. In the fullness of his sufficiency he shall be in straits.

Even without the loss of property difficulties will arise. The rich man

may be murdered in his palace. Most oppressors live in fear. Trouble

of mind mingles like gall in the sweetest cup of pleasures got by



  • THE CURE. Punishment is not cure. The fear of it may act as

somewhat of a check. But we must go deeper for “the root of the matter”

if we would cure it. Now undoubtedly in this case the root is not hard to

find, for it is simply unmitigated selfishness. Therefore until men can be

taught to substitute brotherliness for selfishness, oppression of the poor

must continue. No social revolution, no legal enactment, no forcible

change, can eradicate the evil. We must go for the cure of social evils TO

CHRIST!  He is concerned with society as well as with the individual, and

there is no hope for society UNTIL CHRIST IS RECOGNIZED AS ITS

SAVIOUR AND ITS LORD!  Christianity instills brotherliness. No man

can be a Christian who is destitute of this grace. Oppression of the poor

belies the most sanctimonious profession of religion. We want to get back

to the religion, of Christ, which made more of brotherliness than even of

faith; the religion of St. Paul and St. John, which taught that love is the

greatest thing in the world.




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