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Home » Free Books » Bonar, Horatius » Light & Truth: The Gospels ! Chapter 8 - Matthew 8:34 - Man's Dislike and Dread of Christ Light & Truth: The Gospels by Bonar, Horatius

Quick Access Chapter 1 - Matthew 1:1 - Very Man... Chapter 2 - Matthew 1:16 - Jesus the See... Chapter 3 - Matthew 2:3 - Jesus the Trou... Chapter 4 - Matthew 3:10 - The Desert Vo... Chapter 5 - Matthew 4:23 - Jesus in Seas... Chapter 6 - Matthew 5:45 - His Sun... Chapter 7 - Matthew 8:1-3 - Human Lepros... Chapter 8 - Matthew 8:34 - Man's Dislike... Chapter 9 - Matthew 11:28 - The Rest and... Chapter 10 - Matthew 11:29 - The Three E... Chapter 11 - Matthew 12:41 - Nineveh and... Chapter 12 - Matthew 13:25 - The Two Sow... Chapter 13 - Matthew 19:6 - Herod's Ball... Chapter 14 - Matthew 19:15-16 - Man's Wa... Chapter 15 - Matthew 14:24-31 - The Help... Chapter 16 - Matthew 17:17 - The Graciou... Chapter 17 - Matthew 18:1-4 - The Peerag... Chapter 18 - Matthew 18:2; Luke 19:10 - ... Chapter 19 - Matthew 21:44 - The Stone o... Chapter 20 - Matthew 22:42 - The Things ... Chapter 21 - Matthew 24:12 - The Chill o... Chapter 22 - Matthew 24:42, 44 - True Vi... Chapter 23 - Matthew 25:3 - Religion wit... Chapter 24 - Matthew 25:31, 33 - The Gre... Chapter 25 - Matthew 24:70 - The Denying... Chapter 26 - Matthew 27:4 - The True Con... Chapter 27 - Mark 3:35 - Relationship to... Chapter 28 - Mark 4:39 - The Great Calm... Chapter 29 - Mark 5:36 - Only Believe... Chapter 30 - Mark 6:6 - Jesus Wondering ... Chapter 31 - Mark 6:33, 34 - Christ's Te... Chapter 32 - Mark 6:53-56 - Jesus and Hi... Chapter 34 - Mark 11:13 - The Fruitless ... Chapter 33 - Mark 10:52 - Christ's Recog... Chapter 35 - Mark 11:22 - Faith in God... Chapter 36 - Mark 13:33 - Watch and Pray... Chapter 37 - Mark 13:34-37 - The Master ... Chapter 38 - Mark 14:62 - The Coming of ... Chapter 39 - Luke 4:16-31 - The Gracious... Chapter 40 - Luke 6:19 - Health in Jesus... Chapter 41 - Luke 7:36-50 - Much Forgive... Chapter 42 - Luke 11:13 - How Much More!... Chapter 43 - Luke 15:2 - Jesus Watching ... Chapter 44 - Luke 15:10 - God's Joy Over... Chapter 45 - Luke 15:20 - The Father's L... Chapter 46 - Luke 15:22 - God's Free Lov... Chapter 47 - Luke 17:26, 27 - Noah Days... Chapter 48 - Luke 19:11-27 - The Lowest ... Chapter 49 - Luke 14:40 - Christ Must ha... Chapter 50 - Luke 21:28 - Signs of the T... Chapter 51 - Luke 21:36 - Deliverance in... Chapter 52 - Luke 22:18 - The New Wine o... Chapter 53 - Luke 22:19, 20 - The Heaven... Chapter 54 - Luke 23:32-43 - The Three C... Chapter 55 - Luke 24:29 - The Disciples'... Chapter 56 - John 1:12, 13 - Reception o... Chapter 57 - John 3:2 - The World's Need... Chapter 58 - John 3:14, 15 - Life in Loo... Chapter 59 - John 3:29 - The Filling Up ... Chapter 60 - John 3:34, 35 - The Fullnes... Chapter 61 - John 4:10 - The Living Wate... Chapter 62 - John 5:39, 40 - Bible Testi... Chapter 63 - John 6:17 - Night with Jesu... Chapter 64 - John 6:50 - The Bread of Im... Chapter 65 - John 6:51 - Christ's Flesh ... Chapter 66 - John 7:37 - Come and Drink... Chapter 67 - John 7:53; John 8:1, 12 - J... Chapter 68 - John 8:31, 32 - Truth and L... Chapter 69 - John 8:54 - The Father Hono... Chapter 70 - John 11:40 - The Honour Giv... Chapter 71 - John 12:12 - Inquiring afte... Chapter 72 - John 12:32 - The Great Attr... Chapter 73 - John 12:35-36 - Light and i... Chapter 74 - John 12:46 - Light for the ... Chapter 75 - John 12:48 - The Judging Wo... Chapter 76 - John 14:8-10 - The Revelati... Chapter 77 - John 13:16, 17 - The Abidin... Chapter 78 - John 14:26 - The Mighty Com... Chapter 79 - John 14:27 - The Divine Leg... Chapter 80 - John 16:25-28 - Christ in H... Chapter 81 - John 16:33 - Tribulation, P... Chapter 82 - John 17:26 - The Declaratio... Chapter 84 - John 18:28 - Ritualism and ... Chapter 84 - John 19:2 - The Greater Sin... Chapter 85 - John 20:17 - Christ's Work ... Chapter 86 - John 21:5 - The Tender Love... Light & Truth - The Gospels - Footnotes...

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VIII.

Man's Dislike And Dread Of Christ.

"And, behold, the whole city came out to meet Jesus; and when they saw him, they besought him that he would depart out of their coasts."

-Matthew 8:34.

     I scarcely know a verse of Scripture where there is such a melancholy contrast between the beginning and the close. The first part is so hopeful, the second so disastrous. The first seems to lift us to heaven, the second to cast us down to hell. The whole city flocks to Jesus; but its multitudes have scarcely reached him when they ask Him to quit their coasts; not their city merely, but their region; as if the farther off the better. They do not turn their back on Him, but worse: they ask Him to turn his back on them. Yet the scene was not an uncommon one in our Lord's history. It was much the same as in the synagogue of Nazareth; and in Capernaum after the miracle of the loaves (John 6:24-66); and afterwards at Jerusalem when one day they shouted "hosanna," the next, "crucify." Alas, that it should be still the same in our own day!

     Let us mark,-

     I. The coming; "The whole city came out to meet Jesus." Not some,-not the city,-but the whole city! It was a universal movement; and a most interesting one. A whole city flocking out to meet Jesus! Surely this would make angels glad. It was one of the most marvelous and blessed sights that had been seen. Ah, how seldom had such a thing been seen, or is seen now! They had heard that He had done a miracle, that He had cast out devils, and they flocked to Him. The report of those who kept the swine had moved the city! A swineherd's tale had made all the city turn out to meet Him! O wondrous spectacle!

     II. The seeing; It would appear that Jesus was on his way to their city ;-so they soon met Him,-saw Him,-heard Him. They did not remain afar off, but came nigh. So that their feelings towards Him, and treatment of Him, were not founded on mere report. They heard what others had to say; but they also saw for themselves. And it is this seeing that so aggravates their guilt. What they did and said, they said and did in the full knowledge of what He was.

     III. The refusing. They besought Him to depart out of their coasts. An awful request, in many ways. They had sick among them, did they not want them to be healed? They had others, perhaps, possessed with devils, did they not want them to be delivered? The sick beseeching the physician not to visit them! The famished city entreating the benevolent storekeeper not to bring them bread! The thirsty traveler filling up the one well in the desert! The shipwrecked sailor's requesting the lifeboat to keep away from them! Was there ever a request so sad, so fatal? Why was this? There was something in Jesus that drew them; but there was more that they disliked. What they heard about the devils and the swine made them afraid. If He came, He would drive out their herds of swine; He would not spare their sins. They would like Him as the physician of the body, but not of the soul. His company seemed dangerous and terrible. The destruction of that herd of swine was his doing, no doubt; and He who could send the devils into the swine could send them into themselves. It was terrible to be near one who had such power over spirits. So they besought Him to depart. And it would appear that He departed. He took ship immediately, and sailed to the other side; and as they saw Him departing, and the white sail vanishing out of sight, they would be relieved as by the retreat of some fearful enemy. The departure of the Son of God was matter of mutual congratulation to these Gadarenes! The scene is a fearful one; the lessons most impressive. Their "depart from us" is a foreboding of his "depart from me" (Matthew 15:41)

     (1.) How near salvation they were. It was on its way to them. It would soon have entered their gates. They were going to meet it, and it was coming to meet them. How blessed! Was salvation ever nearer! It seemed now as if nothing could hinder their being blest. Yet it passed away; and they were the cause. They would not have it. Thus near is salvation to us every hour; yet we put it away. "I would," and "ye would not" are still the words of awful truth. Nay, they themselves at first seemed bent on having it; a whole city bent on being saved,-rushing in one multitude to the Saviour! But it turned out to be not the kind of salvation which they wanted; and He not the kind of Saviour they cared for. So they would have none of Him! Thus we neglect the great salvation though so near, and despise the Saviour though coming to meet us; nay, standing at our side!

     (2.) How they wronged the Saviour. "They were taken with great fear" (Luke 8:37). What had He done to alarm them or to create distrust? He had healed their sick, cast out devils, restored the lunatic to his right mind; ought these to have raised hard thoughts of Him? Especially, should not the sight of Him have proved attractive? Yet it was when they saw Him that they besought Him to depart. Or was the destruction of their swine enough to outweigh these miracles of mercy? Yes; He smote their covetousness, and reproved them for their unlawful gains. And this they could not bear. But how grievously did they wrong Him in this, putting false constructions on His works of mercy and of righteousness. They wronged his love, his interest in their welfare, his desire to break the power of hell among them. Do we not thus wrong Him constantly? Is not all unbelief a wronging of Christ, a repetition of the sin of the Gadarenes, and with less excuse than theirs?

     (3.) How they wronged themselves. When beseeching Him to depart out of their coasts, they were sending away their one friend and physician, quenching their one light. The word "besought" implies that he was bent on remaining; and they desisted not in their entreaties till they had constrained Him to depart. O awful importunity of sin and unbelief! And is not this still the attitude of unbelief? Does it not say, Depart from me? Is not its meaning just,-O Jesus I beseech thee do not convert me; do not save me, do not cast out Satan,-let me alone,-what have I to do with thee or thou with me? And Jesus yields at length. He sails away; and with Him all heaven; with Him salvation, and life, and joy.

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