The miraculous draught of fishes, Peter, James, and John
called. (1-11) A leper cleansed. (12-16) A paralytic cured.
(17-26) Levi called, Christ's answer to the Pharisees. (27-39)
When Christ had done preaching, he told Peter to apply to
the business of his calling. Time spent on week days in public
exercises of religion, need be but little hinderance in time,
and may be great furtherance to us in temper of mind, as to our
worldly business. With what cheerfulness may we go about the
duties of our calling, when we have been with God, and thus have
our worldly employments sanctified to us by the word and prayer!
Though they had taken nothing, yet Christ told them to let down
their nets again. We must not abruptly quit our callings because
we have not the success in them we desire. We are likely to
speed well, when we follow the guidance of Christ's word. The
draught of fishes was by a miracle. We must all, like Peter, own
ourselves to be sinful men, therefore Jesus Christ might justly
depart from us. But we must beseech him that he would not
depart; for woe unto us if the Saviour depart from sinners!
Rather let us entreat him to come and dwell in our hearts by
faith, that he may transform and cleanse them. These fishermen
forsook all, and followed Jesus, when their calling prospered.
When riches increase, and we are tempted to set our hearts upon
them, then to quit them for Christ is thankworthy.
This man is said to be full of leprosy; he had that
distemper in a high degree, which represents our natural
pollution by sin; we are full of that leprosy; from the crown of
the head to the sole of the foot there is no soundness in us.
Strong confidence and deep humility are united in the words of
this leper. And if any sinner, from a deep sense of vileness,
says, I know the Lord can cleanse, but will he look upon such a
one as me? will he apply his own precious blood for my cleansing
and healing? Yes, he will. Speak not as doubting, but as humbly
referring the matter to Christ. And being saved from the guilt
and power of our sins, let us spread abroad Christ's fame, and
bring others to hear him and to be healed.
How many are there in our assemblies, where the gospel is
preached, who do not sit under the word, but sit by! It is to
them as a tale that is told them, not as a message that is sent
to them. Observe the duties taught and recommended to us by the
history of the paralytic. In applying to Christ, we must be very
pressing and urgent; that is an evidence of faith, and is very
pleasing to Christ, and prevailing with him. Give us, Lord, the
same kind of faith with respect to thy ability and willingness
to heal our souls. Give us to desire the pardon of sin more than
any earthly blessing, or life itself. Enable us to believe thy
power to forgive sins; then will our souls cheerfully arise and
go where thou pleasest.
It was a wonder of Christ's grace, that he would call a
publican to be his disciple and follower. It was a wonder of his
grace, that the call was made so effectual. It was a wonder of
his grace, that he came to call sinners to repentance, and to
assure them of pardon. It was a wonder of his grace, that he so
patiently bore the contradiction of sinners against himself and
his disciples. It was a wonder of his grace, that he fixed the
services of his disciples according to their strength and
standing. The Lord trains up his people gradually for the trials
allotted them; we should copy his example in dealing with the
weak in faith, or the tempted believer.